Yes, that USC.
The Trojans are having a very disappointing year. A team which was supposed to compete for a national championship, and at the very least a BCS bowl bid. Yet, now USC (barring Cal being upset by Washington) will finish sixth in the PAC-10 and that means they will fall all the way down to the San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl.
The Las Vegas Bowl has already hinted that they are reluctant to select BYU for a fifth consecutive year. It was rumored that unless University of Utah was blown out in the Holy War, the Vegas Bowl Committee would select the Utes. This means a higher ranked BYU would be happily selected by an ecstatic Poinsettia Bowl Committee.
(The only reason that BYU’s bowl fate is still undecided is the BCS has not released the Cougars from consideration—even though there is no possible way BYU would get a BCS bowl bid.)
The chance for BYU to play USC to finish the 2009 season would be a great bookend for the Cougars to go along with BYU opening the season by playing Oklahoma.
Even with USC having an off year it would be a marquee matchup for a second tier bowl, like the Poinsettia Bowl. BYU will be ranked in the top 15, and USC might be able to stay in the top 25 (mainly thanks to the USC brand name and lazy poll voters not doing their homework).
There are still a few variables which could wreck this bowl matchup. Yet, the way the current bowl picture looks BYU might have hit the jackpot by being snubbed by the Las Vegas Bowl.
BYU would have little problem selling their fan base on heading down to San Diego regardless of their opponent. Thanks largely to BYU’s large fan base in the San Diego area. BYU playing USC would virtually guarantee a sellout in the Poinsettia Bowl regardless of the interest the USC fan base would have in traveling to the game.
The Trojans might have given BYU an early Christmas present if they fall to sixth place and the Poinsettia Bowl.