After UCLA’s big win against California, fans of both the Bruins and the USC Trojans are finally on the same page, although a somewhat unfamiliar one.
Both want the other to succeed. At least until December 3rd, because either side would relish the opportunity of putting an end to the other’s undefeated season. Assuming the Trojans are able to get past their two other big remaining challenges at Notre Dame and at Cal (which is less of an assumption lately after their poor showing against Arizona), the Bruins look poised to hold up their end of the deal with Arizona State their only major roadblock.
If a 10-0 UCLA squad marches into the Coliseum to face a 11-0 USC squad, the entire east coast media would cave in as the myth of Pac-10 football being weak would blow up in their faces. The implications of such a match would be absurd, as UCLA at that point could also be a national title contender and USC would undoubtedly be one win away from a Rose Bowl appearance. Such a game would join the 1967 O.J. Simpson vs. Gary Beban showdown, the 1988 Rodney Peete vs. Troy Aikman contest, and the 1939 scoreless tie with Jackie Robinson and Kenny Washington, as the most significant Victory Bell games ever.
We may be getting ahead of ourselves here, but the events of this weekend have set the world of Los Angeles sports on a collision course for a showdown in the Coliseum. It’s up to both teams to hold up to their ends of the bargain, and they’ll have plenty of support from the other side.
Entry by Alex Delanian