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Hitting the Links: Wednesday June 26, 2013

News and notes from around the college football world.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Starting elsewhere and ending in South Bend...

National Links:

Top 10: Toughest non-conference schedules of 2013 -

Good luck, Oklahoma. The Sooners have the toughest non-conference schedule in college football. The road isn't much easier for SMU, Nevada or Southern Miss as explained in this week's Top 10 list.

Northern Illinois launches Heisman campaign for Jordan Lynch -

Much like last season, Northern Illinois is launching a Heisman campaign for quarterback Jordan Lynch, but does he have a shot?

Nippert Stadium renovation approved by Cincinnati board -

The Cincinnati Board of Trustees approved a renovation and expansion project, estimated to cost $80-$85 million and scheduled for completion in August 2015.

QB Devin Gardner says Michigan 'will win' 2013 game vs. Ohio State -

Michigan QB Devin Gardner called his 2013 Wolverines 'a championship-caliber football team' that 'will win' vs. the Buckeyes.

Report: Sumlin letter helped Manziel beat suspension -

Quarterback Johnny Manziel was close to transferring from Texas A&M before the 2012 season before a suspension was overturned, reportedly with the help of Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin.

Ex-Houston Cougars RB Charles Sims transferring to West Virginia Mountaineers - ESPN

Former Houston running back Charles Sims has informed West Virginia he will transfer there for his senior season, according to a school source.

Bill O'Brien of Penn State Nittany Lions gets pay raise - ESPN

Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien is getting a $1 million pay raise after a successful debut in Happy Valley.

Big Ten Conference adds Holiday Bowl and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - ESPN

The Big Ten is adding the Holiday Bowl and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl to its future postseason lineup and will face Pac-12 teams in both games, sources have told

NCAA to reveal decision on Oregon Ducks findings - ESPN

The Oregon Ducks are about to hear the NCAA's decision on possible recruiting violations.

Making the case for Ohio State QB Braxton Miller - ESPN

You saw last season what Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller could do in an offense more suited to his skill set. Remember this? And this? And this.

David Shaw’s TED Talk proposes Stanford football can change the world | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

In a TED Talk that started making the internet rounds this weekend, Stanford head coach David Shaw went over how establishing a culture where student-athletes are expected to perform on the field and in the classroom can perhaps influence other schools to raise their standards.

Kansas agrees to deal for ESPN3 to show events - College Football -

The University of Kansas athletics department has agreed to a seven-year deal with ESPN to carry at least 70 live events on the ESPN3 platform, including regular-season football and men's and women's basketball games.

Michigan State's Pat Narduzzi sticks out — in a good way — with 3-year deal - NCAA Football - Sporting News

All of Mark Dantonio's assistant coaches at Michigan State have two-year contracts-except for Spartans defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who now has a three-year deal.

Not so fast: Shell not returning - Cardiac Hill

Paul Chryst and the Pitt staff have made a decision on Rushel Shell.

Adidas Announces Nebraska Alternative Uniforms for UCLA Game - Corn Nation

And the squeals were heard from miles around.

Irish Links:

Big recruiting weekend for the Irish | Inside the Irish

Offseason recruiting is a tricky business. Even if the visits don't result in a commitment, getting a recruit on campus over the summer -- before an official visit -- is critical to a team's overall success in landing an elite player.

Freshman Focus: Michael Deeb | Inside the Irish

All-American Manti Te'o is gone. Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese will move on after this season as well. Left to take over on the inside are recruits handpicked by Brian Kelly and Bob Diaco to play in this defense. Those selections haven't been plentiful.

Top Notre Dame alumni in the NFL in 2012

A look at the top former Notre Dame players in the NFL in 2012.

Prince Shembo 2013 season projection

Senior Prince Shembo plans to be a big factor in the Irish pass rush this season.

Jarron Jones 2013 season projection

Sophomore Jarron Jones will be needed as a contributor after maturing during a redshirt freshman season.

Notre Dame To Add JR Sandlin To Football Staff

Notre Dame has released nothing official yet. It is interesting that Sandlin had seemingly great success at Alabama and then moved onto SEC rival Tennessee, and now moves on to Notre Dame.

Irish Football Star Anchors America, Poised for Brazil - Her Loyal Sons

Today, loyal reader, I thought it apt that we occupy a morning’s read with some important, if not exactly breaking, football news.

Notre Dame Football's Bob Diaco's Stock Continues to Soar |

Bob Diaco, a rising star in the college football ranks after leading the Notre Dame defense to a magical run in 2012, will be a hot commodity in the head coaching market again next year.

Notre Dame's 1929 National Championship - Notre Dame Football History

On the heels of a 5-4 season, Knute Rockne led Notre Dame to its second national championship under his guidance. How did they go from 5-4 to champions?