USC has had the Sun Bowl blues, as it has lost its only two trips to El Paso, falling to Michigan State in 1990 and TCU in 1998.
With all the mini-controversies swirling around Lane Kiffin this season, Saturday's showdown with UCLA could have far-reaching implications.
USC can nip the UCLA resurgence in the bud, both on the field and on the recruiting trail, by beating the Bruins for a sixth consecutive time on Saturday.
UCLA might have surpassed USC in the standings, but the Bruins will need to beat the Trojans in a big game this weekend.
USC controls its fate as it begins a stretch that will determine Rose Bowl and national-title aspirations.
If a shot at the BCS Championship is a bit far-fetched right now, a shot at the Rose Bowl isn't -- and that's exactly where the Trojans should be aiming.
There's nothing not to like about the Rose Bowl. But for college football to evolve and move to a playoff, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have to release their grip on the fabeled game.
While USC fans wait on pins and needles for Matt Barkley's NFL decision, Matt Kalil's choice might be the most important.
Matchups to watch in the Texas-UCLA game
USC's track record in non-marquee December bowl games isn't very good, so Trojans fans might want to be wary of their Sun Bowl matchup with Georgia Tech.