Posted by ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel
1. This note goes out to those who say USC has it easy because it feasts on the Pac-10. The Trojans are 7-1 against nonconference, top-15 teams in the past four seasons, with an average victory margin of 18.6 points per game. Yes, the Trojans won five of those games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum or the Rose Bowl. That doesn’t include the 50-14 victory in 2006 at Arkansas, which went on to win the SEC West. USC is a daunting task for an Ohio State team that has lost its last five games to top-10 opponents.
2. Georgia Tech blew a 24-0 lead and then came back to beat Clemson with a field goal in the final minute, 30-27. The Tigers’ defense gave up more than half of the Yellow Jackets’ 301 rushing yards in the first 20 minutes of the game, and didn’t give up a touchdown after the first quarter. Kudos to Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. The point is, both teams have a foundation on which to build.
3. The Emerald Bowl announced Thursday that it will drop the ACC next year and, over the next four seasons, have, in chronological order, the WAC, Army, Navy and the WAC again. The Emerald will be the WAC’s fourth bowl tie-in in 2010 and 2013. With San Jose State and Fresno State an easy drive from San Francisco, it’s a coup for the league. And given the state of Army football, there’s a chance the Emerald may need the WAC in 2011, too.