Eric Stephen has been a fan of Los Angeles sports teams his entire life. Growing up in Palm Springs, his sports viewing options were the Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, Clippers, Raiders, Rams, USC, and UCLA, and he quickly gravitated toward the Dodgers, Lakers, Raiders, and USC. He graduated from UCSD with a degree in Economics, so naturally he decided to write about sports. He has co-managed the Dodger blog True Blue LA since 2008, and can be seen in the press box at Dodger Stadium whenever he has the time. He has also written for USA Today, The Hardball Times, and the 2010 Dodgers Annual for Maple Street Press. He was at Game 2 of the 1988 World Series, but not the Kirk Gibson game the night before because of a surprise birthday party for his sister. But don't worry, he's not bitter about it.
USC and UCLA have played one another in rain just twice in their storied history, with the Bruins prevailing each time. There is rain in the forecast for the Rose Bowl on Saturday afternoon.
A few quick pregame thoughts from both UCLA and USC, as well as a sign from ESPN's College Gameday Saturday morning in Eugene.
This is the fifth game of the year for the Trojans on Fox with Gus Johnson on the call.
Saturday features the top two teams in each Pac-12 division facing off at the location of the division leader, with UCLA hosting USC and Oregon hosting Stanford.
Some numbers to watch on Saturday for Marqise Lee, Johnathan Franklin, the USC Trojans, and UCLA Bruins as they battle for the Victory Bell at the Rose Bowl.
Though USC and UCLA are not exactly playing for the Rose Bowl (but rather the right to play for the Rose Bowl), Saturday's game is their most meaningful matchup for both teams in 19 seasons.
New Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni won't coach Friday night, so he'll miss a matchup of his new team against one of his old teams.
Both Nebraska and Michigan are vying for a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin, the necessary step to qualify for the 2013 Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Long Beach State hosts No. 11 North Carolina on Friday night at The Pyramid, hoping to extend their 23-game home winning streak.