USC Football: Trojans scheduling like a SEC team?

USC recently announced additions to their future out-of-conference opponents and the newly added teams leave much to be desired.

Before delving into the teams newly added, it was also announced the series with Notre Dame, which first began in 1926, will continue through the 2023 season. The intersectional rivalry is perhaps the most legendary in all of college football and though it has been extended, it is strange to think it could possibly come to an end after 2023.

The excitement from learning of the continuation of the series with the Fighting Irish is quickly calmed with news that the Trojans will open their 2015 season with a home game against Arkansas State. With all due respect to the Red Wolves, they aren’t the caliber team Trojan fans are typically accustomed to seeing listed as a non-conference opponent.

Perhaps all of the scheduling credit should go to the Red Wolves, who have played road games against Virginia Tech, Oregon and Nebraska within the last two seasons. 2015 will mark the first ever meeting between the Red Wolves and men of Troy.

The 2015 season also brings a home matchup against Idaho, a team the Trojans last played in 2007. Again, at the risk of insulting Idaho, USC’s decision to schedule another game against the Vandals is perplexing.

Scheduling them in 2007 was more understandable as it was viewed as lending a hand to former USC Linebackers coach, Nick Holt, who took over as head coach of the Vandals in 2004. However, given that the schedules are made well in advance, by the time the game arrived in 2007, Holt was back coaching on the USC sidelines.

Pete Carroll embraced competition

Pete Carroll embraced competition

The 2016 season will bring another first-time matchup for USC, as New Mexico State will travel to Los Angeles to face the Trojans on September 3. New Mexico State is yet another head scratching move from the USC scheduling powers that be.

During Pete Carroll’s tenure at USC, his Trojan teams faced the likes of Arkansas, Auburn, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech.

As someone who desires to return to national prominence and having served as an assistant under Carroll, Lane Kiffin must attempt to follow suit and persuade the schedule makers to become more aggressive in scheduling marquee games.

The out of conference opponents detailed above are added to already scheduled Fresno State (2014 at home), Texas (2017 at home and 2018 in Austin), and BYU (2019 in Provo, 2021 at home and 2023 at home).

Suffice to say, outside of Notre Dame, those teams that were already scheduled are much more to look forward to than the new additions for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

  • Mark Schlager

    Kiffin is rebuilding after his horrible 2012 season and should be looking for more top 25 teams to play to boost the Trojan’s reputation

  • http://USCFootball Michael Quinn

    I am upset at this most recent scheduling of mediocre opponents. We should be playing at least one SEC team every year and one other major college program every year. I hope that this current cream puff scheduling is not LK doing?

  • phil trigg

    The future scheduling is nothing short of disgusting! Haden has stooped to the SEC’s level. This is a very sad day for the integrity of our program. Unbelieveable!

  • Bill

    One of the reasons we are scheduling some of these pattsies, is that USC has sad it is going to try and schedule 7 home games a year. Currently, the conference schedules 9 games and when you add in Notre Dame those ten games are always balanced at 5 home and 5 away. Thus the last two need to be “rent a bum” games. I’d rather have one fewer home game and go see a quality opponenent then sit through a game with Idaho or Arkansas State. If they do one “rent a bum” game every year they can bring in a second quality opponent and still have 7 home games every other year.

  • Chas

    Snicker all you want. Remember Appalachian State at the Big House against mighty Michigan.

  • Clay

    What would be helpful to me is to know who actually was responsible for scheduling these teams and what their reasoning was. All Trojan fans (and haters) who saw the schedule know this is different than what we’re used to, but we don’t know who or why. If you have some kind of press credential or access, I think most Trojan fans would appreciate some reporting on the obvious change of philosophy.

  • Jeff

    USC had a home & home scheduled with Texas A&M starting 2015, but the aggies cancelled. Why wasn’t this in the article?

    • Matthew Moreno

      Jeff, from what I gathered, I don’t believe USC and Texas A&M ever officially formalized an agreement for a home and home series.

  • Michael

    I understand why USC scheduled easier games during the scholarship restrictions, but in 2015 when the scholarship restrictions end, I am perplexed why they scheduled easier opponents. I believe some of the tougher opponents backed out of schedled games against us. In reality, USC should at the very least be playing 1 tough opponent and 2 medium opponents, or 2 tough opponents and 1 medium or easy opponent. I would rather win playing a harder schedule than completely easy one.

  • http://none Hoss

    I can recall the years when SC had one of the nation’s toughest
    schedules. How things have changed.

  • Matthew Moreno

    Thank you for the comments everyone. While I do not believe USC’s scheduling practices are quite as egregious as what’s done in the SEC, it is disappointingly close. Scheduling marquee games is great for the fan base and embracing competition is something that should always be a trademark of the program

  • Bigturboweenie

    I dont see any division 1-AA teams on this list. I thought that was what the SEC did, no?

    • Matthew Moreno

      Yes, SEC schools are definitely proponents of routinely scheduling games against FCS schools. Though this isn’t as bad, as a Trojan fan, it’s still a bit of a letdown.

  • trojan fan

    USC does not schedule games like the SEC does. If they did they would have scheduled Towson (LSU) this year.

  • RickAZ

    Yeah this isn’t good, but SEC…..PLEASE!
    USC has never scheduled a non-Divison 1 (or whatever this is called now), where as SEC regularly fill up with these. The PAC12 also has 9 conference games, and the SEC has only 8. Pete usually had one easy game, like a San Jose St, one hard game in a home-away 2 year schedule, and Notre Dame. Having an 8 game playoff where the top 4 or 6 conference champs get an automatic bid would cure this. This way they wouldn’t be penalized for losing against a tough opponent, and it would create huge excitement and prepare teams for conference play. Can you imagine SC in Death Valley playing LSU, or playing Alabama or Florida.

    • Ron

      USC has played at LSU and Won. They also played Alabama several times in the Bear Bryant era and beat them on National TV when Alabama was #1 and USC was # 3.

  • MAX SIDLE

    To be the best, you must play the best. Lane Kiffin sound like a 2nd rate fight promoter trying build up a second rate fighter for a shot at the title. U.S.C. is always been great because they could beat
    the Ohio States, Michigan’s, Oaklahoma’s, Notre Dame’s and other great teams of the past not because they have a great win loss record. What happens when they lose to one of these posers?

    Should we change the slogan from “Fight On” to ” Just Don’t Lose”?

    • Trojan fan

      You are right Max. When you play a patsy nothing good can come of it. For instance, LSU played Towson last year and almost lost!