USC may have taken a step back with a loss to Stanford, but it is most certainly not out of this BCS championship picture.
It's almost impossible for a team to remain perfect through an entire season. In fact, if a team is going to lose, like USC did last week, it is better to do it earlier in the season rather than later. Now, USC has an entire season to climb back up the rankings, rather than scramble and hope to get some lucky breaks in a small span of time.
But, it will be a tough road for USC to travel back into the title hunt, as three of the last five BCS champions have had one or more losses in their seasons.
However, with the strength of their schedule, the Pac-12 and these other factors, they will be back in the title hunt by December.