Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 9/17/12

Some of the big stories that we'll be monitoring this week at the virtual CBR headquarters...

John L., we hardly knew ye (at Arkansas)?

In the hours after Alabama finished cracking some Razorbacks’ skulls in Fayetteville, word started circulating that mercurial Arkansas coach John L. Smith could be on his way out after a mere three games in Bobby Petrino’s stead.

JLS was never meant to be more than a temp hire – someone to take the heat at press conferences and talk "hot piss" and whatnot. Even so, after winning widespread praise for his handling of Petrino’s gaffe, would athletic director Jeff Long be so cavalier?

Can’t imagine that would help attract prospective candidates come November, when the Hogs’ coaching search truly heats up.

Could USC crack?

We all know that the Trojans have a roster littered with ultra-talented prospects, which would normally suggest a bright future ahead. However, given the scholarship restrictions facing ‘SC in the near term, the reality is that there was a lot riding on this season in Troy.

Veterans like Matt Barkley and T.J. McDonald returned to school to challenge for a national championship, not play in a nice bowl game. Keeping their heads in the game following the disappointment of an early loss could prove more challenging than Lane Kiffin actually expects.

ND's secondary Slaughter'd

Notre Dame’s big win over Michigan State in East Lansing came at a heavy price to the Fighting Irish secondary, which lost safety Jamoris Slaughter to a season-ending Achilles injury.

The Irish D played some stout ball against Sparty, but their patchwork defensive backfield has yet to really face any significant tests. Michigan may not hold the DBs’ feet to the fire this week, but Brian Kelly and ND defensive coordinator Tom Diacco will still have their work cut out for them this week in coming up with a long-term solution in the secondary.

Lunt's status

Speaking of serious injuries, Wes Lunt, Oklahoma State’s impressive freshman quarterback, suffered what looked like a serious one to his knee early in the Cowboys’ bounceback blowout win against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Early word out of Stillwater sounds promising, thankfully, as Lunt is only expected to miss a few weeks. Unfortunately, that could coincide with OSU’s conference opener against Texas on Sept. 29. J.W. Walsh played well enough as Lunt’s stand-in, but Mike Gundy would undoubtedly prefer to have his phenom under center for that game.

Listen out this week for early reports on Lunt’s progress, as OSU is off on Saturday.

Hot Wednesday night MAC-tion!

Everyone’s favorite midweek college football circus returns this week, as MAC foes Kent State and Buffalo square off at storied UB Stadium in Upstate New York.

Truthfully, this sounds like a dog of a game. Come February, though, my guess is you’d kill for this on a Wednesday night. Keep that in mind.

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Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

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