Morning Playbook – Written by Todd Graham

Welcome back to the Morning Playbook, a somewhat daily briefing of college football news and notes from around the country. After taking some time off to make some stops along the east coast for media day events and regrouping, we are happy to have this back and ready to roll for you. A lot has happened since our last look at the Morning Playbook and with camps opening up around the nation there is a lot more going on now.

Todd Graham was key in USA's rally against Canada in the Olympic semifinals. Probably.

Todd Graham has a knack for moving from school to school lately, so I admit it can be hard to keep up with all of his accomplishments and background. Thankfully Arizona State reminded us all yesterday "Graham helped improve the Mountaineers record from 3-8 to 9-4," in 2002. Yes, Graham the linebackers coach had a vital role in helping the defense drop from allowing an average of 24.4 points per game in 2001 to 23.2 ppg in 2002, but perhaps some more credit should be given to the head coach, Rich Rodriguez, the current Arizona head coach. We're not suggesting Graham didn't do a good job with the Mountaineers, but you would have to be a fool to think that his role in turning the program around so quickly was to the level of adding six wins to the record. But hey, that is what press release writing is all about, exaggerating and spinning facts in your favor. Well done Arizona State.

Here on the site we are making our official staff predictions for the BCS championship. Co-managing editor Allen Kenney got the (crystal) ball rolling for us yesterday by calling Alabama going for back-to-back titles against the Florida State Seminoles.

Before we continue, now seems like a good time to remind you to be following Crystal Ball Run on Twitter and Facebook to help you stay as up to date as possible on our content. So give us a follow or a Like and please invite your friends and family to check us out as well.

If you like to know who will be calling your favorite school's games this season, ESPN has released broadcast pairings for their regular coverage airing this season. Awful Announcing seems sad to see the notable absence of Pam Ward. This was previously reported to be the case, but now becomes official.

Some at Penn State do not seem happy with the NCAA's sanctions against the school. Perhaps more accurately said, two Board of Trustees members are not satisfied with the process in which the sanctions were levied against their institution and football program. One trustee has informed the rest of the board that he intends to challenge the NCAA's sanctions by filing a formal appeal, which in all likelihood will be turned aside by the Indianapolis office. This may be expected and part of a plan to challenge the NCAA's ruling in federal court. I'm no legal expert so I am not sure how much the legal system can have a say in this since Penn State's president signed a consent decree. You will remember that just a few days ago the Paterno family announced their own intent to appeal the sanctions, which was quickly rejected by the NCAA. Perhaps it is best to let this one go, but who knows?

The bidding for the hosting duties for the Champions Bowl, the new bowl game being created by the Big 12 and SEC, has drawn some good interest. According to ESPN's Kristi Dosh, ten cities have asked to place a bid for the game. Dallas and New Orleans may be the leading contenders with the Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl in place perhaps, but other cities interested include Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Orlando and Nashville.

Monday was a day that will live in uniform infamy it seems. First, Maryland unveiled their home and away uniforms for the upcoming season and while the jerseys and pants do not displease, the helmets once again appear to be a joke to many. Wisconsin showed off their alternate uniforms from Adidas for their September 29 game against Nebraska. The Badgers will look nearly identical to the Cornhuskers in principle, with an unoriginal and uninspired look. And UTEP's orange uniform for the season opener against Oklahoma made the rounds on the internet.

Looking ahead to some danger games in the SEC, Texas A&M seems to pop up everywhere.

Houston previously released their updated logo, but now here is a look at their new helmet with the updated logo.

Will Clemson's Sammy Watkins have a shot at the Heisman Trophy following his suspension to start the season? Chris Huston, AKA Heisman Pundit, says no. We'll take his word for this one.

Former Texas Longhorn Earl Campbell has an engaging personality, writes our Tom Perry.

Oklahoma was dealt a tough blow on the offensive line yesterday, with starting offensive guard Tyler Evans suffering a torn ACL in his right knee. As is normally the case with this type of injury, Evans's 2012 season is over well before it officially begins.

This is not college football related, but check out this hit from above the border, with former James Madison cornerback Evan McCollough laying some lumber on receiver Shawn Gore in Canadian Football League action last night. An ACC referee just threw a flag on this play as we speak.

Tweet of the Day

As camps open up we are getting a more steady flow of quotes from coaches and players, and that can be a good thing. We are sure to see some good lines filter through on Twitter from time to time, and on Monday Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone did not disappoint. As captured by Sean Keeley from Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician

Video of the Day

The Missouri Tigers are generally pretty solid with turning out some videos on a regular basis, and this camp is not an exception. Let;s take a look inside practice with cornerback John Gibson as the Tigers prepare to move in to the SEC this fall.

Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter and Facebook.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.