The 2017 USC football schedule was released on Wednesday, with news that the Trojans must play through the 12-game slate before their bye in the final week.
The release of the 2017 USC football schedule brought good news and bad news for the Trojans.
The good news is, if USC wins the South division and heads to the Pac-12 Championship Game, they will have two weeks to prepare before playing for the conference title.
The bad news? The Trojans will have to make it through 12 consecutive weeks of football to earn a spot in that game before they get that extra week of rest.
That’s because USC’s bye week won’t come until the final week of the regular season.
This is the first time the Trojans will play a full season through without a break since 1995, but it is not unprecedented in the Pac-12 schedule. In 2015, Arizona played through their regular season without a bye until the final week.
Here’s USC’s official schedule for 2017:
Sept. 2 — Western MichiganSept. 9 — StanfordSept. 16 — TexasSept. 23 — at CaliforniaSept. 29 (Fr.) — at Washington StateOct. 7 — Oregon StateOct. 14 — UtahOct. 21 — at Notre DameOct. 28 — at Arizona StateNov. 4 — ArizonaNov. 11 — at ColoradoNov. 18 — UCLA
Besides the bye week problem, USC’s schedule actually balances out fairly well on first glance.
The opening month of the season features challenging opponents to start in Western Michigan, Stanford and Texas, but all three of those are home games.
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The trip to Cal has added intrigue because of the Bears’ hiring of former defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.
Meanwhile, the Trojans round out the month with a Friday night date at Washington State.
October offers more balance, with a pair of home games against Oregon State and Utah followed by consecutive road trips to Notre Dame and ASU. Playing the Utes and the Irish back-to-back offers the biggest concern.
The Trojans finish off the slate with just three games in November. USC handily beat Arizona in the desert last year and facing them at home shouldn’t raise much worry, but the contest with Colorado in Boulder at that time of year should be circled on the calendar as a particular challenge.
And of course, the rivalry game versus UCLA at the Coliseum will always be tough to gauge.