Thoughts from around college football

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
11:20
AM PT
They’re only college football opinions, but at least they’re all mine:

• I’ve been around the area a long time, and I think the best sporting event of the year in L.A. is always the USC-UCLA football game.

• Saturday’s edition of the series has the potential to be as good as we’ve had recently. On paper, these two teams couldn’t be much closer.

• UCLA’s linebacker/running back Myles Jack has deservedly gained much publicity of late, but when you consider blocking, running, receiving and performing on special teams, there might not be a better all-around football player than USC’s Soma Vainuku.

Brett Hundley, the Bruins’ athletic quarterback, trying to dodge the relentless Leonard Williams and Devon Kennard will be a game within the game.

• If UCLA’s offensive line was any younger, you’d seriously want to check some of their driver's licenses.

• Isn’t it time we just start calling Javorius Allen “Buck” and be done with it?

• So tell me, Jim Mora, where has dynamic kick returner Ishmael Adams been?

• Sign of the times: USC quarterback Cody Kessler has completed 72.8 per cent of his passes in the past four games. Maybe it’s time to start calling him Cool Hand Cody.

• I have this streak going with under-the-radar quarterbacks. Two years ago, in early September, I said to keep an eye on Robert Griffin III at Baylor. Last year, I said the same thing about Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. This year, my guy just happened to be Taylor Kelly of Arizona State. If this trend continues, NFL scouts should feel free to call.

• Auburn’s Gus Malzahn already is a leading candidate for National Coach of the Year. But if he somehow beats Alabama on Saturday, they should hand him the trophy right then and there.

• Oregon goes down, Baylor goes down, more than a few of the young, hotshot NFL quarterbacks are struggling. Is it just me, or has some of the luster come off all those glitzy read-and-react offenses?

• Attention Heisman voters: Arizona’s prolific tailback Ka’Deem Carey is suddenly a legitimate candidate, especially now that Johnny Manziel has sputtered and Jameis Winston is facing potential legal problems.

• It’s official now, by the way. Oregon does miss Chip Kelly.

• So Duke is now in the Top 25, huh? Dude, I guess that Coach K really is a genius.

• OK, I admit it. I’d be curious to see how unbeaten Fresno State would do against a legitimate Pac-12 contender.

• The RVs at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium already took their spots in the stadium parking lot for this week’s Alabama game last Saturday.

• It’s a big year for the Crimson. No, I’m not talking about the Crimson Tide. I’m talking about the Harvard Crimson, now 9-1 and tied for the lead in the vaunted Ivy League.

• South Carolina 70, Coastal Carolina 10. Be proud, Steve Spurrier. Be very proud.

• This is always an interesting week in our mixed-marriage house: She’s a Bruin, and I’m a Trojan. There is usually plenty of sarcasm floating around, although this year there actually have been some long, serious discussions about the USC coaching vacancy. “I’ve finally decided which coach I think they should hire,” she said the other day. “Really, who?” I asked. Barely able to hide a smirk, she said: “Lane Kiffin.” It’s good to know she hasn’t lost her sense of humor.

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