USC enters 2017 with some high expectations, thanks to its big Rose Bowl victory against Penn State and the fact that it gets several of its starters back for next season.
On Wednesday, the Pac-12 released its teams’ schedules for 2017, and USC has an especially tough road. The Trojans will play the entire season without a bye week in the regular season. This is the first time this has happened at USC since 1995. That year, the Trojans only had 11 games on their schedule.
Take a look at the schedule below — USC will have exactly seven days between each game this season.
2017 USC Schedule
|Sept. 2||Western Michigan|
|Sept. 23||@ Cal|
|Sept. 29||@ Washington State|
|Oct. 7||Oregon State|
|Oct. 21||@ Notre Dame|
|Oct. 28||@ Arizona State|
|Nov. 11||@ Colorado|
|Nov. 25||Potential Bye|
|Dec. 2||Pac 12 title game|
The one potential for a bye is if the Trojans can win the Pac-12 South — there would be a bye before the conference championship game on the weekend of Dec. 2.
Head coach Clay Helton hasn’t had anything to say yet, though we’ve seen Pac-12 head coaches voice their frustrations with the conference’s scheduling before.
In 2015, Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez went off after the Wildcats’ late October game at Washington was an 8 p.m. kickoff, and his team had to follow that with a road trip to USC the next weekend. The Wildcats had the same 12-game schedule setup that USC has this season. Here’s what he had to say via Arizona Desert Swarm.
"To get on my soapbox here, I just found out that the next game is going to be at Washington at eight o'clock at night, so we'll get back around five in the morning," Rodriguez said Monday. "I just don't understand how this happens when we play twelve-straight, and you play night road games and then we're going to play an eight o'clock game at Washington, get back at five in the morning, then have to go back on the road again."
"If the conference is really concerned about student-athlete wellfare, then I think someone should step in. Because when do guys get a chance to get healthy? You're not getting treatments on a plane. You can try to sleep, but you're not getting a whole lot of rest when you're travelling. It's just ridiculous in my opinion."
Last season, after Cal beat Oregon in a dogfight 52-49 victory, former Bears head coach Sonny Dykes, addressed his team having six days to prepare for a Thursday night game against USC, who had nearly two weeks between its last game against Arizona and the Cal game.
From California Golden Blogs:
Dykes was also quick to be upset with how the Pac-12 handled scheduling over the next two weeks. Cal had a Friday night game off the bye week but must now turn around and play a Thursday night game on the road, on six days notice (given the lateness of the game, essentially five days) in USC (who had a bye week and will have enjoyed almost 11 to 12 days off. Dykes finds the arrangement unfair for Cal.
"Tired. I think everybody in the locker room is tired – emotionally. I know I certainly am. We'll be back at it tomorrow. We have a game in six days, which is crazy. We have to go to USC in six days and play a team that's had 13 days off to prepare for us. We're going to rebound and play our tails off against USC and get ready on a short week.
Cal played on a Thursday night after playing last Friday. USC was coming off a bye. Sonny Dykes wasn’t happy: pic.twitter.com/7xsU29Logp— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) October 28, 2016
Also, there is one team that has a bye before playing USC this year: Notre Dame.