The USC Football Trojans head to BYU on Sunday in Week 3 in a game that could not have come at a better time considering the factors.
The USC Football team is now ranked in the top-25 as the team’s win over the Stanford Cardinal made the Trojans the 24th-ranked team in the nation. Quite frankly, this was a surprise, especially considering that USC was turning to freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis.
The Trojans’ win on Saturday was not even the most surprising news of the week, though. USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann resigned after three years with the program (h/t ESPN). While there have been a lot of people that have been waiting for this day, the timing of it all definitely came as a shock.
USC is now looking for a new AD and the popular theory among fans is that it will be Urban Meyer, who was connected to the team before hanging it up with Ohio State. This would allow Meyer to stay involved with football and recruiting without being a coach on the sidelines.
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Personally, I find this doubtful, although I would not be surprised if the new AD wants to clean out and fires Clay Helton and brings Meyer in after the season.
All of this can be a distraction for the USC Football team, but luckily, they got the perfect game in Week 3 at BYU. This game could not have come at a better time, especially considering the slate of games that USC has coming up.
After BYU the Trojans will play three ranked opponents in a row in Utah, Washington and Notre Dame. That is a tough slate of games and how the Trojans do will define their season.
Having one of those ranked opponent this week, where there is an obvious distraction around the team, would be brutal for Helton and the Trojans to manage. While it theoretically should not impact the game on Saturday, you know it impacts the preparation heading into it.
And while BYU should not be taken lightly at all, it is nice to have a beatable team while this is going on, even though it is on the road.
Not only is it good from the AD standpoint but it is also good for Slovis. All eyes are going to be on Slovis this week and you know BYU is going to focus more on him than Stanford did.
We see this all the time: an unknown backup takes over, has a great game but then struggles to find his footing in game two. He does not have to have a great game in game two, but playing a team like BYU, who has allowed 56 points in two games, will ease the potential hiccups of a second game.
He can get the “ugly game” out of the way against a non-ranked team and could even put together another good showing, building momentum as the Trojans head into a tough slate of games.
If BYU was scheduled for Week 6 and the Trojans had those three ranked games starting this week then it could have been a recipe for disaster.
However, getting an easier opponent, although they are still no pushover, in Week 3 is absolutely the perfect softball that the Trojans could have been tossed.