USC is officially bowl eligible after a 31-26 win over Arizona State. While the Trojans have two more games left, they accomplished something that they failed to do last season which was playing into bowl season. Where the Trojans go will depend on how they finish during the last two games. Here are where some analyst have USC projected for the upcoming bowl season.
CBS Sports: Holiday Bowl vs Iowa
Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has the Trojans traveling 3 hours down south to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl. This could be a likely outcome for them considering a couple of factors. USC beating both Cal and UCLA, games that they’re like be slight favorites in, and Utah not being selected for a New Years Six Bowl following a loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 title game. The Alamo Bowl would have the first selection and would take Utah if that happens. That would mean the Holiday Bowl gets USC which would be an attractive name for the bowl. The Trojans fan base would definitely be in full force in San Diego on Dec 27th. USC is all too familiar with the Holiday Bowl recently. The Trojans went in 2014 and 2015. They split their visit at 1-1 with a win in 2014 over Nebraska and a loss the following year to Wisconsin. Their projected opponent would be the Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten conference.
ESPN Mark Schlabach: Alamo Bowl vs Texas/Kyle Bonagura: Alamo Bowl vs Baylor
ESPN has two bowl projects from different analyst. Both Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura has the Trojans traveling to San Antonio, Texas for the Alamo Bowl on New Years Eve. With this projection, it would mean the Pac-12 runner up would be selected to play in a New Years Six bowl game while the other plays in the Rose Bowl game (Schlabach has the Ducks in the College Football Playoffs). USC has never played in the Alamo Bowl before and if Utah and Oregon aren't available then it’s most likely they would swoop up the Trojans for their bowl game.
The projected matchups should be very intriguing for fans. Bonagura has the Trojans facing Baylor Bears, who are currently 9-0 at the moment. What makes it intriguing is that current Baylor head coach has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the USC head coaching job if they let go of Clay Helton. Schlabach projection is one that catches the eye of College football fans all over as he has USC facing the Texas Longhorns. The college football blue bloods recently finished a home and home series with USC winning in double overtime at home back in 2017 and the Longhorns blowing out the Trojans in Austin last season.
Sports Illustrated: Holiday Bowl vs Michigan
Steve Deace of Sports Illustrated also has USC heading down the I-5 south for the Holiday Bowl. In this projection Deace has the Trojans finishing with a 7-5 record which means they drop a game to Cal or UCLA. Should that happen then it could mean the immediate end of the Clay Helton era at USC. What happens after that will be interesting to see. Deace also has a meeting between two historic programs in his projections. He has the Michigan Wolverines as the Trojans opponent in the Holiday Bowl. What’s even more interesting is that USC would see former foe in Jim Harbaugh. Trojan fans are very familiar with the Michigan head coach during his time with the Stanford Cardinal where Harbaugh owned a 3-1 record over USC. The last time Michigan and USC clashed was during the 2007 Rose Bowl Game where the Trojans defeated the Wolverines 32-18.
247 Sports: Holiday Bowl vs Iowa
Brad Crawford of 247 sports projections mirror the ones of CBS Sports with the Trojans in the Holiday Bowl facing the Iowa Hawkeyes. Crawford states that the matchup between USC and Iowa provides a compelling one as both bring different offensive styles of play. The last meeting between the two programs took place during the 2003 Orange Bowl where Carson Palmer and USC defeated the then No.3 Hawkeyes 38-17.