SCliff Notes: High Expectations Are a Dangerous Normal and More USC Football News


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1st & 10:

Expectations Soaring… A few days ago, former USC quarterback Matt Leinart tweeted something that a lot of people in the Trojan Family have been hinting, if not outright stating.

It is now exactly one week from Signing Day. The Trojans hold Rivals’ No. 2 recruiting class in the nation. Their quarterback, Cody Kessler, is garnering way-too early Heisman hype. Their freshman three-way stud is being pegged as the top young player to watch in 2015.

In short, the expectations for 2015 are high and rising.

And of course that’s nothing new for USC, which might as well be the University of Supreme Confidence. No matter what the signs point to, the Trojan Family never seems to grasp the concept of tempering expectations.

Pete Carroll used to say that the aim of his Trojans was always to reach the Rose Bowl, which essentially means he intended to win the Pac-12 every year. Anything else was a cherry on top. Trojan fans would be wise to head his words now, as would Steve Sarkisian.

Yes, USC had two games go against them in freakish fashion, but flipping those losses to Arizona State and Utah still leaves the Trojans with two bad losses to Boston College and UCLA.

Even then, USC was within reach of a berth in the Pac-12 title game, and with it, a fifty-fifty shot at claiming the Pac-12 crown. The expectation of taking that next step in 2015 is a reasonable one.

Let the playoff, or a Heisman, remain a cherry on top.

In Other News…

  • Last year, ESPN made the mistake of setting up shop in Westwood for Signing Day, while USC landed three of the biggest recruits on the board in California. This year, ESPN will not be making the same mistake. (Reign of Troy)
  • Jack Follman ranked the Pac-12 coaches hot seats, with Steve Sarkisian closer to hot than cold. (Pacific Takes)
  • Follman also named a Pac-12 All-Super Bowl Team, based on the best performance from conference players in the big game. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of Cardinal and Gold on the team. (Pacific Takes)
  • Kyle Kensing explores the unsung contributors for USC who should make an impact in 2015, including Claude Pelon and Quinton Powell on defense and Steven Mitchell and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick on offense. (Bleacher Report)
  • Nelson Agholor’s 200-yard games against Washington State and California were named one of the top performances of the 2014 in the Pac-12 (ESPN)
  • Neeraj Koduri is the latest to explore just how good USC’s 2015 recruiting class might be. (Daily Trojan)
  • Michael Lev continues his profiles of all the USC recruits. Here’s the one for Isaiah Langley (OC Register)
  • And here’s the one for Osa Masina. (OC Register)
  • Dewayne Dedmon  is coming into his own in the NBA. He recorded his first career double-double with the Orlando Magic (RipsIt Blog)
  • Two of the ten finalists for Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” contest are USC alumni. You can vote for “Middle Seat” and “Lemonade Stand” here. (H/T Kyle Bonagura of ESPN)

Reign Of Troy Radio:

The latest episode of Reign Of Troy Radio features host Michael Castillo, Reign of Troy editor Alicia de Artola, Trenise Ferreira of the Pac-12 Network and Josh Webb of and tackling Signing Day prospects, reflecting on NFL early entrants and debating the value of a pair of wide receivers named Smith.


Stat of the Day:

USC has not won a Pac-12 title since 2008. They have not placed higher than third in the conference standings in any season since then.

Bonus stat: UCLA has not won the conference since 1998.

Tweets of the Day:

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