Pac-12 rises to challenge

Trojans' easy road in conference suddenly looks much tougher

Updated: September 13, 2012, 4:48 PM ET
By Greg Katz |
LOS ANGELES -- It was generally assumed before the start of the 2012 season that the USC Trojans' schedule was tailor-made for a legitimate Pac-12 and national championship run. After all, the Trojans were a preseason No. 1 choice, and since last summer, football fans and experts have been salivating at the thought of that Nov. 3 game against the defending Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks in the Coliseum.

It was also assumed before the season that the Trojans, without breaking too much of a sweat, would overwhelm rebuilding Stanford and weak sisters Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA, the last three universities residing in the same Pac-12 South Division as the cardinal and gold.

Greg Katz | email