USC bowl game projections are very interesting, but they don’t mean anything yet
After three weeks of the college football season, the USC Trojans are doing what was expected: They are 3-0.
They have victories over Rice, Stanford, and Fresno State, and none of the three were very close at all. Week 4 provides Lincoln Riley with the biggest test of his young run at USC as the Trojans travel to Corvallis to face Oregon State, which is also 3-0.
The preseason expectations of USC are spot on thus far, and the bowl game projections are very favorable for the Trojans. Of course, a lot of football still needs to be played, but here is where the Trojans stand for now.
ESPN (KYLE BONAGURA AND MARK SCHLABACH): PEACH BOWL: USC VS. GEORGIA
Sep 17, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans running back Austin Jones (6) carries the ball after losing his helmet against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the second half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, ESPN has the Trojans going to the College Football Playoff and facing the defending national champions. Win or lose this game, the Trojans making the CFP in Year 1 with Riley would be a smashing success, and his statue might be underway shortly after.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (RICHARD JOHNSON): FIESTA BOWL: USC VS. OKLAHOMA
Nov 27, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State Cowboys won 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Can you imagine this matchup? Sports Illustrated’s Richard Johnson has the Trojans facing the Oklahoma Sooners in the College Football Playoff. Not only would this be a terrific game on the field, but the storylines would provide for plenty of talking points for weeks.
247 SPORTS (BRAD CRAWFORD: ROSE BOWL: USC VS. MICHIGAN
Sep 10, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; USC Trojans defensive back Max Williams (4) raises the sword for fans after defeating the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Crawford of 247Sports has the Trojans missing out on the CFP but headed to the Rose Bowl to face the Wolverines. This is another eye-popping matchup and a preview into the future Big Ten battles.
ACTION NETWORK (BRETT MCMURPHY): ROSE BOWL: USC VS. PENN STATE
Jan 1, 2019; Pasadena, CA, USA; A general view of the Rose Bowl logo at midfield prior to the 2019 Rose Bowl between the Washington Huskies and the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Another projection for the Trojans going to the Rose Bowl. Can you imagine the stadium packed with USC fans who just have to make a short drive? Oh, and going against Penn State would be another intriguing Big Ten battle and sight of what’s to come when 2024 arrives.
CBS SPORTS (JERRY PALM): COTTON BOWL: USC VS. APPALACHIAN STATE
Sep 17, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) reacts against the Fresno State Bulldogs] in the first half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Appalachian State might be surprising, but they are the best Group of Five teams for now, so a spot in the Cotton Bowl would be theirs. On the other hand, the Trojans going to this game might be a bit of a disappointment with all of the expectations around them.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS: PEACH BOWL: USC VS. GEORGIA
Sep 10, 2022; Stanford, California, USA; USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley walks out of the tunnel for warmups before the start of the first quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Another projection for the Trojans going to the College Football Playoff and facing the Georgia Bulldogs. One thing to keep in mind about this potential matchup is this will be played in Georgia.