The Pac-12 will have seven Friday night games (including USC-Washington State) and only one Thursday night game next season. The schools themselves sought more Friday night games if they had to play during the week.
It’s too bad this didn’t happen sooner or maybe USC would not have had three straight Thursday night home games at the Coliseum.
I’ve read comments in the media about USC’s “brutal” and “bruising” schedule next year. Does it compare to the nation’s No. 1 schedule in 2016, when USC played three teams in November with 4-8 records?
USC plays three teams next year with first-year coaches (Western Michigan, Texas and Cal). It does not play Washington and Oregon.
That does not mean the schedule is easy. But it is too soon to pontificate. Is USC going to play “good” Notre Dame or “bad” Notre Dame next season? Will it play “good” Arizona Staet or “bad” Arizona State? Can Tom Herman turn Texas around by Game 3?
All questions that cannot be answered confidently today.
Safety C.J. Miller of Powder Springs, Ga., has “decommitted” from USC. I don’t begrudge USC from backing off a kid who is a two-star recruit. But what kind of evaluation is being done beforehand that allows him to commit initially? He is now the fourth commit to switch, no doubt at USC’s insistence.
The rest of the Pac-12 is going to be upset that USC is the only conference school off the weekend of Nov. 25. That gives the Trojans a bye if they make the Pac-12 title game. Will it hurt the Trojans they play 12 straight games?
Does the Pac-12 just automatically make USC-Stanford Game 2?
I don’t view USC going to Washington State on Sept. 29 as fortunate timing because it will be warmer than November. Teams like the Cougars (and Utah) tend to more dangerous early because they lack depth and are not beset with injuries in Week 3.
The Justin Wilcox Bowl is Sept. 23 in Berkeley. And perhaps the key stretch of the schedule will be Oct. 21-28, with road games vs. Notre Dame and Arizona State.
I mentioned yesterday there are a concerning number of three-star (and one two-star) commits in USC’s current recruiting class (eight).
That said, what often makes a recruiting class is the performance of a handful of players. And this is where what happened since the Rose Bowl is significant: Adoree Jackson was the No. 1-ranked “athlete” by Rivals.com. Damien Mama was the No. 1-ranked offensive guard. JuJu Smith-Schuster was the No. 2-ranked wide receiver.
Now I’ve been more critical of Mama’s performances this season than anyone else in the media, but the fact is he was a three-year starter. You can say Chris Brown started over Mama in the Alabama game. But where was he after that? The coaches barely played him.
This is why it is so critical USC land a few players in two weeks, like offensive tackle Austin Jackson and wide receiver Joseph Lewis. Those five-stars really do matter.
Meanwhile, Washington QB Jake Browning underwent shoulder surgery underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder. Now it should be noted the Seattle Times reports the injury occurred after the USC game, so it does not explain Browning’s performance against the Trojans.
Remember how the “historic” Coliseum and Exposition Park were the center piece for the 2024 Olympic bid? Well, it now turns out the Opening Ceremony would be held at the new Rams stadium in Inglewood while fans could go to the Coliseum and watch mainly on large screens. The venues would flip roles for the Closing Ceremony but who really pays attention to that?