Inside a USC-LSU matchup

LOS ANGELES -- Apparently there is no need to play the regular season, because if you look at all the preseason magazines and media pprognosticators, most are of the opinion that when it's all said and done, the 2012 BCS national championship game will feature the USC Trojans and LSU Tigers on Jan. 7 in Miami.

Although these programs have met just twice -- each winning on the other's home field (1978 at LSU and 1984 in the Coliseum) -- there has been enough fan banter to give the impression of a longstanding, full-blown rivalry.

In reality, they've not played each other in 28 years, but recruiting battles have kept the juices flowing.