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Tuesday, April 3, 2012
3-point stance: A rare coaching transition

By Ivan Maisel

1. Head coaches have been saying that the kicking game is one-third of football going back to the days of leather helmets. In the past decade, as coaches have bestowed more and more titles on their assistants, many schools have special-teams coordinators. But that title and those responsibilities have translated into very few head coaching jobs. Houston promoted Tony Levine. Will that move push open the door for guys like John Baxter at USC and Brian Polian at Texas A&M?

2. USC head coach Lane Kiffin explained away the seven interceptions that quarterback Matt Barkley has thrown this spring by pointing out that wide receiver Robert Woods is injured and not practicing -- not all picks are the fault of the passer -- and that Barkley is, in his fourth spring practice, bored. Kiffin’s acknowledgement that Barkley is human is refreshing. But I’m pretty sure Vince Lombardi and his small playbook didn’t exactly captivate the Packers season after season.

3. New York Yankee fans are delighted that Kentucky won its eighth NCAA men’s basketball championship Monday night, if only because the Yankees won the World Series in the previous seven years that the Wildcats won. There’s also good news in the SEC. In the last 50 years, when Kentucky won the Final Four -- 1978, 1996 and 1998 -- an SEC team also won the football national championship. As if the SEC needed another omen to win its seventh consecutive BCS title.