Matt Hayes, Sporting News: A three-part grading system helps determine what teams do the most with the least amount of talent. The Bowl Championship Series' biggest overachiever is Cincinnati. The biggest underachiever is Mississippi.
Ferd Lewis, Honolulu Advertiser: Hawaii has put a hiring freeze on several positions in the athletic department. The move comes after officials, citing the impact of a declining economy on revenue, said the department is staring at the possibility of a "$2 million to $3 million" deficit for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2009.
Matt Forman, Daily Northwestern: More on the fraudulent recruiting services. "The tape is great on high school film for everybody, but they haven't played a down of Big Ten football yet," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "The game changes dramatically — the size, the speed, the discipline, the expectations."
Jon Wilner, College Sports Hotline: One man's look at how the Pacific 10 Conference race shapes up for 2009.
Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune: Secondary coach Troy Douglas is expected to become the third member of South Florida's staff to leave in six days. Douglas has interviewed for a similar position at North Carolina. Last Thursday, tight ends coach Greg Gregory, demoted from offensive coordinator, resigned to become offensive coordinator at South Alabama. On Tuesday, defensive coordinator Wally Burnham resigned to become defensive coordinator at Iowa State.
Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh has hired Frank Cignetti Jr. as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He spent the past season in the same role at California.
Tom Smith, Florence Times Daily: They start them young in Alabama. A group of second-graders took part in a letter-writing project addressed to Nick Saban. The Alabama coach wrote back and sent a box filled with T-shirts.
Lynn Henning, Detroit News: Former Michigan State and NFL linebacker Brad Van Pelt died of an apparent heart attack. He was 57. Van Pelt's son, Bradlee, was a standout quarterback at Colorado State.
Detroit News: Craig Johnson, a member Michigan State's 1988 Rose Bowl team, has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for bank robbery.
John Heuser, Ann Arbor News: Michigan freshman receiver Darryl Stonum pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a motor vehicle while visibly impaired.
Florida Times-Union: Florida running back/kick returner Brandon James underwent surgery to repair a fractured metatarsal bone in his right foot and will miss spring practice.
Kent Youngblood, Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Minnesota linebacker Sam Maresh, who was recently cleared to resume his playing career after recovering from heart surgery that cost him his 2008 season, has a tumor on his left calf.