<
>

Three-point stance: Kiffin wants a focused team

1.New Kentucky Wildcats head coach Joker Phillips, describing junior backup offensive tackle Chandler Burden, reminded everyone how spring practice can be as much about maturing mentally as physically. “He has the athleticism to play left tackle. He has the strength, he has the power, he has the snap in his hips. … He has to believe in himself and quit being hard on himself. If he can just relax and play ball, we think we’ll have something big in him.”

2.While in Boise this week, I spent a half-hour of drive time as a guest on KTIK-AM, the ESPN affiliate. Some Boise State fans called in to ask how I felt the Broncos would do in the SEC. I can understand why they asked, but it’s totally irrelevant. Would Broncos fans be happier going 10-2 –- or 9-3 or 8-4 – in the SEC? They get more national traction by mowing down WAC teams.

3. USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin wants his team, which underachieved in 2009, to maintain its focus from the moment that practice begins. Kiffin has hung a sign for his Trojans to see as they go to the practice field that says “Lock In.” OK, someone has to say it: No one at Pac-10 champion Oregon has hung a sign for the Ducks that says, “Lock Up.”