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Orgeron Wants to Keep His Job, Duke Receives National Ranking

With last week’s 20-17 win over #9 Stanford (8-2, 6-2), #23 USC (8-3, 5-2) entered the polls for the first time this year, including its first BCS ranking prior to losing to UCLA last year.

The Trojans are ranked in the Associated Press poll (#23), the USA Today coaches’ poll (#25) and perhaps most importantly, the Bowl Championship Series standings (#23).

This week, they’ll play Colorado (4-6, 1-6) and then end the season against #14 UCLA (8-3, 5-2) on Nov. 30. Should USC win out, they’ll finish 10-3 and have a nice national ranking.

You can’t help but ask, Lane Kiffin who?

Ed Orgeron

Ed Orgeron

Rewind to September when the team went 3-2 and head coach Kiffin was fired by USC after four years. Enter Ed Orgeron, who was Kiffin’s assistant coach, to become the Trojan’s interim coach.

With Orgeron, the team has gone 5-1 (5-0 in Pac-12 play) and now they’re a contender for the Dec. 7 Pac-12 Championship Game. The team has a new lease on life and an adoration for its coach.

USC quarterback Cody Kessler, named the Pac-12’s offensive player of the week, said of Orgeron via ESPN after Saturday’s win, “We’d run through a brick wall for him. He has that look in his eye that you can tell that when he talks to you he really does care. I gave him a hug after the game, and I don’t know if he’d want me saying this, but I saw his eyes water up. It’s awesome when you play with someone who has that same passion.”

This comes after Kessler went 25 for 37, 288 yards and one touchdown. It was a season-high day for him in completions and attempts. He had 10 straight complete passes and at 17-17 with 1:23 remaining in the game, Kessler threw a 13-yard pass to wide receiver Marqise Lee on fourth and two. The pass was complete and the win came from a field goal.

Lucky for USC, Orgeron is feeling the love too and has been blunt about his desire to make his job permanent.

Orgeron said on Monday via ESPNu’s “CFB Daily,“ “I want to be the head coach at USC. I love being a head coach. I think that it’s something I’m able to do, and do well. And I want to be the head coach at USC when I get the chance. I think I can perform on a very high basis to do what the Trojan family wants me to do.”

Prior to his stint at USC, he was the head coach of Ole Miss from 2005 to 2007. He does have competition as former USC player and interim Denver Broncos head coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the position recently.

Should Orgeron win out, get to the Dec. 7 game and a decent bowl, it is going to be hard for USC AD Pat Haden to not seriously consider him as the next coach.

For this Saturday’s game, USC gets another win (-22.5).

Duke Eyeing Coastal Division Title, Receives National Ranking

As NCAA Men’s basketball is slowly ramping up, it’s not quite time to embrace #6 Duke (2-1) as the school’s eyes are on its football team (8-2, 4-2) who defeated Miami FL (7-3, 3-3) 48-30 last week; they are now poised to win the ACC Coastal Division.

For the first time since 1994, Duke is nationally ranked: No. 25 in this week’s AP Poll and No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

But first, it needs to defeat Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5) this week and then North Carolina (5-5, 4-3).

David Cutcliffe

David Cutcliffe

Should they win out, they’ll head to the ACC championship game against #2 Florida State (10-0, 8-0). While already set for a second consecutive bowl game this year, the conference one would be a first for the school.

But it won’t represent their first ACC football championship win; that came in 1989 under coach Steve Spurrier before he bolted to Florida. The Blue Devils currently have six-year coach David Cutcliffe.

In the short-term, they’ll get the win against Wake Forest (-5.5).


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