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Thursday, December 22, 2011
Markazi: Barkley makes Kiffin sweat

By ESPN.com staff

The drive from Lane Kiffin's home in Manhattan Beach to Matt Barkley's home in Newport Beach takes about an hour, but it seemed as if it would never end Wednesday night, as Kiffin was stuck in rush-hour traffic while his wife, Layla, sat in the passenger seat.

Barkley had called Kiffin that morning around 10, sounding somber, and asked Kiffin to come to his house at 5 p.m. with his wife to meet him and his family to discuss his decision.

For the next eight hours, Kiffin dissected Barkley's one-minute phone call a hundred times to figure out what his decision would be.

"If he was going to leave, he wouldn't ask me to bring my wife, would he?"

"If he was going to go pro, he wouldn't make me sit in traffic to break the news, right?"

"If he was coming back, though, shouldn't he have sounded happier on the phone?"

To read Arash Markazi's full story, click here.