USC FOOTBALL RAMBLINGS….As long as I’m focused on Los Angeles news this morning, I have to say that yesterday’s football results gave me a bit of relief. Like most USC fans, three consecutive squeakers over mid-tier teams had made me pretty nervous about this year’s prospects. I really couldn’t blame the AP pollsters for their aggressive efforts to find someone ? anyone ? other than USC to put in their #2 spot whenever the previous #2 lost.

But USC’s record is starting to look a little better. We had a good win over Arkansas early in the season, and Arkansas has turned out to be a pretty good team. With the exception of their loss to the Trojans, they’re undefeated, including wins over Auburn and Alabama.

USC’s win over Nebraska was less dramatic, but still solid. And Nebraska isn’t bad, either, nearly beating #9 Texas yesterday.

And those Washington teams? Washington State beat #14 Oregon yesterday and Washington took #10 Cal to overtime. USC’s wins over the Cougars and Huskies may have been ugly, but they’re starting to look a little more impressive just the same.

(And the near-meltdown against Arizona State last week? I still don’t know what to make of that.)

The final month of the season continues to look like a killer (Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame, UCLA), but this is still shaping up to be a helluva “rebuilding” year. See ya in the BCS Championship Game, Buckeyes.

UPDATE: Oops. Fiesta Bowl is right, not Orange Bowl. Can’t keep my bowls straight.

UPDATE 2: Wrong again. It’s just the “BCS Championship Game.” It’s played in Arizona, it’s in the same stadium as the Fiesta Bowl, but it’s not the Fiesta Bowl. It’s a week later and it’s the BCS Championship Game. I think I now finally have this right.