For the past few years, I’ve written about how USC’s non-conference schedules are somewhat underwhelming. For example, in 2022, USC plays Rice, Fresno State and Notre Dame.
In 2020, USC currently plays New Mexico, Notre Dame and has an open date. That is why there is talk about playing Alabama in the season opener at a neutral site. And 2021 has BYU, Notre Dame and an open date.
You can see a pattern here: Notre Dame, a cupcake and then maybe a good team. But more likely another team that does not excite anyone.
Remove the Alabama game in 2020 and it’s pretty uninspired.