USC now has some company in the Pac-10, as their cross-state rival, the Cal Golden Bears, are ranked #3. This is the highest ranking they've enjoyed since 1952.
Cal was #6 last weekend when they beat #11 Oregon in Eugene 31-24. Due to this, as well as the losses suffered by Oklahoma, Florida, and West Virginia, the Golden Bears landed at #3 on Monday.
Cal is now 5-0 and does not play another huge game November 10th, when USC comes to town.
QB Nate Langshore has looked good enough to take Cal to a BCS bowl all year. He's thrown for over 200 yards in all but one contest and has seven TDs and only two picks.
Tailback Justin Forsett has been phenomenal all year for the Bears. He has rushed for over 100 yards in all Cal's games excluding Colorado State and had two TDs against Oregon, his second one being the go-ahead score.
Cal's success this year is largely due to its receiving core. The group is co-led by Senior LaValle Hawkins and Junior Desean Jackson, who is also a threat on special teams. Jackson exploded last week, going for 161 yards and had his first two recieving TDs. Each reciever has two scores on the year.
Cal's offensive line is massive. There isn't anyone on that line that is under 305 pounds. Give it up for the big uglies!
The defense has shown that they are good enough not to hold back the team, but they're not exactly helping. In fact, they've been barely good enough to get by. They need to focus on holding their upcoming Pac-10 opponents to single digits so they'll be on a roll when USC knocks on the door.
Following the Oregon win, Cal coach Jeff Tedford said, "It's not a vindictive win by any means. It's just a great win for our program."
If Tedford doesn't call that a vindictive win, you better bet he'll call beating USC a vindictive win.
Prediction: I think Cal wins out (taking down USC in the process) but gets left out of the championship and loses their BCS bowl.