Mel Kiper’s Draft Preview

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ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has USC’s Leonard Williams No. 2 on his Big Board but he made some news this morning when he said there is no franchise quarterback in the draft despite having Marcus Mariota as his No. 1 player.

“I don’t think there is a franchise quarterback, Marcus Mariota, I don’t put in that category,” Kiper said. “I thought it would be Jameis Winston . . . but I would not say he’s a franchise quarterback going in.”

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Christian Kirk Update

Why did five-star wide receiver Christian Kirk abruptly cancel last week’s visit to USC?

“I didn’t want to go,” Kirk told the Arizona Republic. “I didn’t have the interest. I just had a gut feeling that wasn’t the place for me.”

Kirk will choose from Arizona State, UCLA, Auburn, Ohio State and Texas A&M on Dec. 17.

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USC Morning Buzz: Gary Andersen Joins The Pac-12′s Top Tier


AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

So now that Gary Andersen’s shocked nearly everyone and taken the Oregon State job, where does he rank among Pac-12 coaches? He went 11-2 at Utah State in 2012 and 10-3 this season at Wisconsin. He’s won at two vastly different schools.

You would have to say Andersen immediately joins the upper tier of Rich Rodriguez, Todd Graham, David Shaw and Jim Mora as guys who are highly respected within the conference.

This is not to say Oregon State will win next year, with heavy losses on defense and quarterback Sean Mannion departing. But they will remain dangerous for some conference opponent.

In the bigger picture, Andersen’s arrival will test whether a defensive coach who preaches hard-nosed football can thrive in the spread-happy Pac-12.


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Night Question

Does it benefit USC to be involved in any push to expand the College Football Playoff to eight teams? I say yes because USC has a better chance of being a top 8 team than a top 4 team.

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Gary Andersen To Oregon State

If anyone hoped Oregon State would hire a B-level coach to replace Mike Riley, those hopes were dashed when Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen surprisingly took the Oregon State job. Andersen went 19-7 and won the Big Ten West Division this season.

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