- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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We're taking a look at the best week-by-week trips to make in the Pac-12. My editors call it the Ultimate Road Trip. I call it dangling meat for you guys until we can start writing about actual games. Chow down, gang.
Welcome to Week 13.
Friday, Nov. 27
Oregon State at Oregon
Washington State at Washington
Saturday Nov. 28
Arizona State at California
UCLA at USC
Colorado at Utah
Notre Dame at Stanford
My choice: UCLA at USC
Why: Like last week, I’m not going to try to convince you not to go to your school’s rivalry game. Allegiances run deep. I get it.
But we’re picking this game for what it could mean for the conference, next week’s Pac-12 championship game and possibly the College Football Playoff.
The two rivalry games in the North -- while certainly entertaining -- probably won’t have too much of an impact on how the division comes together. Chances are that was settled in Week 11 with Oregon’s trip to Stanford -- be it the Ducks or Cardinal claiming the North. And since Stanford has a nonconference game to close out the year (which has no bearing on conference standings), and Oregon State hasn’t beaten the Ducks since Britney Spears was shaving her head (2007, keep up people), we turn our attention to the South.
It seems so long ago that the Trojans were rolling to a 50-0 win over the Bruins. Enter Jim Mora, enter Brett Hundley and enter the long-term effects of USC’s draconian sanctions. As a result, UCLA has enjoyed three convincing, consecutive wins over their rivals.
In fact, the three straight wins of at least 10 points is just the second time in series history that’s happened (1953-55).
And during that three-year stretch, the Bruins have won the division, a couple of bowl games, jump-started new facilities and have gone toe-to-toe with the Trojans on the recruiting front. This year, the Trojans have a replenished roster, a veteran quarterback getting Heisman buzz (will that have fizzled or grown by the final week of the season?) and appear poised to re-stake their claim in the South.
This was once one of the grandest rivalries in college football. And it’s well on its way to becoming that again. Chances are both teams will be highly ranked and still very much in the hunt for the division. Just as last year’s South title came down to a rivalry game, there’s a strong possibility that could be the case again this year, adding increased drama and intrigue to a re-burgeoning rivalry.
That's a wrap on the 2015 season (boy, that went by quickly). See you next year.