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     UCLA vs. USC 2004 Football Preview 12/4/2004
    Sports: Athletic Contests
    The annual Pacific Ten conference battle for Los Angeles will be played again this Saturday. UCLA (6-4 4-3 Pac 10) and USC (11-0 7-0 Pac 10) will meet at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in the one of the greatest college football rivalries. SC comes into the game ranked #1 in the nation, just as they have been since the pre-season. This game has been moved from the traditional rivalry Saturday before Thanksgiving to December 4th. The shift was so that ABC could present the game to a national television audience on the same day that the Big 12 and SEC host their conference football championship games. It will be the nation's final look at SC before a possible Bowl Championship Series #1 vs #2 matchup game in the Orange Bowl.

    An article in The Los Angeles on October 30th 2004 stated "Barring a drastic reversal of form, the Bruins couldn't win that game with machetes..."

    SC holds a 37-29-7 edge in the crosstown rivalry series and has won the last five meetings, ruling the 21st century. UCLA had won the previous eight meetings and owned the 1990s. The Trojans have not been this dominant since the 1970s. A win on Saturday would give the Trojans the Pac-10 title outright. A loss would cause SC to share the Pac-10 title with California. The Trojans won the head-to-head meeting with the Golden Bears. The worst case scenario would have SC as the Rose Bowl representative where they could possibly defeat Michigan for a repeat split National Championship.

    The Golden Bears have been licking their chops at the prospect of going to the Rose Bowl themselves as the #4 Bowl Championship Series team. The Rose Bowl committee, it has been reported, will choose California as their at-large pick if the Bears beat Southern Mississippi in a previously hurricane-postponed game. Cal in the Rose Bowl depends upon SC beating UCLA.

    If UCLA beats SC, then the whole BCS shakes from its foundations. SC would have to count on both Oklahoma and Auburn losing to regain a shot at the #1-#2 BCS game in the Orange Bowl. Otherwise, the Trojans would end up in the Rose Bowl as a "consolation prize." Cal would be stuck with the Holiday Bowl, as Texas would probably improve in BCS standings. Boise State might even jump into the mix. Utah has already clinched the other BCS at-large bid because of the BCS bylaws regarding division 1A teams outside the BCS conference group.

    A victorious USC would face #2 Oklahoma if the Sooners win the Big 12. Auburn (#3) would be the next candidate if the Sooners lose and the Tigers win the SEC Championship. If both Auburn and Oklahoma lose, and Cal and SC win, then the Bears and Trojans could possibly meet again in the Orange bowl. Unbelieveable you say? This scenario has already been speculated by sports columnists nationwide. Only in their wildest dreams could the Cal fans think their team will get another shot at USC.

    Stats
    UCLA and USC are closer than it would seem in terms of statistics
    (UCLA vs. USC)
    431.4 vs. 439.6 yard per game
    31.6 vs. 37.5 points per game

    One stat is pretty telling however:
    UCLA rushed for 48.1% of their yards compared to 38.8% rushing yards for the USC total.

    USC has quarterback Matt Leinart, who showcased his Heisman trophy winning talents on national TV last week against Notre Dame. And he has a stellar cast of wide receivers. How bad did they beat the Irish? Ty Willingham was fired. Just like it says in the Irish locker room: "Thou shalt not lose. Thou shalt not lose to Southern California." You can't stay at Notre Dame breaking commandments like that.

    Get out your machetes Bruins!

    Los Angeles Daily News UCLA section

    Los Angeles Times UCLA coverage
      
    Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 @ 13:16:09 UTC by BB
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