There must be an array of scenarios this weekend where USC loses to Cal, but climbs up a notch or two in the BCS standings. It stands to reason, based on how the Trojans’ last few weeks of victories don’t matter because of how everyone else not playing a Pac-10 opponent has more impressive league triumphs.
If and when the Trojans do finally knock off a ranked team this month — Cal, at No. 21 — and rival UCLA somehow beats one-loss Pac-10 team Oregon State on Saturday, maybe USC will fall completely out of the Top 25. Jerry Palm surely knows how it’ll happen.
The linchpin to this could be what again transpires back in Buddy Holly’s native Lubbock, Tex., where the new No. 2 Texas Tech (9-0), fresh off slipping past previous No. 1 Texas, takes on No. 9 Oklahoma State (8-1) in a game you can’t possibly view on a regular TV set. It goes up against USC-Cal. Sorry. Move.
For this week, the bonanza is having a game on every night of the week, kinda like the bowl season come early.
Again, we use BCS standing rankings (and will boldface the team and its record whenever we feel it’s relevant):
==Saturday, 3 p.m., FSN Prime Ticket: Oregon State at UCLA (with Bill MacDonald, James Washington, Dain Blanton and Chris McGee)
==Saturday, 5 p.m., Channel 7: No. 21 Cal (6-2) at No. 7 USC (7-1) (with Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman and Rob Stone)
==4:30 p.m., ESPN2 (and ESPN360.com): Miami (Ohio) at Buffalo (with Todd Harris and Ray Bentley)
==5 p.m., ESPN2 (and ESPN360.com): Northern Illinois at No. 17 Ball State (8-0) (with Rece Davis, Mark May, Lou Holtz and Rob Stone)
==5 p.m., ESPNU: Toledo at Akron (with Ari Wolfe and Jim Donnan)
==4:30 p.m., ESPN (and ESPN360.com): No. 23 Maryland (6-2) at Virginia Tech (with Chris Fowler, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews, looking for little children to interview)
==4:30 p.m., ESPNU: Howard at South Carolina State (with Charlie Neal and Jay Walker)
==5 p.m., CBS College Sports: No. 12 TCU (9-1) at No. 8 Utah (9-0) (with Tom Hart and Dan Fouts)
==4 p.m., ESPNU: Penn at Princeton (with Dave Cohen and Gus Omstein)
==6 p.m., ESPN2 (and ESPN360.com): Nevada at Fresno State (with Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore)
==7 to 9 a.m., ESPN “GameDay” heads to Baton Rouge, La., for the Alabama-LSU contest, with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard. Herbie then has to fly back to Lubbock, Tex., to do the Texas Tech-Oklahoma State contest for ABC regional.
==9 a.m., ESPN (and ESPN360.com): Michigan at Minnesota (with Pam Ward and Ray Bentley)
==9 a.m., ESPN2 (and ESPN360.com): No. 11 Ohio State (7-2) at No. 24 Northwestern (7-2) (with Dave Pasch and Andre Ware)
==9 a.m., ESPNU: Syracuse at Rutgers (with Dave Armstrong and Larry Coker)
==9 a.m., Big Ten Network: Purdue at No. 18 Michigan State (8-2) (with Wayne Larrivee, Charles Davis and Charissa Thompson)
==9 a.m., FSN West: Baylor at No. 4 Texas (8-1) (with Joel Meyers, Dave Lapham and Jim Knox)
==10:30 a.m., Versus: Iowa State at Colorado (with Ron Thulin, Kelly Stouffer and Lewis Johnson)
==11 a.m., MTN: San Diego State at No. 15 BYU (8-1) (with Rich Cellini, Jon Berger and Molly Sullivan)
==12:30 p.m., Channel 2: No. 1 Alabama (9-0) at No. 16 Louisiana State (6-2) (with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson)
==12:30 p.m., Channel 7: No. 3 Penn State (9-0) at Iowa (with Brad Nessler, Bob Griese and Paul Maguire)
==12:30 p.m., ESPN (and ESPN360.com): Clemson at No. 22 Florida State (6-2) (with Terry Gannon, David Norrie and Todd Harris)
==12:30 p.m., ESPN PPV (and ESPN360.com): No. 6 Oklahoma (8-1) at Texas A&M (with Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham and Jack Arute)
==12:30 p.m., ESPNU: Virginia at Wake Forest (with Doug Bell, Charles Arbuckle and Melissa Knowles)
==12:30 p.m., FSN West: Stanford at Oregon (with Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis and Jim Watson)
==12:30 p.m., CBS College Sports: Marshall at East Carolina (with Carter Blackburn and Aaron Taylor)
==3 p.m., MTN: Colorado State at Air Force (with Tim Neverett, Blaine Fowler and Anne Marie Anderson)
==4 p.m., FSN West: Kansas State at No. 14 Missouri (7-2) (with Bill Land, Gary Reasons and Emily Jones)
==4 p.m., ESPNU: Cincinnati at No. 25 West Virginia (6-2) (with Clay Matvick and David Diaz-Infante)
==5 p.m., ESPN PPV: No. 9 Oklahoma State (8-1) at No. 2 Texas Tech (9-0) (with Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters)
==5 p.m., ESPN (and ESPN360.com): Notre Dame at Boston College (with Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe)
==5 p.m., ESPN2 (and ESPN360.com): No. 5 Florida (7-1) at Vanderbilt (with Mark Jones and Bob Davie)
==5 p.m., CBS College Sports: Tulane at Houston (with Tom Hart and Trev Alberts)
==7:30 p.m., ESPNU (delayed): Bethune-Cookman at Hampton (with Dwayne Ballen and Eddie Robinson, Jr.)
==7 p.m., MTN: New Mexico at UNLV (with James Bates, Todd Christensen and Molly Sullivan)
==8 p.m., Big Ten Network (delayed): Wisconsin at Indiana (with Mark Neely, Chris Martin and Anthony Herron)