With the Oregon Ducks’ 37-33 victory over the Oregon State Beavers in the “Civil War,” a Pac-10 championship was secured by Oregon.
Along with that comes a berth for the Ducks in the Rose Bowl, where they will face the Ohio State Buckeyes.
This appearance will mark the first time since 1995 that the Ducks will participate in the “Granddaddy” of all bowl games.
In addition, several paths to lesser bowls have been defined, one of which is the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
By virtue of USC’s earlier victory against the Beavers, the Trojans now have the inside track to sunny San Diego.
Had the Beavers won last night’s game, it would have been the Ducks of Oregon who would have been offered the Holiday Bowl berth, and USC would have been looking at a post-Christmas game in beautiful El Paso at the Sun Bowl.
However, there is still one sticky detail to be dealt with before any invitations can be extended.
USC must beat the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday at the Coliseum.
By no means is this a given for the Trojans.
Arizona, 7-4 and led by quarterback Nick Foles and running back Nic Grigsby, presents a far more formidable challenge to the Trojan defense than that of the UCLA Bruin offense, which by any account has been anemic at best this year.
The good news for the Trojan defense is that Grigsby won’t play this Saturday due to a shoulder injury, and Foles will be playing with a broken (non-throwing) hand.
Still, the Trojan offense has its own issues to deal with.
Against UCLA, admittedly a team with a formidable defense, the Trojans couldn’t muster much offense until the controversial touchdown pass at the end of the game.
Additionally, the Trojans haven’t scored more than 20 points against the Wildcat defense since 2005.
For the Trojans, a win Saturday gives them an opportunity to play close to home and wash some of the bad taste of this season out of their collective mouth.
If USC is victorious against Arizona, they will have an opportunity to extend their string of double-digit season victories to eight.
However, they will have to do it against a projected Big 12 team, possibly someone like Oklahoma State.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The first order of business is Saturday’s game against a tough Wildcat team. For the Trojans, who have been wildly inconsistent this year, the focus needs to be on the business of the present, not the possibilities for the future.
After all, they would rather be on “Holiday” in San Diego than staring into the “Sun” in El Paso.