It's no secret that USC needs a lot of help if they're going to make an appearance in the BCS title game. They can certainly help themselves by not losing anymore games, and putting on a show with each victory. But winning alone won't get them in. They need help from some programs that a Trojan fan wouldn't normally root for. The Beavers caused more damage by losing again, this time to Utah. So, if you support the empire, these are your allies on Saturday.
The Top 8 in the coaches' poll- This is pretty obvious. In this game of musical chairs, and the Trojans needing another seat, it's easiest to obtain if someone above them gets booted. It's improbable that Oklahoma would lose to Baylor, as it is Kentucky beating Bama. But Colorado presents a possibility, playing host to the Horns. The Buffs scored an upset against OU last season, and they're much improved in '08. LSU has a bye, so they can't lose, and BYU has already won. Texas Tech plays Kansas State, let's hope the Wildcats have a defense.
Ohio State- Root for the Buckeyes to beat Wisconsin. In 2006, USC throttled the Arkansas Razorbacks in the opening weeks of the season. Arkansas went on a run, and even though the Trojans dropped a game to Oregon State, voters couldn't find it in them to rank the Trojans lower than an Arkansas team they had beaten 50-14. So as the weeks wound down, Arkansas was among the nation's top 10, but despite the loss to Oregon State, the Trojans always remained ahead of the Hogs in the rankings. Make sense? USC needs Ohio State to keep winning and making a push towards the top of the polls.
Maryland and Cal- Although the Terps are playing Virginia this weekend, and the Hoos were an early opponent, Virginia winning this game wouldn't do USC any good, because they just won't win enough ballgames to matter. The better option is to root for Maryland. If Maryland continues to win, Cal's loss to the Terps is on a lesser scale. USC still has Cal on the Horizon and needs their schedule strength. With that said, also root for the Golden Bears over the Sun Devils. If Arizona State wins that game, they may push themselves closer to the rankings, but it does no good, since they play USC next week. If a team is at the bottom of the rankings when they play USC, a loss to USC will surely knock them out. It's better for Cal to win and gain momentum in the polls, before the Trojans meet them in November.
Notre Dame- Voters love The Irish. Notre Dame plays Stanford, but you don't want to root for this Pac 10 team, because the Domers are likely to wrack up more season victories than the Cardinal. A 4-1 Notre Dame team has a great possibility of snagging the bottom of the coaches' poll.
UCLA and Tennessee- This is another obvious choice. You need Tennessee to start notching some wins, while also needing UCLA to start rolling. If the Vols can gather some key victories, the Bruins' victory in the opener will appear more credible. Tennessee is playing a cream puff this week, but they desperately need some positives in the win column, and I'll take whatever they can get.