The Trojans (10-1), No. 2 in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, also are second in the latest BCS standings and hope that a win will keep them there when the final standings are released.
Waiting is No. 3 LSU (11-1), which is third in the BCS heading into Saturday's SEC game against fifth-ranked Georgia (10-2).
Top-ranked Oklahoma (12-0), which holds a huge lead in the BCS standings, likely will stay in the top two even if it loses in the Big 12 championship game against No. 13 Kansas State.
The cleanest scenario would be for Oklahoma and USC to win and LSU to lose this weekend. That would leave one unbeaten (Oklahoma) against a one-loss team (USC) for the national title in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.
Other games on the schedule include the annual Army-Navy clash, Boise State at Hawaii, and Notre Dame at Syracuse.