USC v. Alabama

usc-alabama-lineAlabama opened as a 14.5-point favorite over Washington according to Bookmaker.eu. So I asked the betting service for the point spread if USC played Alabama in the Peach Bowl? The Trojans would be 10-point underdogs, so a 4.5-point difference.

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Morning Buzz: Will The Next Pro-USC Fox Analyst Please Step Forward


I don’t think Skip Bayless really cares if USC wins or loses. He’s no Colin Cowherd. So who would you take if USC played Alabama? One thing I notice about Alabama’s defense is it knows how to tackle. Sounds simple right? But have you watched a Pac-12 game lately? Tackling is a forgotten art in most conference games. Colorado, with a top 20 defense based on the stats, had some shocking missed tackles against Washington in the Pac-12 title game.

If USC played Alabama again with Darnold, it would be interesting at least. But a lingering question after this season is why the season opener was too big of a moment for USC? The players said it was but that should never be an excuse for USC. And it wasn’t exactly Clay Helton’s first game either after he coached most of last season. Oh well.

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Why Not Adoree?

The Heisman Trophy announced its finalists: Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Jabrill Peppers, Deshaun Watson and Dede Westbrook. So the one-week campaign for Adoree Jackson fell short.

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Conference Of Champions

There were two conferences that held their championship games on Friday night: The Pac-12 and the MAC. The Pac-12 drew 47,118 fans. The MAC drew 45,615. Is it any wonder DirecTV could care less about the Pac-12 Network?

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Heisman Trophy Watch

Voting for the Heisman Trophy ends at 2 p.m. (PT) today. The award should announce the players invited to the ceremony in New York a couple hours later. Will Adoree Jackson be included?

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Morning Buzz: USC, Penn State Owe Steve Sarkisian For Success

sarkisian-2015In my column on the Rose Bowl, I look at how three schools (USC, Penn State, Washington) owe Steve Sarkisian for the success they experienced this season.

Excerpt: When Sarkisian left Washington for USC, it allowed the Huskies to hire Chris Petersen and become one of the nation’s top four teams. When Sarkisian was fired by USC, it allowed Clay Helton to calmly restore the Trojans to their current top 10 status.

So how did Sarkisian shape Penn State? Nittany Lions coach James Franklin was identified by former USC athletic director Pat Haden as a candidate to replace Lane Kiffin the summer before Kiffin was fired in 2013. But Franklin coached at Vanderbilt, which might as well have been another country for the myopic coaching searches run by Haden (and he was hired at Penn State).

Full column here

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