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.
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.