USC will face No. 15 Louisville in the Holiday Bowl, the schools announced Sunday, pitting the Trojans against the ACC runner-up on Dec. 27 at Petco Park in San Diego.
The Cardinals (10-3) are coming off a 16-6 loss to Florida State in the ACC championship game on Saturday. Under first-year head coach Jedd Brohm, Louisville had its first 10-win season since 2013 and reached the conference title game for the first time in program history.
The Trojans (7-5) tumbled out of the playoff conversation unceremoniously by losing five of their last six games and finishing in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference. The late-season crash will have Lincoln Riley coaching in a bowl game outside of the prestigious New Year’s Six. He missed Oklahoma’s trip to the Alamo Bowl in 2021 because he had already bolted for USC.
USC was selected for the Holiday Bowl, which gets fourth pick of Pac-12 teams, while Utah and Oregon State, who finished with identical 5-4 conference records as USC but had better overall records at 8-4, were placed in the Las Vegas and Sun bowls, respectively. The Las Vegas Bowl gets the fifth choice among Pac-12 teams while the Sun Bowl chooses sixth.