Even with the No. 1 ranking coming into the season, there are still a few doubters of the USC Trojans ability to win the Pac-12, let alone a national title. Eighteen college football analysts from ESPN were almost split down the middle in terms of the Pac-12 championship, with USC gaining 10 votes and the Oregon Ducks receiving the other eight votes.
It was the closest races out of the all of the conference predictions, which is surprising considering the profile of USC heading into the season. But the Trojans were selected in two of the three top vote-getters for the BCS National Championship game pairings with tops being the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 5 Oregon, No. 3 LSU Tigers vs. No. 1 USC and No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 1 USC.
It looks like ESPN sees this season as a battle between the Pac-12 and the SEC with Alabama, LSU and Georgia all vying to come out of the conference responsible for the last six BCS National Championships.