Thoughts from around college football

They’re only college football opinions, but at least they’re all mine:

• My guess is that USC athletic director Pat Haden’s stance on Ed Orgeron’s status is to let the season play out. The results in the next four games are likely to speak for themselves.

• Considering Haden reportedly has hired an executive search firm to help identify the next head coach, it would take something extraordinary, like Orgeron going 4-0 with huge wins over Stanford and UCLA, to allow Coach O to be seriously considered.

• Whatever happens, you have to love the way Orgeron is so emotionally engaged with his players. And don’t think the kids haven’t noticed.

• The UCLA team that looked so flat in the early stages against Colorado will be in big trouble if it comes out that way in Arizona on Saturday. This one is a real litmus test for Jim Mora’s 6-2 Bruins.

• Wide receiver Devin Fuller looks like the real thing for UCLA. He gives Brett Hundley the legitimate deep threat that was missing in the Bruins’ offense.

• If Arizona State loses at Utah, and that’s certainly possible, the race in the Pac-12 South really becomes interesting.

• This just in: Heisman Trophy incumbent Johnny Manziel is still the most entertaining player in America. The kid is just fun to watch.

• Is it just me, or is it a little overwhelming now to see the list of televised games on an average Saturday? I don’t want to say we’ve reached the saturation point yet, but we’re getting close.

• Here’s an interesting question: If, as many believe, Alabama coach Nick Saban is actively considering the Texas job, who would be the leading candidate at ‘Bama? All I know is it would take someone very brave to follow that act.

• Are you reading, Les Miles? Seriously, how funny would it be if Miles jumped from LSU to ‘Bama? Talk about the entire SEC going into shock.

• Injuries have prevented him from staying in the Heisman conversation, but Georgia’s Todd Gurley, with his rare combination of power and speed, is as impressive as any running back in the country.

• Michigan State’s defense is obviously one of the better units in the country. Maybe we’ll get a chance to see just how good it is in a match with Ohio State in the Big 10 title game.

• Auburn is 8-1 and already dreaming about its date with Alabama. But no matter what happens in that game, the Tigers’ Gus Malzahn is a strong candidate for national Coach of the Year.

• Illinois has lost 18 consecutive games in the Big 10? Really? Considering the caliber of high school talent in Chicago and the heart of the Midwest, it’s difficult to believe the Illini can be that bad.

• Did you catch the tipped, Hail Mary pass Nebraska pulled off to beat Northwestern with no time left on the clock? That, friends, is the definition of a tough loss.

Maty Mauk sounds more like a hip-hop artist than a college quarterback, but he’s starting to live up to his high school hype with some big performances for Missouri.

• If both are left out of the BCS title mess, a Florida State-Ohio State bowl matchup would easily be the second-most enticing game out there.