Ball State coach Brady Hoke has taken the San Diego State job, according to BSU Athletic Director Tom Collins.
It sounds like it's a money thing. Obviously Hoke is going to make more money coaching the Aztecs. Especially in these tough economic times, you have to make business decisions, and that's probably what drove Hoke from his alma mater. I wish him luck in San Diego State, which is going to be tough to rebuild with the likes of powerhouses such as Utah, BYU and TCU in the Mountain West.
As for Central Michigan, I got a chance to watch ESPN's Bowl Mania tonight (I guess it first aired last night?). For those of you unfamiliar with Bowl Mania, it's a fantasy game where you pick the winners of every bowl game, then rank your picks by order of confidence. You get a certain amount of points for each correct pick depending on your confidence in the pick- for example, if you have CMU over FAU at the top of the list, you get 34 points, all the way down to 1 point for your least-confident pick.
ESPN's Jesse Palmer (one of the analysts who I rarely take seriously, unfortunately) has Central Michigan winning, but has the pick ranked third-to-last in confidence. He mentioned the Chippewas' second-to-last pass defense and FAU's Rusty Smith "tearing up" the Sun Belt conference as possible reasons for otherwise, but liked CMU's practical home-field advantage.
I would agree to an extent, but I wouldn't call tearing up the Sun Belt conference as much of an accomplishment, considering only one team finished with seven or more wins. To put it bluntly, it's the weakest conference in the FBS. I still think Florida Atlantic is a good team, but I have more confidence in a CMU win, not just because of home field advantage. The one-month break gives the Chippewas time to heal a lot of key injuries and let the emotion from the last two losses wear off a little bit. But more on all this later.