|USC coach Lane Kiffin can't believe his team lost to Arizona. We can't believe the much-hyped Trojans are in danger of missing a BCS bowl after garnering the preseason No. 1 ranking. (US Presswire)|
A total of eight points in three losses could have meant the difference between happiness and misery for our Week 9 Woes representatives...
QB Sean Mannion, Oregon State -- We like Mannion. We really do. And we don't want to put him here. We really don't. But even coach Mike Riley lost faith after Mannion's four-interception performance in a 20-17 Washington win. Credit is due to Mannion for returning quickly from a serious knee injury, but did he rush back too soon and lose his mechanics? All we know is, Riley named Cody Vaz the starter for this week's game against Arizona State, boiling it down to Vaz simply playing better at the moment. And now the Beavers officially have a QB controversy.
Head coach Lane Kiffin, USC -- We don't exactly know where to place blame for the Trojans' surprising second loss of the season, a 39-36 defeat to Arizona. So we'll put it where everyone else is, right at the top. Kiffin's bravado and oft-times curmudgeonly manner costs him the benefit of the doubt, and with two more potential losses in the offing -- Oregon this week and Notre Dame down the road -- there could be more clouds ahead.
Defensive coordinator Paul Randolph, Arizona State -- It's not so much that the Sun Devils have given up more than 80 points in two weeks. Oregon's offense is the best in the land, and UCLA's, surprisingly, is not too far behind. But even with key injuries sidelining DT Will Sutton and DE Junior Onyeali, Randolph's defense clammed up in crunch time against the Bruins, who took it down the field in less than two minutes to hit a game-winning field goal in a 45-43 UCLA win. The Sun Devils went soft in the final minute, playing a form of that wonderful prevent defense everyone knows and loves, and they paid for it dearly with a loss that may have knocked them out of the Pac-12 South race.