7 at 7: Morning links around the NCAA

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 15, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala. — So much news, so little time.

But let's dive into another edition of 7 at 7, taking a spin around the NCAA with seven links on this Tuesday morning.

1. Though there hasn't been an official announcement just yet, it appears the identities of the College Football Playoff selection committee is no longer a secret. The group will be chaired by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long,, who will lead the committee of 12 others in choosing the four teams that will take part in the College Football Playoff, which will begin after the 2014 regular season. They will also rank and place the at-large teams in three non-contract bowls on New Year's Day (Chick-fil-A, Cotton and Fiesta).

2. It's not hard to figure out what the game of the week is, as Clemson/Florida State is the only clash Saturday featuring a pair of top-five teams. And as Scott Keepfer of The Greenville News writes, the strength of both team's explosive offenses lies in their diversity.

3. Fresh off ending Michigan's unbeaten season in quadruple-overtime, Penn State is riding a wave of positive momentum. And with the way the Nittany Lions have overcome varying obstacles at different points during the year — the NCAA sanctions, losses to Central Florida and Indiana and the multiple turnovers they committed against the Wolverines — Chris Adamski of the Tribune-Review in Pittsburgh says the program should tout its resiliency as a selling point for the future.

4. Mack Brown got critics off his back (for the time being, anyway) with Texas' 36-20 victory over arch-rival and previously undefeated Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. Now on a three-game win streak, his task is to make sure the mini-revival continues, writes Jimmy Burch of the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth.

5. After years of speculation, football is finally coming to Bristol Motor Speedway. Virginia Tech and Tennessee will square off inside "Thunder Valley" on Sept. 10, 2016, in a game expected to set a record for attendance. Though the news first surfaced last week, the schools made it official by holding a news conference at the track Monday.

6. While they won't play at a race track, Nebraska and Oregon will face each other in the future as well. Nebraska revealed Monday that it had agreed to a home-and-home series with Oregon in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The Cornhuskers will host first, welcoming the Ducks to Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 17, 2016, with Oregon returning the favor the following year, hosting Nebraska on Sept. 9, 2017.

7. We end on an upbeat note. If you're looking to recap the past week in college football but are interested in finding more of the fun and off-the-beaten-path stories, Sports Illustrated's Martin Rickman has it covered in the magazine's weekly "Between The Hashes" series.

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