Every team has that one opponent that always seems to cause consternation, if not out and out frustration. I don't mean that team that soundly, annually defeats you; I mean that team that you might be (or are assumed to be) better than that you cannot, for whatever reason, seem to defeat.
USC ran into their source of consternation, and it's called the Stanford Cardinal. Matt Barkley came back to USC because he had "unfinished business," but one part of the unfinished business will have to remain unfinished after going 0-4 against the team from the Farm in Northern California.
The saving grace for USC in the hunt for the BCS title is that they lost in week three; if they can manage to run the table from here on out (which would mean defeating Oregon twice, most likely), then there is a chance that they could find themselves playing for all of the oranges, or Discover Cards, or whatever in the BCS title game in Miami Gardens, Florida in January. Of course, that assumes a lot of other things happening, including implosions in the ACC and the midwest leagues beating each other up as well.
Of course, if Notre Dame keeps it up...nah. We won't go there. Not yet.
But for right now, it's Alabama at the top, with LSU behind them. Again. That might not be saying much, however, at this junction.