USC football enters preparations for the Oregon game on a positive note: The Trojans are on a four-game winning streak, are tied for second in the Pac-12 and are heavily favored against the Ducks on Saturday.Furthermore, the Trojans climbed up in the AP poll to their best position since falling out of the Top 25 after losing to Alabama to open the season. USC received 40 votes in this week’s rankings, placing them behind only Houston (65 votes) as the team receiving the most votes outside the Top 25.Four teams from the Pac-12 are ranked in the Top 25 — Washington, which beat Utah on Saturday, remains at No. 4, while the Utes are now 16th. Colorado comes in at No. 21 after a bye week, and Washington State made its first appearance in rankings, climbing to No. 25. With Utah losing to Washington, the Trojans are now tied with the Utes for second in the Pac-12 South, as both teams hold 4-2 records. Colorado is alone in first with a record of 4-1.After beginning the season 1-3, USC has beaten Arizona State, Colorado, Arizona and Cal to bring its record to a respectable 5-3. But the Trojans do not control their own fate. To clinch the Pac-12 South, they have to win the remainder of their games and have both Utah and Colorado lose at least once.The Trojans are favored by two touchdowns against Oregon on Saturday. The Ducks have struggled this season with a 3-5 record, and this marks the first time USC has faced an Oregon team with a losing record since 1982. A win would likely boost the Trojans back into the AP Top 25 before they take on Washington on the road. USC hasn’t beaten Oregon at the Coliseum since 2008, though the Trojans have won seven straight games at home. The game will kickoff at 4 p.m. on Saturday and air on ESPN.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Clippers also will have a new look after trading Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets for a package of players that included Patrick Beverley. The Clippers also re-signed Blake Griffin to a new five-year, $173-million contract and added guard Milos Teodosic and forward Danilo Gallinari over the summer.Paul and the Rockets open the season Oct. 17 when they visit the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the second game of an opening-night doubleheader on TNT. Houston also will play a Christmas game, facing Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in one of five holiday contests.The remainder of the NBA’s 82-game regular-season schedule will be revealed Monday. Paul’s return to Staples Center to face the Clippers for the first time since the trade figures to draw a good deal of attention when the rest of the scheduled is announced, a date to be circled in red ink. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lonzo Ball will make his NBA debut when the Lakers and Clippers renew their Hallway Series rivalry in a season-opening matchup on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Staples Center, the league announced Thursday afternoon. The Lakers will be the designated home team.The Lakers also will play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a Christmas evening game.Both games will start at 7:30 p.m., and will be broadcast nationally on TNT.Ball, the No. 2 selection in the draft in June, has given the Lakers a new look and a new hope for 2017-18. The former UCLA point guard showed glimpses of his potential during the NBA Summer League last month in Las Vegas, where his every move, with and without the ball, was studied and discussed at length.