• Heres an unforeseen complication to what seemingly looks like a favorable schedule for N.C. State: Wake Forest was the first of three ACC opponents that plays Clemson the week before facing N.C. State.
The problem there, as Wake Forest showed, is after getting racked by the Tigers, most teams are naturally going to play better at least by comparison the next week against N.C. State.
Wake lost 56-7 to Clemson and looked like a different team in a 28-13 win over N.C. State. Syracuse lost 49-14 at home to the Tigers on Saturday. The Orange come to Raleigh this week. Of course, the same principle applies to N.C. State after its subpar performance against Wake Forest.
• In the latest chapter of As Jadeveon Turns, South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney sat out Saturdays 35-28 win over Kentucky with what coach Steve Spurrier called a muscle strain around the rib area.
Clowneys absence comes three weeks after the presumed No. 1 pick in the next NFL draft told one South Carolina newspaper he needed surgery on his right foot but was willing to play through the pain.
Spurrier, who doesnt exactly suffer fools kindly, sounded a bit frustrated on his Sunday conference call when asked about Clowney, whose production has been off this season.
It was just, we didnt know he wasnt playing until right before the game, Spurrier said Sunday. That was a little frustrating. Usually the trainer or the doctor tells you, This guys out. That did not happen last night.
Whats the over/under on the number of people in Clowneys ear (and/or trying to get in his pocket) about whats best for his future?
You get the feeling given Spurriers general lack of elasticity, this is not going to end well for either side.
• Pat Haden was Phi Beta Kappa at Southern California in the 1970s and a Rhodes Scholar, so I should have known the USC athletic director was smart enough not to hire Lane Kiffin. Mike Garrett, Hadens predecessor at USC, made the ill-fated decision to hire Kiffin to replace Pete Carroll after the 2009 season.
That was my mistake in last weeks Late Hits column, and I apologize to Haden for the error. Given Hadens pedigree, USC fans have every reason to believe he will find the right replacement for Kiffin.