Coach Harvey Hyde on where USC needs to improve heading into spring ball and the future of the Pac-12
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This week on the Peristyle Podcasts hosts Ryan Abraham and Coach Harvey Hyde talk about where this Trojan football team needs to improve heading into spring football. Head coach Lincoln Riley kept his staff the same and tried to improve the roster through the NCAA Transfer Portal and high school recruiting. Coach Hyde shares what areas of the program he would prioritize when it comes to team improvement, starting with the defense that overly relied on turnovers and special teams that likely cost USC's loss in the Cotton Bowl.
They also discuss the future of the Pac-12 with commissioner George Kliavkoff scrambling to try and put together a lucrative television deal for the remaining 10 members and potentially some new schools joining the Conference of Champions. The clock is ticking on USC and UCLA's time in the Pac-12, with both programs officially heading to the Big Ten starting in July of 2024. Trojans and the Bruins will be able to take advantage of the B1G's massive TV rights deal with Fox, CBS and NBC, one of the main reasons the Los Angeles schools decided to bolt.
Kliavkoff was optimistic that the remaining schools would be able to negotiate an attractive media rights deal that would keep schools like Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State happy, but according to reports the Pac-12 is facing major challenges and the future viability of the conference is in doubt. The guys talk about some of the rumors that are floating around out there, from a potential merger with the Big 12 to adding San Diego State and SMU to the mix with Amazon taking over all of the Pac-12's tier one television rights.
While it may not matter as much to USC and UCLA since they are leaving the Pac-12, the two schools are still part of the West Coast and the changing landscape could have an impact on both programs. If a Pac-12 TV deal with a grant of rights locking the programs in isn't signed soon, the potential for more instability increases and we could see the conference fracture. One more defection would likely be a death blow to the Conference of Champions, creating another huge wave of conference realignment.
If that happens, some potential West Coast additions in the B1G could be on the table, bringing some positives and negatives for the LA schools. On one hand it would be nice to have a "pod" of West Coast teams to help with some of the travel challenges, but it could also help boost up a recruiting rival like Oregon who has had a lot of success poaching prospects from Southern California.
The guys also talk about now USC's name, image and likeness landscape is changing, with one established organization restructuring their operation and two new NIL entities jumping on the scene. Ryan was at two USC NIL kickoff events last week and he talks about some of what he learned about these new organizations and how they plan to try and help the Trojan football team win more games.
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