Pressure drop

LOS ANGELES -- If you're a USC Trojans fan, it's not exactly the way you expected it to play out, but Saturday night's outcome in the storied Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum against No. 1 Notre Dame still will dictate who will or won't be one of the Discover BCS National Championship Game participants.

Win or lose, the Trojans (7-4) obviously won't be part of the BCS title game, but they will have a say in the process. Notre Dame, of course, has to win on Saturday night to make it to Miami, and when it comes to which team has the most pressure upon them, it's clearly the Irish.

Trojans fans know all too well about being in Notre Dame's position. In 2006, Pete Carroll's stockpile of talent, needing just a win over UCLA in the last game of the regular season to play in the BCS Championship, lost to the heavy underdog Bruins, 13-9, at the Rose Bowl. Certainly Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin hasn't forgotten -- he was USC's offensive coordinator at the time.