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USC-UCLA Power Rankings: Week 8

Reviewing the on-field hits and misses for L.A. teams after Week 8 of the 2010 college football season. This week: Lots of intangibles thanks to a USC bye, but Oregon's the story, as the Ducks laid waste to one Los Angeles squad and prepare to face the other.

EUGENE OR - OCTOBER 21:  Richard Brehaut #12 of the UCLA Bruins  calls a play against the Oregon Ducks on October 21 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
EUGENE OR - OCTOBER 21: Richard Brehaut #12 of the UCLA Bruins calls a play against the Oregon Ducks on October 21 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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Trending Up:

1. R&R. The Trojans are one of the few teams to benefit from a bye week in the latest college football rankings, reappearing in the AP Poll at No. 24 thanks to some ignominious losses from higher-ranked teams.

2. USC's national profile. GameDay's coming to town for Oregon's visit to the Coliseum. Capitalization here, or even a good showing, could mean the world to a team that's going to have problems recruiting in the offseason with sanctions overhead.

3. USC's stakes. Conquest Chronicles says this is the big one for the Trojans of 2010:

I guess it is fair to say that this is USC's bowl game this year.

Yes, we still have to play rivals Notre Dame and UCLA but the fact is those games don't mean as much when those teams aren't very good.

Oregon is the in thing right now.

4. Richard Brehaut. No, seriously. 16/23, 159 yards, one rushing touchdown and one interception? Even against a defense as inconsistent as the Ducks', that's not a bad outing for a green quarterback in the Pac-10 Bruins Nation concurs, with some relief:

For all the fears about Brehaut getting killed out there, he didn't look too bad. To borrow my comment from the game thread, we weren't going to bury the kid no matter what happened tonight and I’m not going to put him on a pedestal either. He’s a ways off still, but showed some encouraging things. He was a mixed bag tonight, as is to be expected, but he could have been a hell of a lot worse. If nothing else, I think it's fair to say that Brehaut will leave Autzen Stadium a better quarterback than he entered it. That may or may not be good enough to become UCLA's starting quarterback for good, but for one night, it was more than enough from the inexperienced signal caller.

5. USC's offensive trendiness. The Trojans may be the next team to succumb to the lure of the spread. Conquest Chronicles says just win, baby:

Just like many have been saying about the defense this season, if you don't have the players to match your scheme adjust the scheme to match the talent you have.

The spread has been in favor for a number of years now. It is what many HS players are used to so it really shouldn't be a big deal to adjust the scheme to advantage of the talent we already have.

Just do whatever works.

6. Pac-10 solidarity. There's a small, cold comfort, in a way, of knowing everyone else, statistically, is likely to be almost as miserable facing the Ducks as UCLA was. Isn't there?

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7. Oddsmakers everywhere. Oregon came perilously close to doubling up on the 24-point spread Thursday night in their 60-13 blowout of UCLA.

8. Kevin Prince. He's done for the year following knee surgery on Sunday. Bruins Nation says goodbye:

Prince has certainly had highs and lows as the Bruins QB during his UCLA career, but there can be no questioning his heart and dedication to the team.  It is awful when injuries occur, but it is an ugly reality of the game.  Unfortunately, it has been all too common an occurrence for Kevin thus far.

We wish Kevin a speedy and successful recovery, and will look forward to him returning to the field when he is ready in the spring.

9. Rick Neuheisel. With UCLA's favored son amassing a Dorrellian record over his short tenure with the Bruins, fans are beginning to take stock:

Except for Washington State, Bruins are now 0-3 in their other games getting blown out by a staggering score of 20-130.

Bruins are 3-4 right now. I still think we have a shot at getting to our pre-season expectations by taking care of business at home. However, keep in mind only once since 1988 Bruins won less than 5 games in a season. That was Rick Neuheisel's first year in 2008. (Terry Donahue went 3-7-1 in 1989).

In little more than 2.5 years Neuheisel's team has suffered 6 blowout losses by 25 or more points. Three of them came this year.

It's not going well. But look what he inherited! But it's not going well. This look at the Neuheisel Paradox is an excellent read.

10. Chuck Bullough. As you might expect, there's even less patience afoot for the ostensible Bruins DC. 60 points isn't a season high for the Ducks, but it's the most any BCS-conference team has allowed Oregon to rack up. The only two Ducks opponents more bloodied in 2010 have been (brace yourselves for something truly dreadful) New Mexico and Portland State.