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USC-UCLA Power Rankings: Week 6

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Reviewing the on-field hits and misses for L.A. teams after Week 6 of the 2010 college football season. This week: Two disappointing losses of very different sorts are forcing the Trojans and Bruins to take a hard look at their expectations.

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Robert Woods #13 of the USC Trojans runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 09: Robert Woods #13 of the USC Trojans runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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1. Robert Woods, WR, USC. Good gracious. Three touchdown catches on 12 receptions for 224 yards, good for a hair-pulling 18.7 ypc average. Did we mention he's a freshman? Enjoy defending him the next few years, Pac-10 secondaries!

2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC. A loss is a loss, but a sophomore quarterback throwing for 390 yards and three touchdowns against a top-ten team is something to be proud of.

3. USC's gambling prowess? They've taken a lot of heat for taking chances with their extra points this season, but here's a more crucial stat: Trojans were 2-3 on fourth-down conversions in Week 6.

4. UCLA's strength of schedule. There's almost no time to fix so many broken bits. A three-game murderers' row of Oregon, Arizona, and Oregon State, all ranked in the Top 25, awaits after the bye.

5. Darius Bell? Pockets of UCLA fans are wondering when the diminutive sophomore QB who seems made for the option will start figuring into Bruin schemes, especially given the sorry state of their current quarterbacking.

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6. Running back by committee, USC. The Trojans' plethora of ground warriors gained only 108 rushing yards against the Cardinal. Barkley himself contributed the biggest breakaway thanks to a 27-yard scramble. Conquest Chronicles is as clueless as we are:

A week ago, Bradford ran for 223 yards against Washington, but was held to just 33 yards on 13 carries a week later. He's a bruising runner, who was essentially ineffective against Stanford. I'm still trying to figure out what happened.

7. Norm Chow. UCLA fans are about ready for their OC's vaunted genius to show itself, just any time now:

There is no need to go over Chow's incredible resume. He is an offensive legend. Yet the problem is what we have seen with our eyes in last two and half years have simply not matched Chow's track record. We still are aware of the big picture view which is the empty cupboard he and the rest of the staff inherited when they stepped into Westwood. That said, the fact is UCLA injected speed and athleticisms into its program through talents like Randall Carroll, Morrell Pressley, Josh Smith, Damien Thigpen, who were highly coveted by other big time FBS programs as well.

It's time for Chow to figure out how to effectively integrate the raw talent he has at his disposal.

8. UCLA ever having a prayer of a passing game. Bruins Nation throws up its collective hands:

In a way it doesn't really make sense.  CRN's specialty is coaching quarterbacks and the same for CNC who has produced several Heisman quarterbacks.  When this coaching staff was hired the first thing I thought was a given is that we would have an exciting and effective passing offense.  It just doesn't make sense.  Another thing that is hard to make sense of is Kevin Prince.  The consensus appears to be growing that he just isn't a good passer, yet I remember seeing him last year at the Washington game where he passed for over 200 yards in the first half and looked great before being injured and coming out of the game.  It sure looked like the talent was there. 

9. UCLA's O-Line. The Filthy Five may not be who we thought they were:

Our offensive line deservedly has gotten a lot of praise for their performance until the Cal game. What Coach Bob Palcic did with his rag tag group of seniors was nothing short of remarkable. Yet ultimately they were exposed on Saturday despite the efforts made by our offensive staff to mask their deficiencies through the zone blocking scheme underpinning the pistol offense. I think this is really the heart of the problem that ails our program and it goes back to the previous coaching staff.

10. USC's secondary. It's an exercise in very, very dead horse-beating to belabor this any more. Coincidentally, a dead horse probably could've prevented Andrew Luck from completing 20 of his 24 pass attempts.