USC football will start its season with games at UCLA, at home against Cal and at Stanford. On Friday, the Pac-12 released its full slate of games under the 10-game, conference-only schedule, with each team starting Sept. 26.
Training camps can start Aug. 17 — the same day classes begin at USC — and the season may start later depending on the situation. The conference left Week 12 open in the case that games need to be rescheduled. The Pac-12 Championship Game will be played on either Dec. 18 or 19 and will be on campus instead of at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev.
The schedule also allows for some games to be played during the two teams’ bye week if they share it and the game needs to be postponed. This option applies to USC’s first two games against UCLA and Cal.
Other USC teams that got approval from the Pac-12 for conference-only schedules include women’s soccer, volleyball and cross country. These teams can start practice and games no earlier than Aug. 15 and Sept. 26, respectively.
Pac-12 Commissioner Scott was non-committal when asked about his confidence in a college football season happening.
“There is no bubble, and a bubble would not be appropriate in college sports,” Scott said according to the Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach.
Following the opening three games against the in-state rivals, USC hosts Colorado and then heads to Tucson to play Arizona before taking its bye week. The Trojans finish their schedule vs. Washington State, at Oregon, vs. Arizona State, at Utah (USC’s only Friday game of the season) and conclude against Washington at the Coliseum Dec. 5.
USC and Oregon are the only teams in the conference that alternate home and away throughout the schedule. Its slate is also backloaded, as the Trojans’ final four games likely feature their four toughest opponents.
That final stretch will be crucial for USC’s chances of winning the Pac-12, as they face not only the conference favorite in Oregon but also their two biggest challengers in the Pac-12 South in Arizona State and Utah. The good news for USC is that they have most of their season to get in a rhythm for their most important games; the bad news for the team is that there will be no resting once they hit that part of the schedule, especially considering the Friday game at Utah.
The Trojans’ matchup with the Bruins at the Rose Bowl will be the first iteration of the series to occur in September since 1945 according to the Los Angeles Times. It’s also not the only rivalry game of the day, as the Arizona schools will also start the season against each other.
Scott said the conference’s model is similar to those of other Power 5 conferences, which also feature conference-only schedules with delayed starts that will end around mid-December.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that USC was the only Pac-12 team with an alternating home-away schedule throughout the season. The mistake has been updated.