The No. 17 UCLA Bruins (8-2, 5-2) will face off against the No. 18 USC Trojans (7-3, 5-3) this Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the victor claiming the Pac-12 South Division and a trip to the conference championship game.
Despite being the home team, boasting a higher ranking in the polls (BCS, AP and Coaches) and holding a half-game lead over their hated rivals, the Bruins come in as three-point underdogs against the Trojans.
It's not very often you see a betting line like this, but that just shows how important this game is for the perception of UCLA football.
Until the Bruins can best 'SC and paint the Victory Bell blue, the college football world will write them off as nothing more than little brother in Los Angeles.
Southern Cal has completely dominated the annual crosstown showdown for years, as the Trojans have won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the squads.
But if there were a season for UCLA to turn the tide, 2012 looks to be it.
The Bruins are riding a four-game winning streak and have found a future superstar in freshman QB Brett Hundley, while the Trojans have fallen from preseason No. 1 to a three-loss Rose Bowl long shot.
It won't be easy, but UCLA has a very real chance to upend the Men of Troy and take control of football in the Southland.
Here are five reasons why the Bruins could pull the upset and knock off USC.