USC football opts out of bowl game for 2020

USC football head coach Clay Helton and running back Markese Stepp. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
USC football head coach Clay Helton and running back Markese Stepp. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

USC football will not play in a bowl game for 2020 after losing the Pac-12

USC football’s 2020 is now officially over.

The Trojans have decided not to accept a bit to a bowl game.

“The football program has experienced a rise in COVID-19 cases among its players and staff recently, including positive cases this past week,” USC said in a statement. “Due to a variety of factors, including injuries stemming from playing three games in 13 days, the number of available Trojan scholarship players is nearing the Pac-12’s recommended 53-player threshold needed to play a game.”

The opt out comes after USC fell in the Pac-12 title game to Oregon. Had they won, they would be 6-0 with an automatic bid to a New Year’s Six game, likely the Fiesta Bowl. Instead, they failed to win the conference championship and were likely to land in the Alamo Bowl after finishing 5-1.

USC football is following the trend of sitting out the postseason

The Trojans are one of many programs that have decided not to take part in the limited bowl season this year. Washington announced on Friday they would sit out the postseason. UCLA, Stanford, Washington State and Utah also plan to end their season early.

By canceling a bowl appearance, USC’s players will be able to go home and spend the holidays with their families after an arduous and ultimately disappointing season.

“It has not been easy,” head coach Clay Helton said in USC’s statement. “And it is hard for anyone outside the program to understand how immensely difficult these past few months have been for them. We all share the desire to stay healthy and be with loved ones during the holidays and I fully support this collective decision.

It’s a lackluster way to end 2020, but fitting.

Lowdown and Takeaway vs. Oregon. Next