The Toreros have won 37 straight Pioneer Football League games, just two shy of the FCS all-time record. They'll get a chance to break the record in a month they've never won a football game.
Actually, it's a month that no major college football team has even won a game.
In November, the PFL Presidents Council endorsed a six-game conference season in the spring of 2021 so USD will start its schedule on March 13 at Presbyterian, a newcomer to the PFL. Their first home game will be one week later against Butler. The Toreros full schedule looks like this:
March 13 at Presbyterian
March 20 vs. Butler
March 27 at Marist
April 3 vs. Davidson
April 10 at Valparaiso
April 17 vs. Stetson
If they win yet another PFL title the Toreros will find themselves in the FCS Playoffs again, and potentially playing deep into May. But that's way down the road.
Finally, after sitting in limbo for several months, the Toreros have something tangible to look forward to.
"I feel like that’s a new lease on life," says Toreros head coach Dale Lindsey. "We’ve been sort of floundering since last Spring. It’s been a real mystery every day. I don’t envy the presidents and athletic directors who are trying to figure out protocols for travel, eating, fans in the stands. I have to tip my hat to them."
That's the persistent caveat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody is sure where the country will be in terms of vaccinations and traveling could be a real issue.
"I looked at the restrictions and we have to go to Marist but if you go to New York you have to quarantine for 14 days so I don’t know how we’re going to do that," says Lindsey.
Even before they get to their destination there will be new problems to tackle. For example, for road games the Toreros typically have a morning practice on Thursday then feed the players on the bus headed to the airport.
"There’s no eating this year on the bus," says Lindsey. "If you know anything about football players, all they do it eat and sleep and they do both of them very well. There’s going to be a lot of hoops to jump through but we’re all looking forward to it."
Classes at USD start again at the end of January, at which time the football team will get to have a quick training camp then start fully preparing for one of the strangest seasons we've ever seen.