Oregon Ducks @ USC Trojans – Saturday November 3, 2012 7:00PM EST
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The NCAA experts had all but handed the BCS National Championship to USC and the Heisman Trophy to its quarterback Matt Barkley. But the Trojans blew its chance at a BCS title shot when it lost to Stanford earlier in the season. Then USC blew its chances at a top ten ranking when it lost to unranked Arizona last week. Now we are interested to see just how far down the rankings the Trojans can fall before the season is over. Right now, the Trojans have fallen to 17th in the country. By the time this game is over, that will be much worse.
The Oregon Ducks have a decent opportunity this week to move closer to a place in the BCS title game with a win over the ranked USC Trojans. Number three ranked Notre Dame is playing unranked Pittsburgh this week and the number two ranked Kansas State Wildcats are playing the number 24 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. Figure that the Ducks have the best chance for moving up with a win this week. That becomes especially true if Pitt or the Cowboys can pull of an upset. While both is unlikely, you should never take your eye off the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The football experts are well aware of how potent the Oregon offense is and how powerful the USC defense used to be. The only thing that the Ducks are leaving open to conjecture this week is whether it will score more points on the ground or through the air. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota seems to be able to dissect defenses at will and pick out weaknesses. Judging by how the Trojans have played in the past few weeks, picking out weaknesses should not be very difficult. Look for Oregon to assert its running game in this contest as well.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley is having a crazy good season this year and could surpass the 4,000 yard passing mark. The problem with USC is not Barkley, it is everyone around him. The USC defense is unreliable and the running game is incapable of taking pressure off Barkley at key moments. The Trojans never looked the same after losing to Stanford and that feeling persisted during the game with the Wildcats. Now that USC is pretty much eliminated from championship contention, all there is to play for is the top 10 ranking the team will never get.
The Bottom Line
It is debatable as to whether or not USC was ever as good as the betting sites made it out to be. In this game, the Ducks will take advantage of the USC pitfalls to climb closer to that coveted number two ranking.
Click here to read more about the race to see who will play Alabama in the National Championship game.
Pick: Oregon Ducks