6. Lose to Colorado, 62-36. Oh wait, that only worked once, for Nebraska, in 2001. The Cornhuskers made the BCS title game that year despite a horrific Thanksgiving weekend loss in Boulder.
7. Talk up the Pac-12 like it's tougher than Patton's Army. SEC coaches are masters of public relations in defense of their league. Stock quote: "How can any team that wins this league be denied a spot in the title game?"
It has worked almost every year except 2004, when undefeated Auburn finished third behind USC and Oklahoma.
Lane Kiffin's mantra from this day forth should be: "The only team better than the one we're playing this Saturday? The team we played last Saturday."
Colorado week is going to be tricky, but Kiffin might try: "I've never seen a team, in all my years, improve more after losing the first quarter, 35-0, to Fresno State."
8. Don't get hurt. It's not the reporting of injuries that is hurting USC, it's the injuries. The Trojans played Stanford without their starting kicker and center and are so thin they might be two sprained ankles from the Las Vegas Bowl.
9. Root for the enemy. It's hard, but USC fans need UCLA (3-0) and Notre Dame (3-0) to keep winning. The Trojans play UCLA on Nov. 17 and Notre Dame a week later. Victories over highly ranked schools late in the year can have a springboard effect in the polls
10. Avenge, not revenge. USC needs to defeat Oregon and hope it earns a rematch against Stanford. The Ducks come to the Coliseum on Nov. 3. Two weeks later, Stanford plays at Oregon.
USC needs Stanford to defeat Oregon and claim the Pac-12 North, which could earn the Trojans a rematch with the Cardinal in the Pac-12 championship game.
What if Barkley, 0-4 against Stanford, got one more chance? Winning the second game is way more important.
Last year, Alabama lost at home to LSU in the regular season but won the rematch in the BCS title game.
Guess which game came with a trophy?