Someone asked me today if the USC-Notre Dame rivalry is safe now that adminstrators might try and schedule FCS teams for the first time.
They were joking but nothing USC does surprises me. I could see some spokesperson saying, “Modern demands make it difficult to play Notre Dame every season.”
But here is the real problem: USC has done a horrible job scheduling in recent years. Other schools have better home-and-home series. Colorado recently scheduled a home-and-home series with Florida in 2028-29.
Look at USC’s future schedules:
2019: Fresno State, BYU, Notre Dame
2020: Alabama, New Mexico, Notre Dame
2021: BYU, Notre Dame
2022: Rice, Fresno State, Notre Dame
2023: BYU, Notre Dame
2025: Fresno State
Now look at UCLA: Oklahoma (2019), LSU (2021), Michigan (2022), Michigan (2023), LSU (2024), Georgia (2025-26), Auburn (2027-28) and Wisconsin (2029-30).
Oh, and UCLA has managed to never play an FCS opponent either.
That’s not an attempt to elevate UCLA. It hasn’t won a Rose Bowl since 1986.
But USC is USC. It needs to act like a marquee football school.
It’s bad enough raising tickets prices with recent home opponents like Western Michigan, Arkansas State, Idaho, Fresno State and Rice. Does USC really want to try to sell a game vs. UC Davis or Sacramento State? Or, perhaps, worse, risk a loss with a school that has won an FCS championship?