They’ve take a big tumble from 2012 when they were ranked No. 1 in the preseason, but the USC Trojans will enter the season ranked by the Associated Press: Troy will start the 2013 campaign ranked No. 24.
Considering how hard the Trojans fell off in 2012, the fact that their even ranked in the preseason may surprise some. However, when one considers the depth of talent that USC is fielding and their quite favorable schedule–USC does not play Oregon or Washington this year, and it hosts Stanford and UCLA at home–it is plausible that the stage is set for a USC comeback.
The AP ranked No. 1 the Alabama Crimson Tide, as expected after the way they dominated then-No. 1 Notre Dame in the BCS Championship. The vote for Alabama to take the top spot was not even close: of the 60 first-place votes, Bama received 58. Ohio State and Georgia each received one of the remaining two votes. This season, Nick Saban and his Tide will aim to reach and win a third BCS title game in four seasons.
Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford and Georgia comprise the rest of the Top 5.
Notre Dame will begin the season ranked No. 14 after their embarrassing defeat at getting rolled hard by the Crimson Tide.
The Pac-12 has five ranked teams, with UCLA and Oregon State also landing in the Top 25. UCLA comes in at No. 21, and Oregon State, No. 25. The last time UCLA was ranked about USC going into the season (1999), we were all panicking about what this whole Y2K “bug” would do to our computers. Needless to say, it’s been a while.
However, those rankings could shift as the season goes on: the Bruins face Stanford and Oregon in back-to-back weeks, a challenge that will undoubtedly test head coach Jim Mora’s team. By the team USC and UCLA meet at the end of the season, these rivals could see “order restored” in the Trojans’ favor.
For a complete look at the Preseason AP Top 25, click here.
How will USC fare in the 2013 season? You can find USC tickets available here, as well as the full NCAA Football Bowl games schedule from TicketCity. With victories over their Pac-12 rivals, hopefully the Trojans will return to the BCS after a brief hiatus.