Although the USC Trojans have dominated the Pac-10 in recent years, they have struggled as of late. With a tough schedule in 2011, the Trojans are going to have to go back to their old ways to have success.
With one of the best recruiting classes in the offseason, the Trojans are going to have a lot of new talent on their team.
The Trojans will play in the Pac-12 South this year, which may give them an edge when it comes to making it to the Pac-12 championship game.
Here is a game-by-game breakdown of the Trojans' 2011 schedule.
The USC Trojans will kick off their 2011 season at home against the Minnesota Gophers. USC and Minnesota matched up last year, and USC won 32-21.
Look for this year's game to be a little bit more lopsided for the Trojans. The Gophers finished last season with a record of 3-9 and allowed 33 points per game, which was good enough for 98th in all of college football.
The Utah Utes will be playing their first game ever in the Pac-12 when they square off against the Trojans.
The Utes had a very successful season last year with a 10-3 record. However, they lost in the Maaco Bowl to end their season.
Utah is bringing back some good players next year, including quarterback Jordan Wynn. This Utah team really knows how to score, averaging 33.1 points per game in 2010.
This is going to be a great game featuring two very good quarterbacks in Wynn and Matt Barkley.
The Syracuse Orange are not exactly the best team in college football. However, they do play in a BCS conference, and they won their bowl game to conclude their season at 8-5.
Unfortunately, they have a weak offense, ranking 93rd in points scored last year. It will be very hard for them to keep up on offense with the Trojans.
One thing that Syracuse has going for them is points allowed. It only averaged 19.3 points against it last season, which was good enough for 17th in college football.
The Sun Devils finished last season with a 6-6 record. However, they just barely got beat by the Trojans in a 34-33 thriller.
Not to mention they got beat by only four points or less against Wisconsin, Oregon and Stanford last season. With this said, their record does not reflect how well they played last season.
The Sun Devils are supposed to challenge the Trojans for the Pac-12 South next season, and although this game is played early in the season, it could prove who the best team in the Pac-12 South is.
The Arizona Wildcats started last season off at 7-1. Unfortunately, they lost their last five games of the season.
The Wildcats have a very good passing team, thanks to QB Nick Foles. They ranked in the top 10 in all of college football last season in passing yards.
The Wildcats are capable of being an elite team. However, they could not beat the best teams in the Pac-10 last season, losing against Oregon, USC and Stanford.
It will be interesting to see if the Wildcats can compete in the Pac-12 next season with all of the weapons they have on offense.
The Trojans clipped the Wildcats by three points last year, and this year's matchup should not be any different in terms of closeness.
The USC Trojans had no problem with California last season, winning 48-14.
The Golden Bears finished last season at 5-7.
Although this game is on the road for USC, they should not have much trouble with California.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are going to be a really tough test for the USC Trojans. Likewise, this will be the case for the Fighting Irish.
Both teams are well on their way to becoming elite programs once again, and this game will show who has made bigger steps towards this.
Last season Notre Dame beat USC in the Coliseum 20-16. Look for this year's game to be a higher-scoring game than last year, but the same in closeness.
Stanford had an amazing season last year, going 12-1. Although the Cardinal are losing some key players and their coach, they will still bring back QB Andrew Luck.
With this said, Stanford will most likely be ranked in the Top 10 when the 2011 season starts. This is going to be a very tough game for the Trojans; however, it will be a home game.
The Trojans should have no problem with the Buffaloes.
Colorado finished last season with a 5-7 record. They have not been an elite team in a very long time, and they are not going to find life in the Pac-12 any easier than the Big 12.
Look for this game to be a blowout in favor of the USC Trojans.
The Huskies have beaten the Trojans in their last two matchups. However, they are losing their star quarterback Jake Locker.
Although the Huskies are losing some key players next season, the Trojans can not overlook them once again.
This game will be played at home for USC, and they are going to have their revenge against the Huskies in 2011.
The Oregon Ducks had an amazing season last year. However, they lost in the BCS National Championship Game.
QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James will be back next season, so a championship run is very likely for Oregon. The Ducks are going to be one of the nation's best teams next year, and the Trojans will have a lot of trouble with them, especially since this game will be played on the road for USC.
The Ducks are the clear favorite to win this game, and rightfully so.
The USC Trojans will cap off their regular season against the UCLA Bruins.
The Bruins had a very bad season last year, going 4-8. The Trojans should have no problems in this game.
UCLA will not have a much better season this year, and they will have no chance against the Trojans. USC beat UCLA 28-14 last season. The Bruins will be lucky to keep the game that close this season.