While USC's fate is certain -- three games, then home for the holidays -- the college football universe is still unsettled as far as crowning its conference and national champions is concerned. And while Trojans fans might think it's irrelevant to USC, I would argue that what happens from here until January matters greatly for the Pac-12 and future Trojans teams.
I am predicting right now that, aside from Boise State, there will not be two undefeated teams left on Dec. 4. What happens if the following teams all have one loss at that time: LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Stanford, Oregon, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and either Clemson or Virginia Tech? And Penn State and Cincinnati are possible additions to that list. Certainly, LSU, Oklahoma State and Stanford have a chance to finish undefeated, but I'm predicting that no more than one of them will. Then what? And what happens if they all fall at least once?
The three undefeated teams atop the polls all face top-10 teams in the coming weeks. LSU will host Arkansas and, with a win, would have to play in the SEC Championship Game. Oklahoma State will play Oklahoma to finish the season. Stanford plays the Ducks, and -- if it wins out -- then play in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Any or all of these teams could end up with one loss. So I ask again -- then what?