Why UCLA tops USC right now

Jim Mora's UCLA Bruins have an opportunity to knock off their crosstown rivals this weekend. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It's been said that a rivalry isn't a rivalry unless both teams are winning some of the contests between the clubs.

If that is the case, no matter how heated the Battle of Los Angeles can be at times, it really can't qualify as a rivalry since the USC Trojans have beaten the UCLA Bruins 12 of the past 13 times these teams have squared off and posted a 50-0 victory last season that qualified as their largest margin of victory in this series in more than 80 years.

When that type of winning streak is combined with the volume of top-flight talent on the Trojans' roster (including four players ranked in the Scouts Inc. top 100 prospects in the 2013 NFL draft), it would seem that USC is very likely to make it 13 wins in 14 years.

However, when one takes a closer look at this matchup, it becomes clear that the Bruins are the best team in Los Angeles right now.

This statement isn't made under the same auspices of the rankings that have UCLA rated ahead of USC mostly by virtue of the Bruins having only two losses versus the Trojans' three, but rather because UCLA has equal or better talent across the board.