Southern California coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday that Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley deserves to be in New York when the Heisman Trophy is unveiled Dec. 10, and that the junior compares favorably with Stanford’s Andrew Luck and with past Trojans greats Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
“If Andrew Luck is favored to win it, there’s no way you can’t have Matt Barkley there because of what he’s done,” Kiffin said on Max and Marcellus on ESPN 710 in Los Angeles.
“If you actually compare what they’ve done vs. the same teams, Matt’s actually outperformed Andrew. That’s with a bunch of new kids and all these freshmen around him playing.”
HOUSTON: Coach Kevin Sumlin deflected questions about his future Tuesday, saying he’s had several conversations with athletic director Mack Rhoades about a contract extension.
The seventh-ranked Cougars (12-0, 8-0) can finish the program’s first undefeated season and likely land its first Bowl Championship Series berth with a victory in Saturday’s Conference USA Championship game at home against No. 24 Southern Miss (10-2, 6-2).
WASHINGTON STATE: Coach Paul Wulff was fired Tuesday after four years during which his teams won only nine games.
“I appreciate all that Paul has done for Washington State football,” athletic director Bill Moos said in a statement announcing the firing. “He was hired with the objective of rebuilding this program and establishing a solid foundation. For that I thank him.”
Moos said he had a list with a half-dozen names, including former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti. He declined to reveal the other names.
HONORED: Ohio State’s Archie Griffin and Indiana’s George Taliaferro have been honored with post-career awards by the Big Ten Conference.
Griffin, a two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy, was recognized with the Ford-Kinnnick Leadership Award. Taliaferro, a two-time first-team running back, was selected the first recipient of the Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award.