Tradition. Television Revenue. Notre Dame vs. USC, with a national title shot on the line.
BCS Title Implications: Lane Kiffin is the SEC’s only hope, to have the BCS Title Game be an All-SEC affair for the second-straight season. With Florida beating FSU, they should be the favorite to advance to the game at 11-1 if Notre Dame loses. Harris Poll voters could reevaluate Kansas State and Oregon instead of just slotting Florida ahead because they lost earlier, but it’s doubtful.
How Disappointing is USC’s Season? USC did not meet preseason expectations, though whose fault is that? Did Kiffin underperform? Did those rating teams miss the mark and overrate skill position talent while underrating depth concerns and line turnover?
Max Wittek: Matt Barkley is out. In comes the redshirt freshman. Wittek is confident. He has some great receivers that could finally “test Notre Dame’s thin secondary.” He also has an offensive line going up against the most physical front they have faced since Stanford.
Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx: Last week’s featured Collin Klein. Kansas State lost badly to Baylor. This week’s Notre Dame cover looks ominous, if you believe in such things.
History: The Trojans have won nine of ten against their NBC rivals, though the 10th was their last meeting at the Coliseum in Brian Kelly’s first year.
Arguments for USC? Can USC pull off the upset? We could see it. The Trojans are at home. All of the pressure is on Notre Dame. Monte Kiffin should be better equipped to stop a power running game from Notre Dame. The Irish have been pushing their luck, eeking out close wins against average teams. What happens if Notre Dame has to play from behind?
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