U.S.C.  35, Oregon  10: They're back...at least for a week. The Trojans played their most impressive game since Nebraska, easily handling the Ducks on both sides of the line to move back into the driver's seat for the BCS. The game was marred by a bizarre double-reversal of a call early in the 4th quarter, in which an Oregon TD was reviewed, reversed and called incomplete, then reversed a second time after a Ducks' appeal. Pete Carroll, whose quest to win back-to-back-to-back national titles was thwarted by an inept instant replay booth in last year's Rose Bowl, was seen to crow on the sidelines how much "(he) loved instant replay," after the first reversal, then reverted to a string of f-bombs after the second.
USC is now three wins away from a match-up January 8 in Glendale, AZ with the winner of Ohio State-Michigan. None of the three games are a gimme; even the finale against UCLA promises to be scary, as the Bruins wish to preserve the rivalry's all-time record for consecutive wins (8) by stopping the Trojans this time.
Should SC prevail, it will give the nation a chance to see this week's Songleader of the Week appear in her first BCS Title Game. She's Ruth, a squad rookie in her junior year, who hopes to take her business degree into the "Real World" with a Fortune 500 Company, where she can market and brand manage to her heart's content. She has great taste in movies ("Gone with the Wind, The Deer Hunter, Memoirs of a Geisha, Pretty Woman, Eternal Sunshine [of the Spotless Mind], Four Rooms, Pulp Fiction, and anything made by Quentin Tarantino"; it certainly beats the typical Songgirl preference for Sleepless in Seattle or Notting Hill), and is a beauty pageant regular, having been both Miss Huntington Beach (where she hails) and Miss Culver City, and having competed in the Miss California and Miss Los Angeles pageants (where she won the "talent award"). Quoth Ruth: "It is such an honor to be a part of such a large piece of USC tradition."