USC kicks off the Pac-12 slate on August 26 against San Jose State. The Trojans are one of 3 Power 5-caliber programs in action alongside Notre Dame and Vanderbilt.

USC’s schedule gets tougher after their battle against the Spartans to kick off the year. But for the most part, Pac-12 programs play a fairly tame schedule in 2023.

Not a single Pac-12 program is within the top 25 in SOS (strength of schedule) for the 2023 year per ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index). The FPI’s SOS metric is not perfect, as it has now way to truly categorize a good or a bad team considering the season hasn’t started yet. There’s a reason we play the game, folks!

However, it is a good measuring device for a team’s general competition level heading into the season. We went ahead and ranked all 12 Pac-12 programs by their SOS, below are the results:

  1. Utah: No. 29
  2. Colorado: No. 34
  3. Cal: No. 37
  4. Washington: No. 38
  5. USC: No. 41
  6. Oregon: No. 44
  7. Stanford: No. 46
  8. Arizona State: No. 48
  9. UCLA: 52
  10. Arizona: 54
  11. Washington State: 63
  12. Oregon State: 68

Most of the top 25 is occupied by SEC and B1G programs, with the SEC taking up 12 of the 25 spots by itself.

Utah plays the toughest schedule in the Pac-12 this season according to the FPI. Really, it comes down to non-conference and USC/Washington. The Utes play at USC and Washington while also playing tough games at Oregon State, at Baylor and vs. Florida.