CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Kiffin's airport firing, Clowney's antics and other missed calls

In college football, people study up, but there are things no one sees coming. This season, the list includes USC coach's 4 a.m. dismissal and hyped South Carolina defensive end being a bust.

You prepare for a season with flash cards: The nickname of Texas State is….?

Bobcats.

You purchase the best college football magazines, re-read "Death to the BCS," and hang on every one of Kirk Herbstreit's words.

There are still things you never see coming:

•-Jadeveon Clowney will be a bust.

What? South Carolina's all-world defensive end entered the season as the most hyped player by ESPN since Tim Tebow.

It was said the only person who could stop Clowney was Clowney, which turned out to be true — he took himself out of the lineup last Saturday.

Clowney has only two sacks and 12 tackles and has clouded his enormous NFL upside with some unusual behavior.

Is Clowney faking injury? Did an agent get in his ear? Will he ever play another game in college?

It took three days for Crisis Control to get everyone on the same page, and that led to Coach Steve Spurrier reading from prepared notes and saying, "we all handled it poorly."

Clowney told the State newspaper, "I will be back on the field" but we're still not sure whether it will be in the SEC or the NFC.

•Pat Haden will fire Lane Kiffin at 4 a.m. in an airport.

Everyone knew Kiffin was a Lane-Duck this season, but classy USC had never fired a coach during the season.

Even athletic directors in the cold-blooded SEC allow coaches one last cigarette before blowing out their lights.

It would have been more civil for Haden to fire Kiffin at a coffee shop.

He could have at least told Kiffin to meet him at a Denny's: "Oh, and bring your menu."

•Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be criticized by former Auburn Coach Pat Dye.

After word leaked that Rice is likely to be a member of the new playoff selection committee, Dye said he didn't think Rice was qualified because she had never drawn up a play in the dirt.

That's like saying Shelby Foote wasn't qualified to write about the Civil War because he didn't fight at Gettysburg.

Two minutes of research and Dye could have learned Rice grew up in Alabama as the only daughter of a high school football coach and athletic director. According to a 2007 ESPN story celebrating Black History Month, her dad put a football in Condi's crib.

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