Category archive: USC Trojans
When General Robert Neyland (amazingly on Twitter despite being dead for five decades) still helmed the ship at Tennessee, he coined a phrase that was adopted by his successors in Knoxville and eventually by coaches throughout the nation: "They remember what you do in November."
It's true. A horrible start to the season can at least partially be erased in the minds of fans by running the table over the season's final full month (speaking of the Vols, coach Derek Dooley may be counting on that to save his job). A something-and-zero homestretch run might just be the key to winning a conference or BCS championship. Then again, a zero-and-something -- or even just a something-and-one November mark -- can sink a team's hopes until spring practice.
So, who among the nation's Football Bowl Subdivision teams has the toughest remaining schedule? Who will be lucky to make it to Thanksgiving without being de-feathered and cooked?
Here's our ranking of the five toughest November schedules in college football.
Remaining games: Nov. 3 versus Tulsa; Nov. 10 at South Carolina; Nov. 17 at Mississippi State; Nov. 23 versus LSU
It's tempting to include Alabama on this list simply because it visits LSU this weekend and hosts Texas A&M the following weekend. But Western Carolina and a brutally bad Auburn team, both at home, throw water on that fire. And yes, the Tide might still have a top-10 matchup in the SEC championship game to start December, but we won't know that for sure until the clock chimes midnight in Death Valley.
So that brings us to the Razorbacks, a team that should send a thank-you note to Auburn for stealing the midseason "WTH is wrong with these guys?" headlines. Thanks to the SEC's crazy-deep roster of bowl tie-ins, the Hogs still have a chance for a decent postseason berth. That would be a long trek from their 1-4 start. But they'll have to earn it.
To read Ryan McGee's full blog post on which teams have the toughest November schedules, sign up for ESPN Insider.