It's not as quite as big a game as we'd hoped it would be before this season started, but there will still be a lot at stake when the 8-0 Oregon Ducks take on the 6-2 USC Trojans Saturday night at the Coliseum in Los Angeles (7 pm ET, Fox).
Oregon has won six straight on the road, going 5-1 ATS in the process, but they lay eight points, a huge number on the road, against a team as strong as USC, according to Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.
USC began this season with wins over Hawaii and Syracuse, but then opened conference play with a 21-14 loss at Stanford. The Trojans then beat Cal, Utah, Washington and Colorado, but last week ran into a buzzsaw in the second half and lost at Arizona 39-36.
Southern Cal led the Wildcats 28-13 in the third quarter last Saturday, but were outscored 26-8 over the last 25 minutes of the game.
So at 4-2 in conference play the Trojans lead the Pac-12's South Division, but only by a half-game over both UCLA and Arizona State.
Oregon, meanwhile, opened this season with relatively easy victories over Arkansas State, Fresno State and TennesseeTech. Since then, in conference play, the Ducks have beaten Arizona 49-0, Washington State 51-26, Washington 52-21, Arizona State 43-21 and, last week, Colorado 70-14.
So the Ducks, at 5-0 in the Pac-12, lead the North Division, but only by a game over both Oregon State and Stanford, who are both 4-1.
Playing in-conference on the road doesn't faze Oregon, which has won 12 straight Pac-12 road games.
The Ducks' big problem, though, is that while they're ranked No. 2 in this week's two major polls, they're No. 4 in the BCS standings.
Early this week many college football betting outlets opened Oregon at around -7 for this game, but as of Thursday afternoon most shops had bumped the Ducks to at least -8. One international shop has them at -9.
These two teams have not exactly been great friends to their financial backers this season. Oregon is 4-4 ATS, while USC is 2-6 vs. the numbers.
These teams have split their last 10 meetings. Last year in a real thriller, the Trojans got a measure of revenge for a loss in 2010 and kept the Ducks from playing in the BCS title game, holding off Oregon in Eugene 38-35.
USC held the ball for over 36 minutes that night, QB Barkley threw four TD passes and the Trojans won outright as 16-point underdogs.
Oregon had a chance to tie that game but its kicker missed an easy field goal at the buzzer. That was the last game the Ducks lost.
Free Pick: The two losses have been incredibly disappointing for USC, but Saturday's game is its big chance to make a statement. We'll take the points with the home-dog Trojans (courtesy of PickShark.com).
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!