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By Rose Palmisano
By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
LOS ANGELES -- USC football coach Lane Kiffin named redshirt freshman Max Wittek as Matt Barkley's backup at quarterback without citing a reason for his selection over Centennial High grad Cody Kessler.
Wittek and Kessler are in their second year of competition for the job, with Kessler nominally holding the backup role last season.
"We feel very confident about both guys; they can both run our offense, really," Kiffin said in an Orange County Register blog. "There's not much difference at all between them, and in the end ... somebody had to be No. 2, so Max is No. 2. Hopefully we'll be in a situation or at a point this year, or a couple of times, where both of them get action. That would be ideal for us."
Kessler told the Register that he will continue his same approach and that he'll keep competing as if the job is still open.
"I trust Coach's decision," Kessler told the Register. "He called me in there and told me straight up as a man. He shot me straight, which is a big thing for me.
"There's no hard feelings or anything. This is a grown man's business. You just stay strong."
Neither QB has ever taken a snap in a game. Kiffin said the decision has no impact on next season's competition, when Washington high school star Max Browne also is expected to be in the mix.
BC not in state football rankings
The Bakersfield College football team did not crack the top-25 preseason state poll as announced this week by the California Community College Football Coaches Association. The Renegades (4-6 last season) were listed among the "others included." BC faces six teams this season that were in the top-25 poll: No. 2 Mount San Antonio (11-2 and state runner-up last season), No. 7 Cerritos (8-4), No. 11 El Camino (8-3), No. 14 Ventura (7-4), No. 18 Allan Hancock (7-4) and No. 24 Fullerton (5-5).
Santa Ana, BC's opponent in Saturday's season opener at 6 p.m. in Memorial Stadium, went 5-5 last season and, like BC, is listed among "others included" along with two other teams on BC's schedule: Canyons (4-6) and Moorpark (6-4).
BC is ranked No. 14 in the 20-team Southern California poll.
CSUB partners with credit union
Cal State Bakersfield and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union have agreed to a 3-year partnership deal.
Under the new agreement, the credit union will be supporting CSUB athletics through the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund, the Alumni Association, Associated Students, Center for Community Engagement and Career Education, Kegley Institute and the School of Business.
The agreement includes the installation of an ATM machine in the CSUB Icardo Center, the home arena for Roadrunner basketball, volleyball and wrestling.
Jam's Levy promoted
The Bakersfield Jam has promoted Brian Levy to assistant general manager, the team announced.
Levy spent last season serving in the role of director of player personnel, helping the Jam achieve its most successful season in franchise history by reaching the semifinal round of the 2012 NBA D-League playoffs.
Levy joined the Jam in 2010 as video coordinator.