Terrible Out-of-Conference Play Plagued USC Trojans Season

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans were by no means the best team in the Pac-12 this season, but it was their out-of-conference schedule that really ruined their season.

Before USC could even enter conference play, the team had eight losses on the season. No team is ever going to rebound from such a deficit. This included a five-game losing streak in the non-conference schedule. I applaud USC for scheduling some tough teams this season, but when you play Texas, Illinois, Marquette, San Diego State, New Mexico and Minnesota, you are not going to win all of those games. In the Trojans’ case, they only could manage a win against Texas.

However, this team did beat UCLA and Arizona on the year. Not to mention, the victory against the Bruins came on the road. USC still finished with a 9-9 record in conference play, which had them four games back in the conference standings when the season ended. This was good enough for sixth best in the conference. The only problem was USC tied with three other teams and none of them made the NCAA Tournament.

Looking back at their season, the Trojans weren’t that bad in conference play, but when you enter the Pac-12 with a 5-8 record, your motivation is pretty much gone and other teams in the conference tend not to take you that serious.

For how this team started the season, it was only fitting that USC ended the year on a three-game losing streak and were losers of its last five out of seven. However, the 14-18 record on the year was much better than the 6-26 record last season, which makes it a real head-scratcher why USC had such a tough out-of-conference schedule in the first place.

 

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