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Article posted: 12/7/2012 5:30 AM

Doeren's departure from NIU pungently understandable

By Mike Spellman

Revolving Doeren:

Hate it.

But get it.

But still hate it.

And that would be college coaches who lead their teams to bowl game and then up and leave for greener pastures before the games are even played -- just like NIU's Dave Doeren did by bolting to N.C. State.

I understand the timing; it's because there's a lot of recruiting to be done in that month or so prior to the start of bowl season, but it still leaves a bad taste, doesn't it?

But what are you going to do?

Sadly, probably nothing.

"I'm not sure that there's a way to legislate or mandate that," NIU athletic director Jeff Compher told me. "I think there are a lot of fans and alumni out there who would like to see something like that put into place. But I haven't heard any schools or conferences or folks from the NCAA bring it up as anything that's a potential for the future."


Pretty sure I've never seen an N.C. State football game in my life ... and why start now?

It's O-fish-al:

"Flipper" the dolphin from the Miami Seaquarium has selected Notre Dame to win the BCS National Championship Game and Florida State to top NIU in the Orange Bowl.

FYI: The World Cup octopus is still working on his picks.

Bears MVP:

A 1-3 third quarter has caused the list of candidates to dwindle considerably.

But for sustained excellence and consistency, I'm going with Brandon Marshall.

The Keppinger Report:

Looks like a solid, solid signing by White Sox GM Rick Hahn.


The Cubs stay the course by adding Nate Schierholtz and re-signing Ian Stewart.

I know, I know ... patience.

Very few happy returns:

Interesting idea floated by Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano to NFL honchos that would do away with kickoffs.

Instead of kicking off, the proposal says, teams would get the ball at their own 30-yard line and face a fourth-and-15 situation where they could either punt or go for it.

Didn't say it was a good idea, just interesting.

OK, borderline interesting.

But ...:

It sure looks like another omen that kickoffs as we once knew them will soon be a thing of the past.

Rare NBA questions:

1. Memphis is the best in the West?

2. The New Orleans Pelicans?

Taking it one step further:

Do you know why the Bulls are named the Bulls?

I confess I didn't until I looked it up on the Chicago Bulls Encycolpedia:

"The name denoted strength and power, and it tied in to the city's meatpacking tradition and the Chicago Amphitheater's (first home court of the Bulls) proximity to the famed Chicago Stockyards."

Follow their lead:

The Bears should draft offensive linemen with the ferocity that the Cubs are signing pitchers.

But just make sure they're twice as big.

Countdown to spring:

Seventy-nine days until the Daytona 500.

It's the 'Len and Jim Show:'

Phew, not sure I could've handled an extra syllable in the title.

He said it:

"Ever been to a movie and watched some of those chase scenes? You're like 'No, I can't believe he just did that! There's no way!' That's what it's been like."

-- NIU athletic director Jeff Compher on his world since clinching the MAC on Friday and then earning an Orange Bowl bid two days later.

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