Mar 11, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian (left) and quarterback Cody Kessler (6) at spring practice at Howard Jones Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Ranked No. 15 in Preseason Coaches Poll

Another offseason checkpoint as been reached, with the release of the preseason Coaches Poll. Defending national champion Florida State takes top billing as the No. 1 team, with the USC Trojans sitting at No. 15 to start the Steve Sarkisian era.

A year ago, the Trojans were ranked at No. 24 in the preseason, before ultimately going 10-4 and finishing ranked 19th following a big win over Fresno State in the LasVegas Bowl.

It’s not a bad starting point for Sarkisian, considering that the team has an overhauled coaching staff and have lost leaders on defense like Dion Bailey, Devon Kennard and Morgan Breslin.

In 2010, the Trojans were unranked to start the Lane Kiffin era, as they were ineligible due to a two-year bowl ban imposed prior to that season. However, Kiffin’s Trojans started at No. 14 in the AP poll.

Five of the Trojans’ 12 opponents in 2014 are ranked to start, highlighted by UCLA at No. 7.

Stanford, the two-time defending Pac-12 champ, is ranked just ahead of the Trojans at No. 11, with Notre Dame and ASU behind at No. 17 and No. 18, respectively. Sarkisian’s old roost, Washington, rounds out the poll at No. 25.

Other USC opponents Fresno State, Oregon State and Arizona all received at least one vote, while the Oregon Ducks top all Pac-12 teams with a No. 4 ranking for what will presumably be Marcus Mariota’s collegiate swan song in Eugene.

Here’s full Coaches Poll, via USA Today:

Rank Team 2013 Record Points
1 Florida State Seminoles (46) 14-0 1543
2 Alabama Crimson Tide 11-2 1455
3 Oklahoma Sooners (3) 11-2 1382
4 Oregon Ducks (1) 11-2 1314
5 Auburn Tigers 12-2 1271
6 Ohio State (1) 12-2 1267
7 UCLA Bruins 10-3 1085
8 Michigan State Spartans 13-1 1050
9 South Carolina Gamecocks (1) 11-2 1009
10 Baylor Bears 11-2 965
11 Stanford Cardinal 11-3 955
12 Georgia Bulldogs 8-5 905
13 LSU Tigers 10-3 833
14 Wisconsin Badgers 9-4 654
15 USC Trojans 10-4 627
16 Clemson Tigers 11-2 535
17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 9-4 509
18 Arizona State Sun Devils 10-4 358
19 Ole Miss Rebels 8-5 346
20 Texas A&M Aggies 9-4 266
21 Kansas State Wildcats 8-5 257
22 Nebraska Cornhuskers 9-4 228
23 North Carolina Tar Heels 7-6 175
24 Texas Longhorns 8-5 143
25 Washington Huskies 9-4 142

Also receiving votes: Missouri 126, Florida 122, UCF 102, Mississippi State 74, Oklahoma State 56, TCU 54; Michigan 53, Iowa 49, Miami (Fl.) 45, Duke 41, Louisville 32, Marshall 27, Brigham Young 18, Boise State 13, Louisiana-Lafayette 12, Virginia Tech 12, Texas Tech 8, Minnesota 6, Cincinnati 6, Northwestern 5, Oregon State 4, Fresno State 4, GeorgiaTech 2, Houston 2, Arkansas 1, Arizona 1, Northern Illinois 1.

How would you rate USC's No. 15 ranking in the Coaches Poll?

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