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FACTOR FIVE FIVE FACTOR PREVIEW: WASHINGTON AT USC

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SARK AFTER DARK

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NEBULOUS STATISTICAL COMPARISONS OF DUBIOUS VALIDITY. USA Today released its updated list of college football head coach salaries earlier today and GOOD LORD THAT'S SOME PAPER, CHRIS PETERSEN. Washington's paying more than any other school in the conference -- with one big asterisk -- and they have a 4-6 record in the Pac-12 so far to show for it. It doesn't help that Washington has yet to beat a good team with Petersen. The only bowl team they beat in 2014 was Illinois, and their two wins this year have come against an FCS school and Utah State.

Oh, right, that asterisk. The one school in the Pac-12 that doesn't release salary information? USC. Maybe Steve Sarkisian makes two million dollars. Maybe he makes seventeen. There's no way to tell for sure, so it's fine if you spread wildly irresponsible information like "Southern Cal's paying nine million bucks a year to lose to Washington?"

ADVANTAGE: WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D

MASCOT. Do you think the man in a Trojan warrior costume who rides out onto the field before a game is USC's mascot? Do you think his name is Tommy Trojan? You are wrong on both counts! Tommy Trojan is a statue, and the horse that warrior rides out on is the real mascot, Traveler.

You goddamn frauds. At least Washington has the decency to have a mascot that corresponds to the team nickname.

ADVANTAGE: WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D

AURA. I've never been to the Coliseum for a football game, but I have visited the California Science Center, which is right across from it, and they have an A-12 Blackbird.

That is some extremely good science.

ADVANTAGE: USC

USC, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D

NAMES.

For USC, there's:

Olajuwon Tucker
Wyatt Vinci
Reid Budrovich
Aca'Cedric Ware
Lance Mudd

While Washington has:

Vita Vea
DJ Beavers
Scott Lawyer
Psalm Wooching
Chico McClatcher

Psalm is a really, really great name, but I have to go with Olajuwon as the deciding factor here. It's good that not all parents relied on Shaq for an NBA Baby name with this generation, and I hope it means 15 or so years from now we have a college football player who has Gasol as his first name.

ADVANTAGE: USC

USC, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D

GRUDGES/SCORES TO SETTLE/SHEER CUSSEDNESS. The Huskies lost this game the last time it was played in 2012, and they're pretty behind in the series overall (28 wins, 50 losses, 4 ties). But Steve Sarkisian's working with a dry locker room and his only remaining home games after this are against Utah, Arizona, and UCLA, all of which could be losses.

You were about to say, "well, not Arizona," weren't you? But then you stopped yourself. We both know why.

Simply put: Washington's in a rebuilding year, so if they lose a Thursday night road game to a ranked USC team, hey, it happens. If USC loses tonight? Shit, man. I heard Pat Haden gave Sark a $14 million a year contract.

ADVANTAGE: USC

USC, YOU'VE BEEN FACTOR'D

That's a narrow 3-2 victory for USC, which means nothing because the Factor Five is deeply flawed. So flawed that we didn't pick SMU-Houston for this. Shit, we really should have picked SMU-Houston for this.