What happens in 2006 if USC defeats UCLA instead of dropping that game 13-9 and the Bucks had faced the Trojans? USC went on to defeat Michigan 32-18 (their fifth win over a ranked opponent for the season). The only other Trojan loss came at Oregon State 33-31.
What happens in 2007 if WVU defeats Pitt instead of dropping that game 13-9 and the Bucks had faced the Mountaineers? WVU went on to defeat OU 48-28 (their fourth win over a ranked opponent for the season, but worth mentioning the only opponent ranked higher than 20 as their other victories came against 25) Rutgers, 21) Cincinnati, and 20) UConn. Their only other loss was dropping a 21-13 decision at USF.
As much as I'd love to think Tress would have gotten that USC monkey off our back before Urban ultimately did in 2017-18, I can't say with confidence that we win that one. Hard to know which Buckeye team (the one that held 7 opponents to single digit points or the one that gave up 39 and 41 in back-to-back games) and which Trojan team (the one that had just won 3 straight by an average of 20 against ranked Oregon, Cal, and ND squads, or the one that gave up 20+ points to unranked opponents for 4 straight games) would have shown up, but I'd put this one at 50-50 or even 60-40 USC with the Trojans in the underdog role. Best guess: 34-24 USC.
2007 however, I think our defense would have bottled up the Mountaineers and our running game would have led the way for something like a 28-14 win. Such an odd year in college football where no team really "looked" like a NC-caliber team. Obviously Mizzou beating OU would pose another scenario for 2007, but unlike the scenarios where USC gets it done the year before against UCLA and WVU gets past Pitt, that Mizzou win over OU seemed far less likely. In fact the scenario where OU gets past either Colorado or TT and faces the Bucks is probably more likely than the scenario where Mizzou wins the Big XII Championship Game.