USC Football News: Trojans Face 2nd Toughest 2015 Schedule


The 2015 USC football schedule may begin with a pair of cupcakes, but the Trojans are projected to have the nation’s second toughest schedule this season, according to Phil Steele.

Though known for scheduling generally strong out of conference slates, the bulk of USC’s schedule strength comes from the conference schedule this time around.

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The rivalry game on the road at Notre Dame presents the stiffest non-Pac-12 challenge by far. Warm up games with Arkansas State and Idaho at the Coliseum to start the season represent the Trojans’ other two non-conference opponents.

Away dates with Arizona State and Oregon standout as the most difficult tests for USC. They begin and end the conference schedule with home contests against state rivals Stanford and UCLA.

Trading Washington State and Oregon State for the stronger squads of Washington and Oregon in the Pac-12 rotation beefs up USC’s 2015 schedule considerably from last season’s.

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Despite the difficult road ahead, the Trojans are still heavily favored to represent the Pac-12 in the College Football Playoff this year. Las Vegas oddsmakers list USC with 15/1 odds of winning the title, fourth behind only Ohio State, Alabama and TCU.

Notably, three of Steele’s four toughest schedules are to be faced by Pac-12 teams.

Alabama will play its SEC schedule along with an out of conference game against Wisconsin.

Cal faces an away match up against Texas along with trips to Utah, UCLA, Oregon and Stanford.

Washington opens the season at Boise State, then also takes on Utah State in out of conference play. In conference, they face USC, Stanford and Arizona State on the road, on top of Oregon, Arizona and Utah at home.