USC Football has officially been punished for playing in their conference championship game in favor of Ohio State for the College Football Playoff. SC earned their way to the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday, and Ohio State did not earn their way to the Big Ten Championship Game. It was part of why SC was ranked fourth coming into this past week and Ohio State was ranked fifth.
USC had the better season, but due to them having to play an extra game while they were decimated by injuries on a short week while Ohio State got to stay home, their resume is seen as tainted by the College Football Playoff selection committee after the Trojans' loss in the Pac-12 Title Game.
Of course, this is not all on the committee, though, as it is not their choice to have conference championship games. Of course, there used to not be conference championship games. Regardless, however, it's important to point out that USC will still be going to an excellent New Year's Six Bowl. That bowl will be the Cotton Bowl. They will play Tulane on January 2nd. (SC is ranked No. 10 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, and Tulane is ranked No. 16.)
Due to Utah winning that extra game (Pac-12 Championship), they will be in the Rose Bowl over USC. They will play Penn State. But as aforementioned, it's vital to remember how far this program has come with them looking at a Cotton Bowl appearance next month. Last year at this point, USC was coming off of a 4-8 season.
Today, USC Football is preparing for a Cotton Bowl after an 11-2 season.
USC Football will also win a Heisman Trophy this year, as Caleb Williams is likely to bring home the hardware for the eighth time in USC history. They will finally have sole possession of the most amount of Heisman Trophy winners in college football history if Williams indeed does win the trophy.
Right now, they are tied for first with seven. Williams winning the trophy would be a massive success for this program. It really does just go to show how impressive this season truly is. Winning SEVEN more games than they did last year in just the first year with a new head coach, they wildly outperformed expectations, and have a chance at even more on January 2nd.