Three-point stance: The matchup that isn't

July, 8, 2010
7/08/10
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1. The USC-Tennessee game that won’t happen next year is a win-win. Trojans coach Lane Kiffin is shrewd to pursue his old team for the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. Kiffin is extending an olive branch to the Vol fans he ditched. The matchup would suck all the oxygen out of the college football preseason. But Tennessee is just as shrewd to say no. With Cincinnati and North Carolina already on the non-SEC schedule, the rebuilding Vols will be busy enough.

2. Has there been a recruit as talented and pursued as offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson who popped onto the market this late? I’m betting that Henderson signs with a coach who treated his initial decision to go to USC with respect. I’m betting that coach wished him luck and never badmouthed him. Henderson’s decision on a Plan B school will be de facto evidence of a classy staff.

3. Joe Starkey has been the play-by-play announcer at Cal since the days of Pappy Waldorf, or maybe it just seems like it. Starkey, on the job actually since 1974, is as much a part of Cal as Strawberry Canyon. His call of The Play in the 1982 victory over Stanford remains must-listen radio nearly three decades later. The National Football Foundation announced Wednesday that Starkey will receive its Chris Schenkel Award. The only surprise is that he hasn’t already won it.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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