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Does USC football have the easiest 2021 schedule in the Pac-12 South?

USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis.
USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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The 2021 USC football schedule stands out as one of the most generous for the Trojans in a long while.

USC will have Saturday games across the slate for the first time since 2009. They won't have any cold-weather trips to worry about. They get a bye week ahead of Notre Dame. While they face one set of back-to-back road games, they involve the shortest trips on the schedule.

CHECK OUT: Observations on USC's complete 2021 schedule

Do all those advantages mean USC has the easiest road to the Pac-12 title game?

Ranking the Pac-12 South 2021 Football Schedules

usc football pac-12 schedule
Conference football schedule / Pac-12

6. Colorado

This is the schedule no one in the South wanted from North opposition to road trips to Friday games to weather concerns.

Advantages:

- USC and Washington at home

Disadvantages:

- Only four home games
- Tough north opponents Oregon and UW
- Back-to-back road trips to Cal and Oregon
- UCLA has bye before meeting
- Play at Utah on a Friday
- Play at ASU in September heat

5. UCLA

At least the Bruins have two byes to work into their 13-game schedule. Those don't make up for a truly brutal stretch, back-to-back and opposition byes weeks.

Advantages:

- Two bye weeks
- Play ASU and Oregon at home
- No weekday games
- No cold or hot weather trips

Disadvantages:

- Only four home games
- Tough North opponents Washington and Oregon
- Play at Washington, Utah and USC
- Back-to-back road trips to Arizona and Washington
- Stretch at UW, vs. Oregon then at Utah is killer
- Washington and Arizona have byes before meeting

4. Arizona

The Wildcats could argue they have a harder schedule than Colorado and UCLA. There are far more challenges than pluses.

Advantages:

- Extra days' rest ahead of USC and ASU
- Face Oregon's new QB relatively early

Disadvantages:

- Only four home games
- Tough North opponents Oregon and Washington
- Two Friday night games vs. UW and WSU
- Early bye makes for a tough final stretch
- Colorado has bye before meeting
- Back-to-back road games vs. WSU and ASU to end season
- Play at WSU in late November weather

3. Utah

The Utes get some of their toughest contests at home, so it's not too bad in 2021.

Advantages:

- Play Oregon and ASU at home
- Bye week ahead of USC road trip
- No cold or hot weather trips
- Five home games

Disadvantages:

- Early bye weeks makes for tough finish
- Play at USC
- Back-to-back road trips vs. Stanford (on Friday) and Arizona
- Oregon State has bye before meeting
- Play Stanford and Colorado on Friday

2. Arizona State

The Sun Devils get a full home slate and other positives to help make other tough circumstances more bearable.

Advantages:

- Extra days' rest ahead of Utah road trip and bye following
- Play USC at home
- No games against teams coming off bye
- Five home games

Disadvantages:

- Play at BYU before Pac-12 opener vs. Colorado
- Play at UCLA before Friday game vs. Stanford
- Tough road games vs. Utah and Washington
- Back-to-back road games vs. UW and Oregon State in November weather

1. USC

There's just no question: USC has the easiest slate in the South. There just aren't very many things to complain about.

Advantages:

- No cold-weather games
- No heat concerns at ASU in November
- Play Utah and UCLA at home
- Easiest North opponent pairing WSU and Oregon State
- Five home games

Disadvantages:

- Play at ASU
- Back-to-back road games at ASU and Cal
- Utah has bye before meeting


Make no mistake, USC's out of conference slate, including a road trip to Notre Dame evens the playing field somewhat. However, the path to the Pac-12 title game doesn't involve non-conference schedules.

A perfectly balanced schedule means the Trojans have no excuses in 2021. The Pac-12 South is there for the taking.

Depth Chart. Projecting the Defensive Lineup for 2021. dark

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