LAS VEGAS — This one's in the bag.
Bet the car. Bet the mortgage. Bet the farm. Heck, bet the kids' college fund. They'll be so filthy stinking rich thanks to your brilliant wagering (it's legal here, folks) they won't need no education.
I've been sitting here in my spacious suite at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the one with two flat screens and a life-sized photograph of Debbie Harry (if her head were as big as Haloti Ngata's), combing through every detail about the two teams in Saturday's Las Vegas Bowl.
Frankly, I can't see this being much of a contest.
Like a blind taste test between Dom Perignon and Andre. (Oops, how do I bury that on the ol' expense report?) One is superior in almost every way.
No, Fresno State.
Surprised? Not if you break it down like I did.
Start with each team's record. The Bulldogs are 11-1, the Trojans 9-4.
Advantage: Fresno State.
The Bulldogs have their full complement of scholarship players. USC, because Reggie Bush was too cheap to pay back his agents, will have fewer than 50 in uniform at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Advantage: Fresno State.
The Bulldogs have had one head coach the entire season. USC? Well, it's complicated.
Advantage: Fresno State.
The Bulldogs beat Utah State at home and Hawaii on the road. USC beat Utah State at home and Hawaii on the road.
Let's tally 'em up. Fresno State wins three of four categories -- decisively I might add -- and the fourth is a draw.
Seems pretty clear. The Bulldogs are far and away the better team. In fact, it's hard to see USC even making it close.
Before settling in front of the laptop, I decided to consult with Tim DeRuyter. Just to gauge his opinion.
"You're too funny," said Fresno State's coach, in a manner befitting someone greatly amused. "Can USC stay on the field with us? Is that really a question?"
I told DeRuyter it was. I told him about my four-pronged analysis and how the Bulldogs scored 3.5 out of 4.
He just laughed some more and shook his head.
"I'll tell you what: USC is as talented a team as we've played since I've been here," DeRuyter said. "They've got All-Americans running everywhere who are all big, physical and athletic.
"They have four losses, but they played a heckuva schedule. They beat a top-10 team in Stanford, and we know just showing up with Fresno on our chests isn't going to put a whole lot of fear in USC."
Hmm. Never considered the fear factor Fresno State might have going for it.
But let's talk about that schedule.
Yes, the Trojans beat Stanford, which is in the Rose Bowl. But they also lost at home to Washington State, which is in the New Mexico Bowl.
Of course the Stanford victory was a lot more recent. But it also came under the old coach.
Or is that two coaches ago? Hard to keep track at USC.
Most college football teams get by with one head coach per season. Two if the guy gets fired. Three if a new guy gets hired.
The Trojans can make it a foursome: Kiffin, Orgeron, Helton and Sarkisian. Sounds like your ex's law firm.
The first name on that list ought to raise a few eyebrows. Where do Lane Kiffin's allegiances lie?
Sure, he must still have friends at USC. But Fresno State is Kiffin's alma mater. His glory days as a backup quarterback. All those late nights as a grad assistant breaking down Hawaii film.
Way ahead of you: DeRuyter should ask Kiffin for tips on how to beat his former team.
"I don't know how much inside information we'll get from him," DeRuyter said. "I like Lane, but I'm probably not going to do that."
Just a suggestion.
Look, I know what you're thinking: That I'm nuts for thinking USC has no chance against the Bulldogs.
You're thinking the Trojans are one of college football's premier programs, and have been since John McKay called his first Student Body Right.
You're thinking about how USC collects blue-chip recruits like bottle caps. About how the Pac-12 Conference doled out $21 million in TV revenues to its members last year compared to the Mountain West Conference's $630,000. About how that helps pay for facilities like the $70 million, 110,000-square foot McKay Center that opened in 2012.
You're thinking about the 11 national titles, the record 480 NFL draft picks, the seven Heisman Trophy winners. Names like Ronnie Lott, Anthony Munoz, Marcus Allen, Junior Seau, O.J. Simpson. (Though USC fans probably would rather forget about O.J.)
You're thinking there's a reason the sportsbooks here have USC as 6-point favorites, 6 1-2 in some places.
Sheesh. What do those guys know? Their point spreads are never close to the actual final score. Yes, that indicates sarcasm.
But they're wrong on this one. Bet the house on the Bulldogs. If you have a two-story house, bet both stories.
And if I'm wrong, that'll be me Sunday morning along Interstate 15 dressed in a barrel and suspenders with my thumb out.
Kindly pull over.
The columnist can be reached at (559) 441-6218, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MarekTheBee on Twitter.