UCLA (4-2) is in first place in the Pac-12 South, with a half-game lead over the 21st-ranked Trojans (6-3, 4-3).
The last time UCLA had a better record than USC this late in the season was 2001, which was also the last time the Bruins finished with a better record than the Trojans. The last time UCLA and USC were both ranked and the Bruins were ranked higher was 2000.
UCLA won the Pac-12 South last year by default because USC was ineligible for the postseason. The Bruins play USC in the Rose Bowl on Nov. 17 in a game that could give UCLA a title with no strings attached.
LSU probably deserves better after nearly beating No. 1 Alabama, but the Tigers’ second loss of the season sent them tumbling four spots in the rankings to No. 9.
The Tigers finish with consecutive home games against No. 22 Mississippi State and Mississippi, before closing the regular season at Arkansas.
Mississippi State also has been heading in the wrong direction lately. The Bulldogs have lost two straight to Alabama and No. 15 Texas A&M after a 7-0 start, and done so in humbling fashion, by a combined score of 76-20.
After reaching as high as No. 13 in the rankings, Mississippi State is now No. 22.
IN AND OUT
For all of the angst in Austin this season, No. 19 Texas has won three straight and is back in the rankings.
After barely beating Big 12 lightweights Baylor and Kansas, Texas won 31-22 at Texas Tech on Saturday to improve to 7-2 and 4-2 in the conference.
David Ash re-established himself as the No. 1 quarterback for Texas and the defense played reasonably well — at least in comparison to recent standards.
With home games ahead against Iowa State and TCU, before finishing the season at Kansas State, the Longhorns have a chance to put together a season that could look more than respectable.