While this game doesn’t have the direct resonance for Alabama fans like Boise-Fresno or TCU-Oklahoma, tonight’s PAC 12 Championship tilt very much may come into play on Sunday night. While Kirby Hocutt said the Committee found Nos. 5-8 to be very close, USC sits just outside, at No. 10.Unlike No. 9 Penn State, No. 5 Alabama, and No. 6 Georgia, tonight’s effort is a chance for the surging Trojans to pick up another ranked victory and impact the playoff calculus. And if you think the narrative isn’t there to ease the Trojans in above Alabama, you don’t know the World Wide Leader.
Needless to say, we are all Stanford fans this evening. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t quite favor the Trees, nor does recent history. In the Sept. 9 meeting, USC blasted Stanford in a worse-than-it-looked 42-24 win at the Coliseum. Three months later, the Cardinal have rebounded, winning 7 of 8 and fresh off a pasting of then-No. 15 Notre Dame. USC, meanwhile, has a new distraction to deal with. OC Tee Martin is rumored to now be the main candidate in Tennessee’s messy coaching search, orchestrated by Phil Fulmer, no less.
So, as Josh said this morning, we watch and we wait. And, for now, we hope for the best.
PAC 12 Championship Game
No. 11 USC (-3.5) vs. No. 14 Stanford
Los Angeles Coliseum
8:00 EST ESPN/WatchESPN
USC S&P+: 16th Offense, 56th Defense, 65th Special Teams (19th overall)
Stanford S&P+: 33rd Offense, 51st Offense, 2nd Special Teams (27th overall)