Aikman, the 43-year-old former quarterback who starred at UCLA and led the Dallas Cowboys to three NFL titles, dove right into the controversy surrounding new USC head coach Lane Kiffin, whose hiring of former Tennessee Titans assistant Kennedy Pola is the subject of a lawsuit.
In his two years at UCLA, Aikman recalled, one of his big frustrations was UCLA's inability to beat USC, which defeated the Bruins in 1987 and 1988, when Aikman was UCLA's starter. "I realize why we could never beat SC," Aikman said. "We didn't steal any coaches from the NFL."
Stanford and UCLA also represent — perhaps better than anyone else — the shift in the Pac-10 from a conference that gives defense a passing thought to one that is leaning on it. Schools that have produced Elway and Aikman have asked redshirt freshmen, Andrew Luck and Kevin Prince, to not mess it up. Prince, whose jaw was broken late against Tennessee, is being replaced by senior Kevin Craft for the second consecutive game, but the message is the same.
That was my dream, to play at UCLA.
I remember the things Troy Aikman could do. I want to emulate that and take them back to the top.