USC was set to face their first FCS opponent in UC Davis to open the 2021 season. That appears to no longer be the case thanks to Mike Bohn. The USC athletic director joined Ryan Abraham, Dan Weber, and Keely Eure on USCFootball.com’s Peirstyle Podcast and broke the news.
BREAKING: According to AD Mike Bohn #USC has informed UC Davis it intends to cancel the 2021 opener in the Coliseum. This would keep the Trojans streak of never having played an FCS program alive. More here: https://t.co/7XerpsmQVR pic.twitter.com/Z2lJT9BVjB— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) February 20, 2020
It was reported by Ryan Abraham back in January that the Trojans were looking to replace UC Davis on the 2021 schedule. Bohn stated in the interview how the fans and donors voicing their displeasure played a role in the decision to cancel the game with the Aggies. USC is currently one of three programs to never have played an FCS program. The other two being their rivals in Notre Dame and UCLA. Had the game stayed on the schedule, only the Bruins and Fighting Irish would be left in that group, which didn’t sit well with fans.
The possibility of USC scheduling an FCS team came back in an interview with the athletic back in May. Former USC COO Steve Lopes mentioned the plan to schedule seven home games every season. Under that philosophy, it opened the door for USC to schedule an FCS team due to a limited amount of FBS teams to schedule a one off game at the Coliseum. In July USC announced that the Trojans would play UC Davis to open the 2021 season.
Per the Athletic, USC will have to pay UC Davis $725,000 to cancel the game. Had USC canceled the game before January 1st then they would had to pay a buyout of 500,000.
With UC Davis off the 2021 schedule, it now leaves an opening on the Trojans schedule for the season opener. Bohn mentioned in his interview with USCFootball.com that the Trojans are in the “final stages of formalizing an agreement” with an FBS team to open the 2021 season. Who that team is remains a mystery at this moment.