Wait: There IS a way USC makes the Rose Bowl, if you also believe in goblins
Earlier Sunday, Pac-10 spokesman Jim Muldoon said he could not find a scenario in which USC could qualify for the Rose Bowl. But, Muldoon said, sportswriter Bud Withers of the Seattle Times found a route for the Trojans.
It involves, get this, a six way at 6-3.
How it works:
Oregon loses to Arizona and Oregon State
Stanford loses to Cal
Oregon State loses to Washington State, beats Oregon
Arizona beats Arizona State and Oregon, loses to USC
USC beats UCLA and Arizona
Cal beats Stanford and Washington
All teams finish 6-3, then you compare records against the others. Arizona, Oregon State and USC are 3-2. Cal, Oregon and Stanford at 2-3 are eliminated.
USC wins a three-way tiebreaker against Arizona and Oregon State.
See how easy it is? Of course, the dealbreaker in this scenario is Oregon State losing to Washington State.
-- Chris Dufresne