On eve of opener, opinions abound

August, 28, 2013
8/28/13
8:00
AM PT
They're only college football opinions, but at least they're all mine:

• Nine "co-starters" on USC's depth chart? Nine? Really? If I look up the word waffling in the dictionary, will Lane Kiffin's picture be next to it? ...

• Here's the thing, though: Only one player can start at each position Thursday night in Hawaii. That's when we'll know the identity of the real Trojans' starters ...

• Speaking of Thursday night, do you think we'll see the bubble screen called on the first or second offensive play of the game for USC? ...

• The media was cut off from all practice access after the final Coliseum scrimmage of training camp. Considering the way the team looked in that scrimmage, I can understand why ...

• Seriously, based on that particular sloppy scrimmage, the Trojans didn't appear to be within three touchdowns of either Stanford or Oregon ...

[+] EnlargeNelson Agholor
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesIf defenses pay too much attention to Marqise Lee this season, Nelson Agholor (15) could benefit.
• My guess for the star of the first couple of USC games is Nelson Agholor, the gifted sophomore wide receiver who should benefit from all the double-teaming of Marqise Lee ...

• Next in line would be tailbacks Justin Davis and Tre Madden, both of whom enjoyed good camps between injuries ...

• I'm still trying to figure out why no one has been talking much about Baylor tailback Lache Seastrunk. That guy was simply a monster down the stretch last season ...

• Then again, running backs are seemingly being devalued all around college football these days ...

• With Johnny Manziel questionable, the Heisman Trophy favorite should be Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, although if South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney has another highlight reel hit or two re-played a gazillion times on TV, he should be right there ...

• Two years ago, my quarterback under the radar going into the season was Robert Griffin III. Last year it was Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. You can look it up. This year, my pick is Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly, who quietly slipped into the lineup and threw for 3,039 yards and 29 touchdowns last year with just 9 interceptions. He also ran for 516 yards ...

• Georgia-Clemson is a pretty good game of the week for the first Saturday of the season. To me, Bulldogs' quarterback Aaron Murray was the finest passer in college football last season ...

• Wait a minute, Alabama's AJ McCarron wasn't even voted on the All-SEC second team? Wonder how they'll regard him if he happens to lead the Tide to their third national title in a row ...

• By the way, I realize how smug the SEC gets. But I don't think any team other than Alabama can beat Stanford or Oregon this season ...

• It seems rather obvious that UCLA's best runner this fall will be Brett Hundley, who also happens to be the Bruins' best passer ...

• Washington vs. Boise State is the most interesting West Coast opener of the weekend. Steve Sarkisian vs. the coach I consider one of the three best in college football, Chris Petersen ...

• So now you probably want the names of the other two? Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, with Kansas State's Bill Snyder a close fourth ...

• It's difficult to think of Hawaii coach Norm Chow and not wonder what might have been if Pete Carroll hadn't jettisoned him from his offensive coordinator position before the 2005 season. One thing I know: The final score of that wild BCS title game with Texas would have been a lot different ...

• You can have any of the young read-and-react NFL quarterbacks, and I'll take the Colts' Andrew Luck. Let's see who has more victories in the next five years ...

• The Jets' Rex Ryan can talk around it all he wants, but inserting Mark Sanchez into that game with the scrubs and allowing him to get injured was a colossal coaching error ...

• Tell me, do the Dodgers ever lose a game these days? ...

• And by the way, the real MVP of Don Mattingly's team isn't Gonzalez, Kershaw, Ramirez or Puig. It is the guy who has been writing all the checks ...

• Whatever changes the Angels make in 2014, my advice is to A) Give Mike Trout a sizeable raise and B) Move him back to center field permanently. It's simple: You always want to keep your best player happy ...

• It's official. Miguel Cabrera is the finest right-handed hitter I've seen since Henry Aaron ...

• Maybe it's just me, but isn't it a little too early to be worrying about when Kobe will be back on the floor for the Lakers? ...

• Happy TGFIB, everybody. Thank God Football Is Back ...

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