Entering the new college football season, the USC Trojans were one of the top contenders to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff. Last season, they came tantalizingly close to achieving that goal but ultimately fell short.
As the Trojans kick-started their season, they have done nothing but bolster the anticipation that surrounded them at the beginning of the year.
Their primary hurdle, however, lies in the conference they compete in. USC faces the daunting task of maintaining an undefeated record throughout the year if they hope to secure a coveted spot in the CFP. It may not be the fairest system, but USC’s level of competition doesn’t traditionally measure up to the powerhouse teams in the Big 10 or SEC.
However, this season has seen a surprising transformation within the Pac-12, a conference that has historically lagged behind in terms of competitiveness. Ironically, it appears that the Pac-12 has finally hit its stride as a formidable conference.
The Pac-12’s previous weaknesses have dashed the playoff dreams of many teams, and unless the Trojans can sustain their dominance, they may find themselves in a similar predicament.
Fortunately for USC, their schedule includes several challenging matchups on the horizon. They will face off against formidable ranked opponents such as Colorado, Oregon, and Notre Dame on the road. Additionally, they will host Utah, Washington, and UCLA at the Coliseum this season.
“Before the season, I picked the Trojans to make the playoff semifinals. Their performance has done nothing to dampen those expectations, but their opponents have raised the standard. Anything but a transcendent USC season that’s worthy of the program’s annals won’t get it done in 2023.”
The unexpected resurgence of the Pac-12 this year has cast a shadow of doubt over USC’s chances of reaching the College Football Playoff. Nevertheless, this USC team possesses a unique quality that could enable them to navigate this tougher-than-anticipated schedule successfully.
“And that’s exactly what the long-tortured, tried-and-true Trojans should want. Pete Carroll’s 2004 team wanted to “leave no doubt” on its way to a national championship, and, with this gantlet ahead, this group can hush all doubters with a playoff run.”
In summary, the USC Trojans are on a quest to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff, but their path is riddled with challenges, particularly within a resurgent Pac-12 conference. With their determination and talent, can the Trojans rise above the competition and realize their playoff aspirations? Only time will tell as the season unfolds.