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Thursday, September 12, 2013
Sharing his opinions

By Steve Bisheff

They’re only college football opinions, but at least they’re all mine:

• Everyone has his own list of possible 2014 USC coaching candidates if the Trojans’ season continues in its current sad direction. Mine would be: 1. Chris Petersen, Boise State. 2. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern. 3. Gary Patterson, TCU. My wild card, and maybe most intriguing choice of all, would be Jon Gruden, if he’d somehow consider it …


• Lane Kiffin could have Peyton Manning at quarterback and it wouldn’t matter if the coach stubbornly refuses to throw the ball downfield …

• Two words Kiffin should remember come Saturday: Play Action …

• Hey, I could understand if you were afraid to throw the ball downfield against Stanford. But against Washington State???? …

• Lost in all the Kiffin controversy was the fact Morgan Breslin returned and delivered a monster performance on defense …

• It’s hard to believe this is the same group of Trojans defensive players who were so passive a year ago. New coordinator Clancy Pendergast is easily the MVC (Most Valuable Coach) of the first two games …

• All his off-season transgressions aside, Johnny Manziel vs. Alabama is about as much fun as you could ask for in a college football game …

• Nick Saban has been plotting for this rematch for eight months, and it is difficult to believe Bama won’t win this game, but if Manziel is as good as he has looked in the past, it sure won’t be easy ….

• You have to be a real old-timer to remember this, but the player Manziel most resembles on and off the field might be Bobby Layne, a legendary University of Texas quarterback who went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Lions. Like Manziel, Layne was both a great player and a great hell-raiser …

• All the early Heisman polls have other players leading, but if Manziel somehow upsets Alabama again, he automatically becomes the odds-on favorite to make it two trophies in a row …

• How does a respected coach like Mack Brown at Texas suddenly have a team that doesn’t know how to tackle? After that debacle against BYU, it certainly seems like Brown’s days are numbered in Austin …

• Under the radar Arizona State gets its first big test of a harrowing early-season schedule when Wisconsin comes to Tempe on Saturday. If Taylor Kelly and the Sun Devils manage to win that one, look out …

• UCLA has opened a 4 1/2-point underdog, but if the Bruins can knock off Nebraska on the road, their terrific quarterback Brett Hundley immediately squeezes his way into the Heisman conversation …

• Don’t try to tell me the right head coach doesn’t make a huge difference in college football. This week’s prime example: Brady Hoke at Michigan …

• While we’re on the subject, Al Golden seems to have done a miraculous job at Miami, as well …

• Watched Oregon on Saturday, and yes, the Ducks looked like the same, old blurs on offense. Loved those jazzy new helmets, too. Besides being the fastest team in the country, these guys are also manage to be the clear fashionistas of college football …

• Most disappointing player of the first two weeks is South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney. And no, considering the buildup he had coming in, it’s not even close …

• Steve Sarkisian and Washington now venture to Illinois, where they meet a quarterback who can be a handful, not to mention a mouthful -- Nathan Scheelhaase

• So much for that SEC superiority thing. Tennessee is a 27-point underdog at Oregon on Saturday …