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Morning Playbook – Happy NCAA Football 13 Day!

Yesterday was the first official watch list day for college football fans. The Maxwell Football Club got it all started with the initial release of the watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Bednarik Award. Can LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu become the first defensive back to win consecutive Bednarik Awards for the first time in the award’s relatively young history? Can Wisconsin running back Montee Ball or South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore break up the monotony of quarterbacks winning the Maxwell Award, or will someone like USC’s Matt Barkley continue the trend for quarterbacks? Michael Felder doesn’t think so over at Bleacher Report.

We here at Crystal Ball Run are returning to our conference preview coverage this week. We honored the ACC two weeks ago and discussed the playoff era last week. This week we have moved through the Rocky Mountains and up and down the west coast by beginning to look at the Pac-12. First we took a history lesson on the Pac-12 and asking the big questions to be answered in the fall.

Time will tell…

The Stanford tree is up to something, I just know it. HT: Reddit

It’s in the game!

Some of you may be getting a late start to your morning, or perhaps you are taking a day off. Why? Because NCAA Football 13 is officially on sale in stores, and some of you may have picked up a copy at midnight. Maroon Musket is happy to see their UMass Minutemen in the game for the first time since 2005.

Listen to a couple of podcasts about the game. Christian McLeod from the development team talked to No 2-Minute Warning last week, and Solid Verbal brought on Ben Haumiller last night.

Joystiq’s review calls NCAA Football 13 “the ‘Matt Leinart’ of sports games.” According to the review there is much to like but also a fair number of complaints. IGN’s Greg Miller is convinced the development team designed the game specifically to make him “suck at the game.”

If you have a copy of this year’s game, feel free to let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Now, back to the real-life game…

Crystal Ball Run co-managing editor Allen Kenny takes a closer look at new Oklahoma assistant coach Mike Stoops over at Blatant Homerism. Here is a look back at Oklahoma’s 2002 victory against Missouri.

Wisconsin should be in good shape for a potential return trip to Pasadena next January, but Crystal Ball Run staffer Andrew Coppens wants to know what is holding the Badgers back from national title contention this fall?

Notre Dame and the Orange Bowl are sending each other pokes and winky faces on Facebook, but they are not quite Facebook-official.

Michigan State’s defense has become a pretty tough unit in recent seasons (never mind that Alabama game). Dennis Dodd from CBSSports.com takes a look at the Spartan Dawgs.

Georgia linebacker Brandon Burrows has returned to Georgia’s program, opting not to transfer after all. According to Dawgs 247, Burrows and his family met with Georgia coaches just days after it was thought he was leaving the program in search of more playing time.

Nevada wide receiver Nigel Westbrook tore his ACL and will miss the 2012 season, according to Reno Gazette-Journal beat reporter Chris Murray. The injury occurred during seven-on-seven drills during summer workouts. Westbrook is a junior college transfer and was expected to be a starter this fall as Nevada moves in to the Mountain West Conference.

NAIA school Lindenwood University-Belleville, in Illinois, has bought in to the colored-field phenomena with this retina-burning color scheme.

You want a full breakdown on the history of the Air Raid Offense? Smart Football has you covered.

Michigan recruit Shane Morris recently did an impression of Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio as part of a compilation of The Opening players impersonating coaches they have met during their respective recruitment processes. Morris was not the only one to do an impression of a rival coach in the fun segment, but Spartan fans, for some reason, were enraged. Morris apologized on Twitter.

For you FCS fans out there, the 2012 preseason FCS All-America teams were released by The Sports Network.

Tweet of the Day

Everybody’s favorite inspirational college football star, Eric LeGrand, continues to set his eyes high.

We also learned yesterday LeGrand has been signed by Subway and will appear in a couple of TV commercials with New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. Subway also signed former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III this year. LeGrand joins Griffin, Tuck, Michael Phelps, Apolo Ohno, Blake Griffin, and Ryan Howard.

Video of the Day

We are going to start featuring a new video every day in a segment we will simply call, Video of the Day. To get it all started, we have a nice hype video for Notre Dame football and their season opener against Navy over in Ireland.

Have a tweet you think should be featured as the tweet of the day? Make sure to retweet it and mention us. You can also send us your video suggestions.

Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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