USC Football was set to play the UCLA Bruins at one of two times this coming Saturday. It was either going to be at 5 p.m. PT, or 8:30 p.m. PT. This was not good for the conference, because it means that either this game or Utah at Oregon was going to have to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. PT when most of the country is going to sleep. That includes most of the CFP committee...
This was set to be problematic because the conference was looking at potentially sending their flagship, top 10 program in USC to the worst possible start time. This upcoming crosstown matchup is going to matter, as it's an opportunity for SC to get their first ranked win of the season.
If it's at 7:30 p.m. PT, the country's not going to be able to see the Trojans potentially get over that block that they need to jump in order to make the College Football Playoff. Thankfully, though, news dropped on Sunday that the game will indeed be at 5 p.m. PT. And it's on FOX too, so there's no worries about it being on the PAC-12 Network where half the country can't see the game.
This is massive. This game has MAJOR implications on who is going to the PAC-12 Championship game. If SC wins on Saturday, they are going. UCLA of course will need this game, too, as if they lose it they will be down to three conference losses this season. With how great the PAC-12 is this year, that's likely not going to cut it as far as making the PAC-12 Championship game goes.
USC Football has a very good resume this year, but is missing one major bullet point:
That one major bullet point that USC Football is missing is a ranked win. If they beat UCLA, they'll finally get it. Will they move up in the rankings with a win at UCLA? Well, that could very well just depend on if anyone ahead of them loses.
What it guarantees, though, is that USC will have an impressive win to point to when final resumes are being discussed and final CFP rankings are completed. SC needs the committee up and watching their game on Saturday.
It's the most important game of the season for the Trojans. Now that the game will kickoff at 5 p.m. PT, that will be happening. Credit to the PAC-12 for finally getting a scheduling decision right.