USC Football: Why Max Browne Will Be the Starter in Game One of 2014

Rick McMahanSenior Writer ISeptember 19, 2013

Max Browne (photo from
Max Browne (photo from

They say timing is everything, and so it goes with sports writing where this article might have been a tad bit easier of a sell a few days ago.

Nonetheless, two weeks removed from perhaps the worst start by a Trojan quarterback in recent memory brings the notion that one strong game by Cody Kessler may not be enough to prevent me (and others) from speculating about next year and who will lead USC.

To that end, USC's future at the position is likely to see a redshirt this year, but when the calendar flips and USC is preparing for 2014, the guy who will lead them is none other than former 5-star prospect, Max Browne.

Browne was already contending—albeit unsuccessfully—for the 2013 starting gig when Lane Kiffin made the decision that the 6'5", 215-pound gunslinger just wasn't ready yet.

That won't be the case in 2014.

With a year in the system under his belt and girth added to his pro-size frame, Browne's natural ability will force Lane Kiffin—if he survives this year—to rethink his starter, and this is likely to happen regardless of how Kessler or anyone else performs this year.

Because Browne possesses all of the attributes one looks for in a pro-style quarterback, including a very good arm and even better instincts, Kiffin will be forced to make a change after only one year of the Kessler experiment.

Further, Browne is Kiffin's type of quarterback, as he has always been known to favor the prototypical pocket passer, something that Kessler will never be.

And there is one other consideration to ponder.

Max Browne is looking to start, not ride the pine behind Kessler or anyone else for the next two years. If that opportunity is not offered, Browne might look for greener pastures elsewhere, and there are about 100 programs that would love to accommodate him.

Of course, Trojan fans will correctly point out that Kessler may turn out to be the second coming of Tim Tebow (the college champion, not the pro laughingstock).

If so, then Kiffin will stay with Kessler and roll the dice on Browne staying, but this, unfortunately, is not likely.

While young Cody played very well against Boston College, duplication of that effort will not come easy, and USC is just now starting to get into the teeth of their schedule.

How he fares from this point forward will tell the tale for Kessler, but don't be surprised to see his backup, Max Wittek, relieving an ineffective Kessler against any one of the future good defenses the Trojans will face later this year.

If that is the case, Trojan fans will be calling for a new quarterback sooner rather than later, and while that guy probably won't be Browne in 2013, it will signal a change for next year.

And that change's name will be Max Browne.