Ole Miss, USC cancel future football series

By Kevin Kelley -

The Ole Miss Rebels and USC Trojans have canceled their future football series, it was announced on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter revealed the news about the series with the Trojans. At a fan event last week, Carter hinted that the series was likely to be canceled as the SEC looks at moving to a nine-game conference schedule in 2026.

“I think that’s going to happen,” Carter said. “I think you’re seeing some of these more marquee matchups maybe coming off the books because of that. If you look at USC, they’re going into the Big 10 and they’re playing nine conference games now. I think that’s probably in our future, too.”

Ole Miss and USC signed the contract for their home-and-home football series back in 2020. The series was scheduled to begin at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 30, 2025 before concluding at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss., on Sept. 19, 2026.

The 2025 matchup between the Rebels and Trojans would have marked their first-ever contest on the gridiron.

The SEC has long discussed moving to a nine-game conference schedule, and all indications point to the league making that change beginning with the 2026 season.

Earlier this year, Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte said that the league will likely move to nine games in 2026.

“We have eight games scheduled right now,” Del Conte told Inside Texas. “We’re working on going to a nine-game schedule, but we have a ways to go with that. I would say this year (2024) we have an eight-game schedule. The following year (2025), we have another eight-game schedule. Then we’ll look at going into a nine-game conference schedule.”

While a nine-game football schedule does have its advantages, such as conference members facing each other more often, it does create an imbalance of home and away games. Most power teams prefer to play seven home games each season, which means that they would need three non-conference home games in years when they play four SEC games at home and five on the road.

That could squelch some longstanding non-conference rivalry games and could also lessen the number of big time home-and-home series in future seasons.

The new 12-team College Football Playoff also plays a role in future scheduling. Rather than a tougher schedule, teams will likely prefer to have little to no losses to have a greater chance of making the new expanded field should they not finish as conference champions.

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Comments (20)

We need more OOC games between power conference teams, not less. You don’t get rewarded by playing cupcakes all the time.

This is one of the reasons why I want the Big 12 and SEC to go to 7 conference games and the Big Ten to 8, along with being able to resume certain former conference rivalries on an annual basis that would otherwise be lost to realignment.

Z-Man or Z-Demand Your stupid request for less conference & more OOC games should NOT BE POSTED.

As much I want to see Northwestern,Illinois & Michigan play 9 Conference games & three OOC & I am a Fan of cupcake games I like CBS at 3:30PM doing same thing with Big Ten Games & CBS would very much I want to show Big Ten conference game & that why they get their big bucks for.

I am a Fan of CBS showing three OOC games this year with Akron at Ohio State,Iowa State at Iowa & Notre Dame at Purdue & three is excellent enough for Big Ten & CBS.

@Dan Rakow

Your passion for your perspective is understood and appreciated. But you need to chill bro.

I only wish Z-Man would accept changes in College Football instead of tearing it apart.

I would like Notre Dame-USC to start first week of 2025 College Football season & would make a fantastic evening game under the lights in South Bend,IN & would make a nice fit to Big Ten OOC schedule.

Yeah, SEC is going to play 9 conference games, and USC doesn’t need more non-conference games in the east now that they’re in the Big Ten. They should play non-conference games in the west to cut down on travel.

M like your idea & I would not be disappointed should Notre Dame-USC rivalry ends very soon.

Meh, an SEC can still schedule a season end game against a traditional OOC rival. When they have only 4 SEC home games, they take that trad OOC at home. The next year, they have 5 home SECs, they can go on the road to the trad rival and keep that home/home.
This should protect:
UF/FSU, UGa/GT, SC/Clem, and UK/UofL.
And could encourage:
UT/Baylor, OU/OkState, Mizzou/KU, etc.

OKSU/OU,Mizzou/KU & UT/Baylor would be excellent for September however not so CFB likes Conferences games during last weekend of regular season.

If I had one OOC opponent for My Georgia Bulldogs to surrender in 2026 schedule would be UCLA & My biggest OOC keep would be Georgia Tech to continue it’s annual OOC rivalry does not necessary have to be played on Thanksgiving weekend although I would like Georgia play Tennessee should SEC go all conference play during Thanksgiving weekend.

This is My updated educated guess on 2025 Notre Dame Football schedule

8/30 USC

9/6 California

9/13 Texas A&M

9/20 Purdue

9/27 at Arkansas

10/4 Boise State

10/11 Bye

10/18 at Pittsburgh

10/25 Syracuse

11/1 at Boston College

11/8 Navy

11/15 Bye

11/22 North Carolina State

11/29 at Miami

I do hope the SEC won’t see Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina drop their hate week ACC rivals and I doubt they would. Probably just won’t schedule as many marquee non-conference power opponents but that could be an okay trade off for SEC teams facing each other more often. It is a shame Kiffin bowl had to be cancelled just over a year from its beginning though. That would’ve been a sublime matchup for the drama off the field alone!

As a Georgia Bulldogs Fan & Fan of proposed SEC 9 game conference 3 OOC schedule I would like to see Georgia-Georgia Tech cross state rival to continue be an annual rivalry & I would not mind Georgia-Georgia Tech playing in September & should SEC go all Conference games during Thanksgiving weekend Tennessee would make a fantastic fit for Georgia.

While I hope the SEC does go to 9 conference games, that is a first good step. But I would love the SEC as well as other major conference teams go to 10 conference games, with 2 non conference games. First of all 10 means 5 home and 5 road conference games, you still have 2 non conference games for rivalries or whatever. Plus with more games there is less chance of a tiebreaker coming into effect, especially if 3 teams are tied, what two teams goes to your championship game? With 10 games there is more of a chance of head to head being there.