With some unusual tremors over the weekend, here’s a fresh serving of “David’s Appetizers,” assorted musings and observations on the sports scene:
KIFFIN AND NORVELL
A branch of the Clint Conque coaching tree helped knock Lane Kiffin out for good at USC.
Kiffin was not even allowed by USC officials to get back on the team bus Saturday night and was fired after the Trojans were administered a humiliating, 62-41, drubbing against Arizona State.
The offensive coordinator for the Sun Devils is Michael Norvell, who came out of nowhere on some of Conque’s first UCA teams to become one of the best wide receivers in school history.
Under Norvell, the Sun Devils are averaging 44.2 points per game and 505 yards per game.
THE QUICK TRIGGER AT USC
Some are wondering how Kiffin was fired before October.
One, he had no real allies. Two, he had developed a reputation of helping the recent crash of two tradition-rich programs, USC and Tennessee.
But there might be a larger reason related to the perceived coaching landscape.
The head coaching jobs at USC, Texas and possibly Nebraska are speculated to come open at some point this year. That’s three programs that are used to being heavily in the spotlight and competing for a national championship.
Imagine a race where three competitors are running together when one decides to make a quick break for the finish line. We may have seen that happen on the coaching carousel.
Even before this weekend, many observers were wondering if either USC, Texas or Nebraska, considering they are fishing out of the same pool of possibly coaching candidates, would make a bold move on a coaching change just to get an edge or at least a head start on the others for a top candidate. USC now has the opening; the others are just speculation.
Of course, Ed Orgeron, the former Ole Miss coach who is know as a great recruiter, is the interim coach.
Will it be an audition?
One question is whether Orgeron has the vibrant, celebrity-type personality that works in L.A. His voice is stereotypical cave man and he’s Cajun to the core.
So how many in Hollywood can speak or understand Orgeron?
But if the Trojans finish the season strong, no translation may be needed.
LOST IN THE MANZIEL HYPE
There will likely be a lot of encouraging talk this week about how the Arkansas defense limited Texas A&M quarterback’s Johnny Manziel’s effectiveness the second half of Saturday’s 45-33 loss.
But did it really?
Manziel, who had 57 yards passing and 10 yards rushing the second half, was a decoy in the second half.
With Manziel just steering the boat, he handed off to his backs for 16 straight running plays on two touchdown drives that iced the victory in the second half.
Manziel’s magic was not needed in the second half. The Aggie offense whipped the Hog defense straight-up the second half without him. They pounded the Hogs with their left hand.
That’s one of the main questions going forward for the UA defense.
Cabot’s 48-32 victory Friday over top-ranked North Little Rock put a different perspective on Conway’s 23-9 loss to the Panthers the week before.
The Panthers have had their troubles in recent years.
Those back-to-back victories, in traditional Cabot hard-nosed style, served notice that this is the “old Cabot,” with more speed on defense and the Panthers may be ready to return among the state’s elite.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dmaclcd)