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USC-Utah, winner take all?

Utah running back Matt Asiata scrambles past TCU safety Tejay Johnson during a Nov. 6 game.

Mountain West Conference football officials could make a pretty compelling case that their little brother relationship -- or is that step-brother? -- with the Pacific 10 Conference has changed dramatically. The MWC is all grown up, so it seems, with a 6-1 record against Pac 10 teams this season:

New Mexico 36, Arizona 28; UNLV 23, Arizona State 20; TCU 31, Stanford 14; BYU 59, UCLA 0; BYU 28, Washington 27.

The Pac-10's only victory was California's 42-7 drubbing of Colorado State.

And, how, you might ask, does USC fit into this equation? Oregon State 27, USC 21 and Utah 31, Oregon State 28.

There's only one way to settle this argument. USC vs. Utah in the Fiesta Bowl. The two teams sit seventh and eighth respectively in the BCS standings, so it's not that much of a stretch.

The stakes?

If USC wins, the Mountain West forfeits all BCS privileges, including griping rights, forever.

If Utah wins, the Pacific 10 turns over the automatic bid to the Rose Bowl for the next 30 years (USC has been the only one using it lately anyway).

Before Trojans' fans get too comfy with the idea, consider what happened the last time a Pete Carroll faced the Utes. Utah 10, USC (with Carson Palmer) 6.


Now that that's settled, who should be the national champion if Utah, Boise State and Ball State all finish as the only undefeated teams?

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Utah running back Matt Asiata scrambles past TCU safety Tejay Johnson during a Nov. 6 game. Credit: Vladimir Cherry / US Presswire

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