The two quarterback system takes a lot of criticism, but don't tell that to California coach Jeff Tedford.
Nate Longshore came off the bench for an injured Kevin Riley, helping the Golden Bears beat Oregon 26-16 this weekend. The victory earned Cal a spot in the Top 25 of the CBSSports.com 120 this week, landing at No. 22, just in time for its big game against the Trojans.
Riley suffered a concussion when he failed to slide for a first down late in the first quarter, bringing on the senior Longshore. He threw for 136 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to Nyan Boateng.
Tedford has used both throughout the season, changing starters twice and splitting first-team practice snaps between the two quarterbacks despite Riley's superior game play.
"You need two quality quarterbacks, and you just can't say enough about those guys," Tedford said. "They're always out there competing and supporting each other. ... Nate is a veteran. He's been in a lot of games. Sure, coming off the bench is a bit new for him, but it was no big deal."
Longshore had a great season in 2006, throwing for 3,021 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In 2007, he threw for 2,580 yards and 16 touchdowns with 13 interceptions, but battled an ankle injury for the second half of the season, opening the door for Riley.
Riley was named the starter before the season, but both quarterbacks have seen significant time throughout the year.
It's obviously working because the Golden Bears are sitting at 4-1 in conference play and averaging 36 points per game.
It also helps to have the return of Jahvid Best, who injured his shoulder against Colorado State on Sept. 27. Best was leading the nation in all-purpose yards at the time of the injury with 215.5 yards per game. Since his return, he has 315 yards rushing in three games, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Meanwhile, freshman Shane Vereen has filled in nicely, rushing for 93 yards against Arizona State and 99 yards against UCLA.
If Cal can win out against Southern California, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington, it will earn the conference title and a trip to the Rose Bowl.
But there is another conference foe lurking with Pac-10 title hopes and it too controls its own destiny ... Oregon State.
The Beavers moved up to No. 30 after winning its third in a row and having already beat USC, the Beavers would be in line for the Rose Bowl if they win out.
"I think this game (against ASU) is the perfect lesson," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "If all of a sudden we don't win that game, we don't control our destiny anymore. And it was very close to being that."
... Conference count: Most teams in the Top 25 -- Big 12 (5), SEC (4), ACC (4), Big Ten (3), MWC (3). Most teams in the bottom 25 -- Sun Belt (5), C-USA (5), MAC (5), WAC (3).
... In the ever-changing ACC, Georgia Tech moved up from No. 32 to No. 20 after beating Florida State. The Yellow Jackets take on No. 18 North Carolina, with the winner having the inside track to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship.
... North Texas moved out of the No. 120 slot and up to No. 118 after earning its first victory of the season.
... Washington is now the lowest-ranked BCS team, falling to No. 112 after losing 56-0 to Southern California.
... Fresno State took a major tumble, falling 27 spots from No. 36 to No. 63 after losing to Louisiana Tech. Fresno also barely beat Utah State the week before 30-28.