CHRIS DUFRESNE / COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAILBAG

USC vs. USC? U Simply Can't find a football rivalry … so far

USC, remember, was stripped of its 2004 BCS title after sanctions were handed down, but the Trojans were allowed to keep their AP trophy.

Ohio State is serving a one-year bowl ban this year but could claim the AP national title.

Q: Texas San-Antonio (transitional member). Does the "transitional member" status eliminate them from: 1. Being invited to a bowl game at the end of the season? 2. Or if they continue to be undefeated, be possibly ranked in a major poll?

Bob Villa

A: The Roadrunners technically do not count as a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent until next year. They become a full-fledged member and are bowl-eligible in 2014. They are renting space in the Western Athletic Conference this year but will join Conference USA in 2013.

UTSA is off to a 5-0 start under former Miami Coach Larry Coker. The Roadrunners can certainly be ranked. Appalachian State, a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) program, received AP votes in 2007 following its stunning win over Michigan.

There is also a chance UTSA could go to a bowl this year if there are not enough eligible schools to fill the 70 bowl slots.

Last year there were 72 eligible schools available for 70 spots.

To think some people think there are too many bowls....

Q: What is it with the SEC and state troopers as escorts?

Mike

A: You will not be shocked to know the tradition started with Alabama Coach Bear Bryant and was then copied all over the SEC and the South. In fact, at last check, every head college coach in Alabama has state trooper protection.

The tradition has not caught on out West.

Dave Plati, University of Colorado sports information director, was quoted in a 2006 ESPN.com story saying his coach didn't need protection because "he's accompanied by a 1,300-pound buffalo."

If "Ralphie" was a trooper in California, would he be a Buffalo CHP?

Q: I realize there are other overrated teams, but what has USC done to be ranked in the top 10?

Chris Creel

A: Ask the same question about Alabama and Oregon: What have they done to be No. 1 and No. 2?

Alabama opened with an impressive win over a Michigan team that is no longer ranked in the USA Today coaches' poll. Oregon's best win came at home against a Washington team that lost at Louisiana State, 41-3.

Alabama and Oregon have not played a school currently ranked in the coaches' top 25.

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