The Pac-12 has implemented a new rule that changes the format of the Pac-12 Championship Game, and it is very relevant to the USC football program. The two teams participating in the game will now be the two teams with the best conference records--not necessarily the division winners.
This is especially relevant to SC because many analysts are picking them as the second-best team in the conference, but No. 2 behind another Pac-12 South division team in Utah.
Therefore, if their predictions about the Trojans came true, USC would not be able to play in the Pac-12 Championship due to not having that division title over the better Utah. I certainly have SC as that second team behind Utah, and also had to predict that they'd miss on the Pac-12 Title game due to them not being a division winner.
Now, I have SC being able to play for the conference trophy, which is a huge opportunity for the program. One never knows just how the title game could go. While I do expect the Utes to be the better team in 2022, giving SC the chance to upset could go a long way. Ask Utah last year. They upset Oregon in the Pac-12 Title game.
USC football's talent will have the chance to shine through in the Pac-12 Championship game.
If USC football gets the chance to play in the Pac-12 Championship, they have a chance to put a much more talented roster on the field up against Utah. While Utah is likely to have a strong defense and running game next year, as well as a good QB in Cam Rising, their roster doesn't compare to what SC has been able to build at this point.
The Trojans just acquired a top three QB in the country, the best wide receiver in the country, and the best back in the Pac-12 all via the transfer portal. Returning four starting linemen from the No. 1 rated offensive line in football last year (PFF), the offense is about to be loaded.
Factor in that they also poached Freshman All-American LB Shane Lee from Alabama, four-star transfer Safety from Oklahoma Latrell McCutchin, and Colorado Captain cornerback Mekhi Blackmon, the defense made improvements as far as personnel goes as well.
Don't forget that DT Tuli Tuipulotu is already a stud and that they are bringing in corner Domani Jackson in recruiting, who was the No. 5 overall recruit in the nation to provide plenty more talent to the defense.
Give this roster--coached by a top five coach in the country who's worst season resulted in 11 wins and a top ten finish--a chance to compete against any team in the Pac-12 and they'll have the chance to get the job done. It will also give the team postseason experience early.
Of course, though, the Trojans have to do their part to get there. Nothing will be handed to anyone, ever. If they do get the chance to play in the Pac-12 chip, though, don't be surprised if they flirt with an upset. Utah is my pick to win the Pac, but SC absolutely has both the talent and the coach to be able to get the job done.