Can’t get enough USC football? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the men of Troy.
1st & 10:
First Take…Stop it ESPN. I mean it.
The worldwide leader in sports has made it their mission to drive the USC bandwagon in 2015, ranking the Trojans No. 4 in their initial too early rankings. Monday Mark Schlabach upped the ante, boosting USC into the No. 3 spot for their offseason rankings.
He bases this on the Trojan recruiting class which was rated tops in the nation by multiple recruiting services.
With the No. 3 spot, USC would be projected into next year’s playoff, which is exactly what USC fans have been saying and thinking. The newest Trojans, like Iman Marshall, have been predicting future championships as well.
But ESPN still needs to stop it.
It’s one thing for fans and players to talk a big talk. The national media, on the other hand, is jumping the gun.
This talk is troubling because it’s the same talk that preceded the horrific 2012 season. Except that year had a more solid foundation for hype.
There’s power in being the underdog. A team that believes in itself but has a chip on their shoulder because no one else does is far more dangerous than a team with the groaning weight of expectation pressing down on them from above, especially
USC has the chance to be title contenders in 2015, but it would be much more fun if only Trojan fans and players knew about it.
In Other News…
- Speaking of hype, Travis Haney has USC as his top team trending up post-signing day, going as far as calling them a playoff-level team. (ESPN)
- On the plus side, Sports Illustrated may be giving the Trojans some ammunition by ranking them far below the average at No. 17 in their Too-Early Rankings (Sports Illustrated)
- In order to make a playoff push, the Trojans will need several true freshman to step up quickly. Johnny Curren takes a look a six who could make a big impact early. (ESPN)
- A Heisman-trophy level year for Cody Kessler would go a long way towards getting the USC into the playoff as well. We asked if his Heisman odds are realistic. (Reign Of Troy)
- USC may not be back to full strength yet, but the scholarship numbers are looking much better with 28 new additions. Michael Lev broke down the projected numbers. (OC Register)
- Greg Wallace names Alabama-signee Calvin Ridley as the biggest player USC missed out on in 2015 recruiting. (Bleacher Report)
- Kyle Kensing is the latest to look ahead to the 2016 recruiting class, including the battle to keep Daelin Hayes committed. (Bleacher Report)
- Looking back at last year, Kevin Gemmell has a break down of all the teams in the Pac-12 and their ability to prevent points after turnovers. USC allowed the lowest percentage of scores to opportunities. (ESPN)
- The NFL combine is fast approaching, so we checked in on Leonard Williams’ draft status. (Reign Of Troy)
- Trojans are well-represented in Jack Follman’s 2015 Pac-12 All-NFL Team, though Cal nabbed the most spots. (Pacific Takes)
Reign Of Troy Radio:
The latest episode of Reign Of Troy Radio features discussions of National Signing Day, including an examination of the larger meaning behind Iman Marshall’s video announcement and the idea of using Osa Masina and Porter Gustin on offense.
Stat of the Day:
USC signed 16 players ranked in the ESPN 300, including No. 1 cornerback Iman Marshall, No. 1 running back Ronald Jones II and No. 1 inside linebacker John Houston Jr. (via ESPN)