A USC Fan’s Bye Week Rooting Guide


For the second time this season, the USC Trojans are on a bye week, creating what could be a boring Saturday by your standards.

But luckily, the deepest slate of the year in college football is going down this week with six games between ranked teams 17th or higher in the College Football Playoff rankings.

As of now, the Trojans are on the outside looking in at the Pac-12 South race, needing lots of help to win either outright or through a potential three-way tie scenario.

RELATED: Examining the possible scenarios in which USC can win the South

Who should USC be rooting for in order for the slim chances of getting back into the Pac-12 South to somehow come to fruition? Let’s take a look at the Pac-12 teams that hold significance to the Trojans.

Notre Dame at Arizona State

When: 12:30 PM PT on ABCWho to root for: Whoever you so chose

Since this is not a conference game, ASU winning will hold no bearing on the Pac-12 South race, nor will them losing, which USC needs to ideally happen twice. So there’s a couple trains of thought here. Either you can root for the Sun Devils to boost the profile of the Pac-12 OR you can hope that Notre Dame squeaks out a win to set up a chance for USC to spoil their season later this month. It could be the most competitive game of the week, so despite it not being in-conference, it’ll be hard to ignore.

UCLA at Washington

When: 4:00 PM PT on FOX Sports 1Who to root for: UCLA

The key to the Trojans winning a three-way tie in the Pac-12 South at 7-2 is for UCLA to finish 4th in the division. That means they need to beat both Washington this week and Stanford on Black Friday for the best chance of finishing ahead of Utah, who holds the tiebreaker between the two schools and still has a very winnable game in Colorado on the schedule. So strike up the band for the Bruins, USC fans. Or pretend the game doesn’t exist and root against UW.

Colorado at Arizona

When: 5:00 PM PT on Pac-12 NetworksWho to root for: Arizona

In an ordinary situation, you’d probably like to see Colorado beat Arizona solely for the feel-good story that the Buffs have been this year despite having a 2-7 record. They’re fun to watch and are rapidly improving with Mike MacIntyre as the head coach and Sefo Liufau at quarterback. But USC needs Arizona to win out, while winning out themselves. The Cats are in a bounce-back spot and are back at home for the first time since the loss to the Trojans in early October. They need a win to prevent a free fall.

Oregon at Utah

When: 7:00 PM PT on ESPNWho to root for: Oregon

After losing to the Utes at the death two week ago, the Trojans are desperately needing Utah to free fall to their own death in order to win some tiebreakers in the Pac-12 South. Luckily for USC, the Utes play perhaps the hottest team in the country right now, the No. 4 ranked Oregon Ducks. Marcus Mariota is the hands-down Heisman Trophy favorite and Utah will need their defense to win the game, as they don’t have the offense to trade points with the Ducks. Get out your duck calls for this one.

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