USC’s football schedule next season figures again to be one of the toughest in the nation, with nonconference games against last season’s Cotton Bowl participant, Western Michigan, along with Texas and Notre Dame.
And there will be no rest for the weary.
The Trojans’ full schedule was released Wednesday, and it contains no regular-season bye week. USC’s one week off comes during the final week of Pac-12 Conference play, which would precede the Pac-12 Conference Championship game if USC wins the South division.
It is the first time since 1995 that USC has not had a regular-season bye.
USC’s conference opponents have been set for years: USC will host Stanford and Oregon State and play away games against California and Washington State, in addition to its full South division slate. That means it bypasses two of the North’s stronger programs: Oregon and Washington.
The order wasn’t announced until Wednesday. USC opens Sept. 2 against Western Michigan at the Coliseum. The Trojans’ conference opener is the following week, also at home, against Stanford. Then comes a home game against Texas, followed by the rest of the Trojans’ North division foes. The back half of the schedule is comprised of the South division opponents, plus Notre Dame.
Key dates are Sept. 16 against Texas, Oct. 21 against Notre Dame and Nov. 18 against UCLA, in what will be USC’s final regular-season game.
The schedule includes seven home games and features two back-to-back road weekends: California and Washington State (on a Friday) in Weeks 4 and 5 and Notre Dame and Arizona State in Weeks 8 and 9.
The full schedule is below:
Sept. 2: Western Michigan
Sept. 9: Stanford
Sept. 16: Texas
Sept. 23: at California
Sept. 29: at Washington State
Oct. 7: Oregon State
Oct. 14: Utah
Oct. 21: at Notre Dame
Oct. 28: at Arizona State
Nov. 4: Arizona
Nov. 11: at Colorado
Nov. 18: UCLA
Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter @zhelfand