» Mike Riley finally named junior Sean Mannion his starting quarterback over senior Cody Vaz. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said Mannion won’t need to look over his shoulder.
» An upcoming book on college football called “The System” alleges that Lane Kiffin paid hostesses to help close the deal with recruits — the subject of an NCAA investigation in 2009. Reporters Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict got Lacey Pearl Earps, the most infamous of the hostesses, to speak on record for the first time. It’s far from the best tidbit in what Y! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel called “the best book on the sport written in years.”
» USC may have its starting point guard in Maryland transfer Pe’Shon Howard, who was granted his waiver to play immediately. Howard averaged 3.3 points per game as a junior on just 29.1 percent shooting.
» Former Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel may start for the Buffalo Bills’ season opener if first-round pick E.J. Manuel isn’t healthy. Matt Leinart may be his backup.
» The path to Keith Price’s redemption may come once he learns that he isn’t Superman.
» The battle to replace Matt Scott burns on as opening weekend creeps closer. “We could play two, three, four,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. “Four is probably the most.”
» Former Arizona State quarterback Andrew Walter is running for Congress. Naturally, he’s running for the 9th district, which covers Tempe and surrounding areas. “It’s time to rise as a team,” he tells Arizona voters. (h/t Katie Dowd)
» Cal will wear No. 42 decals on their helmets in memory of the late Chuck Muncie, a former Heisman runner-up who went on to three Pro Bowls. This could confuse many watching the game, given the recent movie. Also, SF Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler defends the proposition for to put the 2014 Big Game in Santa Clara.
» Stanford running back Barry Sanders grew up in Oklahoma City, far away from his famous father’s shadow. He insists his namesake cares more about him as a student, and coached him minimally in football.
» Last year’s overtime loss to Utah State still haunts Utah. Tight end Jake Murphy: “It was just a long bus ride home. I don’t remember anyone saying a word.”
» From the Denver Post: “(Mike) MacIntyre said he has never gone through a season when his starting quarterback didn’t suffer a concussion.” Good luck, Connor Wood!
» The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Cohen writes a post-mortem for the Heisman campaign.