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Three-and-Out: Ohio State wants to hire Jon Gruden, sort of

1. Ohio State's do-everything quarterback Braxton Miller is shelved up this spring, so the Buckeyes coaches have looked for alternative ways to improve his game. Their idea? A scarlet and gray version of Jon Gruden's QB Camp. Just like the ESPN version, they'll put Miller on the board and have him explain the Ohio State offense to offensive coordinator Tom Herman and head coach Urban Meyer. That is, if they can't bring Gruden himself in. 

"I tried last year (to get him to come)," Meyer told CBSSports.com. "So we're just doing it ourselves. I would try him again. He's a busy guy."

2. Northern Illinois and its directional siblings, Illinois State, SIU-Edwardsville and the rest of the Land of Lincoln's Division I schools are fine institutions that do good work. So it's unfortunate that Illinois senators Matt Murphy and Michael Connelly had to drag them into a conversation they wanted no part of this week.

In case you missed it, the Illinois senators have introduced a bill that try to force a second Illinois public school into the Big Ten. Local politicians often do silly things in the name of sports, but this may top that list. This is like the city of Missoula, Montana trying to force the Catholic church to relocate the Vatican to western Montana. It just doesn't quite work that way. So now the media, including ESPN.com, are now provoked into talking why the Big Ten would never, ever invite Eastern Illinois into its club. Which is a conversation the Leathernecks and their ilk never asked for. 

Unless, as realignment blogger Frank the Tank theorized, this was all a mind trick to get the state of Illinois to beef up its public university spending. 

3. The College Football Playoff announced today its championship trophy would be sponsored by Dr. Pepper. It's the first of what will surely be many sponsorship dominoes to fall. Before we all freak out, college football's championship trophy has had a sponsor attached to it for more than a quarter century now, dating back to Pepsi in 1988. As long as Pitbull steers clear of the podium at AT&T Stadium for the inaugural championship game on Jan. 12, we'll be good.