UCLA and USC are the top two teams in the Pac-12 South, setting up a showdown this Saturday for the division title and berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
The 2012 Pac-12 South title will be decided on Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl, where UCLA and USC will square off in their annual crosstown showdown. Normally a heated rivalry, the LA City Championship will have a little bit of added intensity this year with the winner also earning a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
UCLA enters the weekend 5-2 in the Pac-12, a half-game ahead of USC. The Bruins will clinch the Pac-12 South outright with a win over the Trojans, while a USC win will put them a half-game ahead of UCLA and guarantee them a tie atop the South, which would be enough because they would own the tiebreaker.
The Bruins are hoping to return to the Pac-12 Championship Game after winning the South last season, but that division title came with a bit of an asterisk. UCLA actually finished second in the South behind USC, and were waxed by their rivals 50-0 in the final game of the regular season, but the Trojans were ineligible for the postseason because of NCAA sanctions so the Bruins got a berth in the Championship Game almost by default. This year, they could win the division for real, and all it will take is one win on Saturday.
USC is hoping to maintain their dominance over UCLA even in a disappointing season that has seen them go from national title game hopeful to three-loss team by November. The Trojans have lost to the Bruins just once since 1999.