Will the Lane Kiffin fiasco hurt Alabama versus Clemson?

Is anyone surprised that things didn’t work out between Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin after Kiffin accepted a head coaching job? This was bound to happen, and Kiffin ends up looking like a buffoon as usual.

Now Alabama has to rely on Steve Sarkisian to run the offense as they square off against Clemson for the National Championship. Sark is a great coach, and Alabama has plenty of talent on offense, but they have a young QB and they’ll be facing a tough Clemson defense that shot out Ohio State.

Should be interesting . . .

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Shocker: USC loses to an inferior opponent

To use a tried, true and albeit, tired phrase, there are three things we can count on in life: Death, taxes and Pete Carroll’s USC Trojans will be knocked off by an inferior opponent at some point during the season.

In 2006, the Oregon State Beavers were the unranked team to knock off USC. In 2007, it was Jim Harbaugh’s Stanford Tree Logos. Last year, it was Oregon State again who provided the upset and on Saturday, it was Steve Sarkisian’s Washington Huskies (a team that didn’t win a game last year, mind you) that shocked the college football world by beating USC 16-13 in Seattle.

For the second year in a row, USC beat Ohio State and then lost to its very next opponent. The Trojans jumped out to a 10-0 lead against the Huskies, but Washington answered with 10 of their own before halftime before eventually pulling the upset off thanks to Erik Folk’s game-winning 22-yard field goal with only three seconds remaining.

The Trojans were playing without starting freshman quarterback Matt Barkley, who sat out the entire week of practice with an injured shoulder. Redshirt sophomore Aaron Corp made his first career start and while he wasn’t bad (he completed 13 of 22 passes for 110 yards and a pick), he couldn’t come up with the big play throughout the game. Joe McKnight rushed for 100 yards on 11 carries as USC racked up 250 rushing yards, but the Trojans lost two fumbles and when you combine those with Corp’s second half interception, turnovers killed Carroll’s team today.

But let’s give credit where credit is due. Sarkisian has completely turned around the mindset of the Washington program and now has the Huskies believing that they can win on any given Saturday. Junior quarterback Jake Locker is a fine player and can make things happen with both his arm and his legs.

Sarkisian has made Washington relevant again, while Carroll is left scratching his head for the fourth year in a row. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Carroll sticks with Corp or goes with former Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain assuming Barkley can’t go next week against Washington State.

USC has never been more primed for the taking in the Pac-10. The big matchup in the conference will be October 3 when the Trojans travel to Berkley to face Cal.

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