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Thursday, January 17, 2013
3-point stance: Western Big East a bad idea

By Ivan Maisel

1. Mike Aresco may not have a drinking problem, but otherwise the Big East commissioner is beginning to mimic the character Denzel Washington portrayed in Flight. Aresco has all but flipped the conference upside down in midair in order to withstand the turbulence of realignment. Now that San Diego State has rejoined Boise State in the Mountain West, Aresco may get it done. The sea-to-shining-sea conference membership was a bad idea, and the Big East has spent a lot of time and money undoing it.

2. On the day after Doug Marrone announced that four of his nine Syracuse assistants would follow him to the Buffalo Bills, Oregon coach Chip Kelly announced he would leave for the NFL, too. Nowhere has staff continuity been more important than at Oregon, where six of the nine assistants have spent at least 10 years on the Ducks staff. It stands to reason that if offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich replaces Kelly, Oregon would have a better shot at maintaining its success.

3. Then there’s USC, where no news would be good news. Any day that a head coach denies that a brawl broke out in his postgame locker room is not a good day. Lane Kiffin must think the 2012 season will never end. Athletic director Pat Haden held his tongue after the disastrous Sun Bowl. He knows that injuries contributed a lot toward the Trojans’ 7-6 record. But the latest story continues the portrayal of a team that fell apart when times got tough.