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HEISMAN WATCH

Marqise Lee has replaced Matt Barkley as Southern California’s top Heisman Trophy contender.

While Barkley, the preseason favorite to win the Heisman, has had an excellent senior season, Lee has been sensational. The sophomore receiver leads the nation in all-purpose yards (223 per game), and is second in both catches (9.8 per game) and yards receiving (143 per game).

The Trojans (6-3) have fallen short of expectations, but that shouldn’t take away from Lee’s chances to at least get an invite to the Heisman presentation in New York.

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QUICK HITS

_ Expect to hear Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken mentioned when head coaching vacancies begin to open up in the coming months. The Cowboys rank second in the nation in total offense at 575 yards per game while playing three quarterbacks _ including a freshman and a redshirt freshman.

_ The first of what could be several job openings in the SEC came Sunday when Kentucky fired Joker Phillips. Among those who have been mentioned as candidates to replace him are Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes, Duke coach David Cutcliffe and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator and former Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter.

_ Three realignment reunions that we’d like to see in bowl games: Texas vs. Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl; West Virginia vs. Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl; Nebraska vs. Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.

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LAST WORD

“We won every statistical category, but the score. That’s unfortunate. I told the team I wish I would have done a couple of things better.” LSU coach Les Miles on Monday, summing up the Tigers’ 21-17 loss to Alabama,

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphdrussoAP