The Program: Taking an Early Look at the Big Oregon-USC Matchup

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterOctober 23, 2012

On this edition of The Program we get a chance to look ahead to one of the marquee games of the 2012 season—Oregon at USC. While the game doesn't feature two undefeated teams as many had anticipated, it does feature two teams looking to climb their way up the BCS rankings and, maybe, some guys pushing for a Heisman shot.

The University of Southern California's title hopes took a mega shot with their loss to Stanford, but now they're playing to position themselves for a Pac-12 title and a BCS shot should things fall into place. Matt Barkley has reinserted himself into the Heisman race, so we look ahead to what the senior can do to help put the Trojans over the top in this Pac-12 showdown.

On the other side we have a Heisman contender as well, just not the guy everyone was championing at the start of the season. De'Anthony Thomas has been quiet lately, but Kenjon Barner is exploding as one of the nation's best running backs.

He and the Ducks are looking to get a quality win. So far this season they've seen Florida and now Kansas State earn more clout with voters because of their lack of a quality win.

The game is still over a week out, and both teams have plenty of work to do before the showdown in the LA Coliseum. We take an early look at the game and get into where each team stands with this contest on the horizon.