In its annual Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, ESPN.com previews USC, and the remarks are fairly encouraging:
"Now that Kiffin has his dream job, all he has to do is win 10-11 games this season to make Trojan fans comfortable with his hiring. No matter how much he thinks USC is the best job in the country, no one will believe him if the Trojans don’t start winning big again. It’s tough enough to do that in the ever-improving Pac-10 and with a roster that is not as stacked as it was when he was an assistant there earlier this decade. The two-year postseason ban and loss of 30 scholarships over three years handed out by the NCAA in early June won’t help. Many thought Carroll picked the right time to leave Troy, and they were right. The offense has the potential to be productive, but unless a couple freshmen or other youngsters step up, it’s unlikely to be explosive. Quarterback Matt Barkley will be more effective his second year as a starter, but he needs Bradford and Johnson to become big-time weapons if USC will be able to hang with potent rivals like Oregon and Oregon State. The defense has potential, provided the secondary comes around. This is a bad year to be inexperienced in the defensive backfield, because the Pac-10 returns a bunch of proven passers. The front seven has experience and talent, and more depth than other parts of the roster, so it won’t be easy running on the Trojans. USC remains an elite team in the nation, even though last year’s four-loss performance has some wondering whether the dynasty is beginning to show signs of decay. Kiffin’s charge is to continue recruiting well, which shouldn’t be a problem with the staff he has compiled, and then produce on the field."
Still, they say, there are outstanding doubts about Lane Kiffin:
"Given his shaky tenure with the Raiders and 7-6 record last year at Tennessee, there is no proof he can do the job. He’ll just have to hope the Trojans can fight back this year and keep moving forward in the future in spite of the NCAA penalties. Should that happen, his dreams will have come true."
In light of all the negativity surrounding the program this offseason, any positive remarks are most appreciated and encouraging. Here’s to hoping the team can follow up come September.