The Pac-12 released its 2014 football schedule on Wednesday, including that of USC. Unless the NCAA vacates the Trojans from conference play, this slate of games is prime for another 10-plus victories.
Last year, USC overcame three head coaches, offensive ambiguity and a depth chart stricken by injuries and sanctions (respectively reported by the Los Angeles Times' Gary Klein). The reward is an uplifting 10-4 record, a resounding Las Vegas Bowl blowout and a No. 19 ranking in both the AP and USA Today football coaches polls. This season appears at least as favorable.
Though avoiding Oregon and Washington in the rotation again, it revisits every 2013 opponent minus Hawaii and Utah State. Of course, the pressure to excel remains.
Can Cody Kessler avenge losses to Washington State, Arizona State, Notre Dame and UCLA? Are draining triumphs against Boston College, Arizona and Stanford each too strenuous to now duplicate on the road? Will Steve Sarkisian and another overturned coaching staff compensate for six departing starters and avoid the classic USC letdown?
Rather than pretending to mourn the death of the BCS in search of reinstated scholarships, let's use last season's schedule to prematurely assess the outlook of this one.