The bed, still rolled out in Lincoln Riley’s office as of Thursday late morning, spoke volumes. As he enters Pac-12 play for the first time, there’s still a lot of unfamiliar territory for USC’s new coach to cover within his new conference.
He’s tried to cram in as much of that studying ahead of time.
“The opponents are new, it’s new traveling, it’s new schedules, it’s new everything,” Riley said. “So we’ve tried to do as much work on the front end to expedite some of this and make it feel less new. But the reality is every part of these weeks, especially in the first part of the season, is new and most of these opponents are people that we haven’t played against. So it’s fun.”
Of course, each Pac-12 trip from here will presumably be a one-off for the coach, with USC leaving for the Big Ten in 2024. Nonetheless, his first stop on that brief conference tour comes against Stanford.
Here’s what you should watch for in USC’s first trip of the season against Stanford on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (ABC, ESPN+):