Alabama's Saban is ready for Manziel this time
If you believe the pundits, Alabama coach Nick Saban has been isolated in a tiny room watching tape of Texas A&M since quarterback Johnny Manziel led an upset of the Crimson Tide last November. Saban has been successful (7-1) in "revenge games" against teams that defeated him the previous season. But Saban dismisses that talk, preferring that his team be composed entering Saturday's game. "Businesslike is the way we'd like to approach this game" he told reporters. "It's going to be emotional, don't get me wrong. And I'm not trying to minimize the importance when I use the term businesslike. People who get emotional sometimes don't make the best decisions."
If you think you've seen enough of Manziel, may we say, you ain't seen nothing yet. CBS Sports will have a special dedicated camera, dubbed Johnny Cam, that will follow Manziel wherever he goes Saturday. A&M coach Kevin Sumlin wonders why his quarterback will be watched so closely, but CBS Sports executive producer Harold Bryant said the Aggies have nothing to worry about. "It's not there to put Johnny in a negative light," Bryant told the Houston Chronicle. "We want to show the good and the bad. He's a star and we want to do our best to showcase him."
Fading glory I
Fans booed Southern California coach Lane Kiffin and called for his firing during and after the Trojans' shocking 10-7 loss last week to Washington State. And the chorus will fill the air again if USC doesn't show significant improvement Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum against Steve Addazio's Boston College Eagles. The Trojans passed for just 54 yards against Washington State and Kiffin, who had been utilizing two quarterbacks, has decided he will stick with one - Cody Kessler - against the Eagles. "The sky is not falling," Kiffin told the Los Angeles Times.
Fading glory II
Texas coach Mack Brown is in the same boat as Kiffin after his Longhorns allowed a record 550 rushing yards in losing, 40-21, to Brigham Young. The pressure won't relent Saturday when the 'Horns take on No. 25 Mississippi in Austin, where the Longhorns are 11-9 since 2010, including 0-6 against ranked opponents. Last week's performance resulted in the firing of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. For his part, Brown continues to insist that he "fixed" what was ailing the team in the offseason. "I don't have knee-jerk bosses; they get it," he said this week at a news conference.
A singular honor
No one in the 144-year history of Rutgers football has had his number retired - until Saturday. That's when the Scarlet Knights will honor Eric LeGrand by retiring his No. 52 at halftime of their game against Eastern Michigan. LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle against Army in October 2010. The 23-year-old remains optimistic that one day he will walk again, and he talks to groups on overcoming obstacles.
Pryor not welcome
Ohio State is playing Saturday in the Bay Area against California and its former quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, would love to attend. But Pryor, who now starts for the Oakland Raiders, is prohibited from accepting tickets from the Buckeyes in the third year of his five-year NCAA ban stemming from the infamous memorabilia-for-tattoos scandal of a few years back. "I wish," he told the Contra Costa Times. "Can you get me some tickets? I'm kicked out of there."
Expatriate of the Week
Less than one year after becoming South Jersey's all-time leading rusher, Glassboro High's Corey Clement is making a big splash as a true freshman at Wisconsin. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Clement has rushed for 250 yards, an 8.6-yard average and three touchdowns in the Badgers' first two games. He is one of three Badgers averaging more than 100 yards per game. Clement rushed for 6,245 yards in his career at Glassboro.
Games to Watch
Alabama at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., CBS3: The Crimson Tide seek revenge against the Aggies in what should be a barn burner at College Station, Texas. A&M's Johnny Manziel threw for 253 yards and ran for 92 in last year's 29-24 upset at Alabama but you know Tide coach Nick Saban has added a wrinkle or two (or 50) to try to stop him.
UCLA at Nebraska, noon, 6ABC: This matchup of two of the nation's better quarterbacks - the Bruins' Brett Hundley and the Cornhuskers' Taylor Martinez - likely will come down to the better defensive effort.
Louisville at Kentucky, noon, ESPN: This might be the toughest game the Cardinals play until their finale at Cincinnati. But it won't be much of a game if the Wildcats secondary can't control Teddy Bridgewater.
Tennessee at Oregon, 3:30 p.m., 6ABC: The Ducks don't figure to have much of a problem to get into their high-octane offense, even if the Vols have forced nine turnovers, including seven interceptions, this year.
Ohio State at California, 7 p.m., Fox29: The Buckeyes' bid to stretch the nation's longest winning streak to 15 depends on their defense against true freshman Jared Goff, who has thrown for 400 yards in each of his first two games.
Vanderbilt at South Carolina, 7 p.m., ESPN: The Commodores' Jordan Matthews is third in the nation with 289 receiving yards through two games, a challenge for a Gamecocks defense needing to improve.
Wisconsin at Arizona State, 10:30 p.m., ESPN: The Badgers beat up on Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech to the tune of 93-0 but they'll have their hands full with the Sun Devils' quick tempo on offense.
- Joe Juliano
The Real Top 10
1. Alabama 1-0
2. Stanford 1-0
3. Clemson 2-0
4. Oregon 2-0
5. Ohio State 2-0
6. Georgia 1-1
7. Louisville 2-0
8. Texas A&M 2-0
9. Florida State 1-0
10. Michigan 2-0
- Joe Juliano
Contact Joe Juliano at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @JoeJulesInq.