What an absolute disaster of a season for the USC Trojans who wrapped up their regular season on Saturday with a blowout loss to their crosstown rivals, the UCLA Bruins.
USC was ranked #6 preseason with a TON of CFP and contender hype. They started the season pretty solid, however after a blowout loss to Notre Dame, their season crumbled and they went 1-5 in their final 6 games with their only win being a NARROW victory to the feeble Berkeley Bears.
Caleb Williams was fine all season, not anywhere near Heisman contention, but still very solid and I hope he has a successful NFL career where ever he ends up. The defense was atrocious, maybe the worst in the country. USC fired their defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch, two weeks ago, and all eyes turn to who USC will hire at that position. It will also be interesting to see how USC deals with the Lincoln Riley situation considering he has had a massive fall from grace. With USC's extremely underwhelming season, Riley could easily be in the hot seat.
With USC finishing up their regular season 7-5, here are some projected Bowl games..
Las Vegas Bowl
The most popular projection for USC is a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl.
Andy Yamashita of the Las Vegas Review-Journal cited the Illinois Fighting Illini as a potential opponent last week. Illinois is 5-6 following a loss to Iowa on Saturday, so that outcome would require a Week 12 victory over 6-5 Northwestern.
Another potential option would be the LA Bowl. That would allow the Trojans to play close to home and give Rob Gronkowski a noisy team to promote with his new partnership.
If if the committee really wants some chaos, USC could also battle Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl. The Trojans haven't exactly played well enough for the Alamo Bowl, which featured two top-25 teams last season, but money talks. Lincoln Riley facing his former team would generate a ton of marketing upside and it would similarly motivate the Sooners to perform on the big stage. This would be pretty wild and would get very toxic considering how Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma. I doubt Caleb will play for any bowl game so this could get pretty ugly.
At the end of the day, the Las Vegas Bowl feels like the most probably outcome for USC based on their underwhelming performance in the regular season and the possibility that Williams won't even suit up in advance of his NFL Draft decision.