Alabama didn’t start 2009 they way they wanted to, but outside of that bowl loss to Utah (which we all know was a total fluke), no team was more dominating off the field, in the headlines, and on the field for the rest of the year. Even in the off-season, Alabama continually dominated the headlines with NFL draft picks and a second straight number 1 recruiting class. For the 2009 season, Alabama posted a second straight undefeated regular season, destroyed Florida for the SEC Championship, and the gathered school’s first Heisman Trophy winner in Mark Ingram. Poised to play for the BCS Championship and with another stellar class joining the deep ranks, it’s hard to think any team will unseat Alabama in 2010. This time, ‘Bama really is back.
2. Coaching Changes - Part One – Bobby Bowden was finally forced out at Florida State as the Seminoles stumbled and bumbled through the season. Notre Dame fires Charlie Weis for doing basically nothing different than his predecessors and hires Brian Kelly from Cincinnati. Mark Mangino and Mike Leach were removed amid controversy surrounding their treatment of players. Two names excised from coaching that many thought would land somewhere yet have remained "retired" are Tommy Tuberville (formerly of Auburn) and Philip Fulmer (formerly of Tennessee). The only coaching call those guys got was to make cameo appearances in The Blind Side next to Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. All in all, the carousel spun a few off to the wayside and added some long-awaited members to coaching positions in major conferences.
3. The Mountain West
The MWC started this year with some solid bowl wins for its top teams (TCU and Utah) and followed it up with another stellar season and solid bowl performances so far and another BCS bowl berth. Maybe it’s time for the BCS to open up the doors.
4. USC takes a step back
After dominating the PAC-10 conference for seven years, years of attrition of talent to the NFL finally caught up with Pete Carroll and the Trojans out west as they failed to win the conference and were relegated to sixth place and an after-thought bowl game. No team stays on top forever. The real question is can USC get it back in the coming years.