USC Football News: Trojans to Face 21st Ranked Strength of Schedule in 2015


After two years of facing the Pac-12’s weakest teams in the north division, here’s an interesting bit of USC football news: the NCAA is calling the Trojans’ 2015 schedule the 21st toughest strength of schedule in FBS, according to

In are Oregon and Washington and out are Oregon State and Washington State, giving the campaign a significant boost. USC’s opponents for this upcoming season had a combined record of 91-65 last year, which is good for a 58.3 percent winning percentage.

The schedule includes winners of both Pac-12 divisions, two January Six participants and nine bowl teams. Only Cal, Colorado and Idaho were not bowl eligible last season, though the Bears and Buffaloes should be improved in 2015, making a schedule that could bite harder than your standard 21st ranked slate.

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Per, “the NCAA method [of determining strength of schedule] uses winning percentage of opponents, but now excludes records of FCS teams, FBS Transitional teams, and bowl games.”

The FCS provision to the method doesn’t affect USC, but it does hurt the Trojans that they must play two Sun Belt teams instead of one after a home and home series with Texas A&M fell through.

That’s left the Trojans with an early season slate that features a pair of warm up games ahead of the showdown with Stanford at the Coliseum in Week 3.

The toughest stretch of games for the Trojans is in the month of November, when USC faces Pac-12 South champion Arizona at home and play at frigid Colorado on a Friday night, followed by a trip to Rose Bowl winner Oregon and a home tilt with the UCLA Bruins.

Other teams worth noting in terms of strength of schedule is Washington with the No. 1 overall SOS and Cal with the 7th. UCLA’s SOS is ranked 87th this season.