Forget Death Valley, Autzen or The Horseshoe — the most hostile stadium in all of North America could be Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. And if the cards play out a certain way, the USC Trojans could be headed there in the not too distant future.
A couple months after first talk of a potential Texas-USC matchup in Mexico City, ESPN has now publicly acknowledged that they’re exploring the idea of college football being played south of the border, as Dennis Dodd of CBSSports reports.
ESPN president John Skipper mentioned the subject briefly Thursday while speaking at the Football Bowl Association annual meeting. No dates or teams were mentioned. “Keep your eye on it,” Skipper said.
While ESPN didn’t mention any specifics, the Big-12 and Pac-12 conferences are linked, reports Dodd, which furthers the likelihood of Texas and potentially USC being involved.
It stems from new Texas AD Steve Patterson looking to expand the already massive Texas brand, and Mexico being the Longhorns’ new form of Manifest Destiny. Patterson spoke on the matter back in January, which led to rumors of USC being Texas’s opponent.
USC is currently scheduled to play Texas in a home and home series in 2017 and 2018, and if a Mexico City game ends up happening, a one-off game on Mexican soil could take place of the home and home.
The result would likely see the Trojans replace the Texas home date with a mid to lower tier opponent, a trend that has seen teams like New Mexico, Idaho and Arkansas State find themselves on the future schedule.
The Trojans have played just one game out of the country, and that was 1985 Mirage Bowl in Tokyo. USC beat Oregon 20-6, in what was still a Pac-10 conference game.
A trip to Moscow, Russia in the dying days of the Cold War to play Illinois was scrapped before the 1989 season.