USC Football News: Trojans 7th in Phil Steele’s Projected AP Top 25


We’re slowly creeping towards college football preview season, which means we’re officially on Phil Steele watch. On Monday, the college football guru released his projected AP Top 25 rankings, with USC ranked 7th.

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The rankings, which are less about how Steele feels and more so how he thinks AP voters vote, have the Trojans as the second-highest ranked team in the Pac-12 behind the No. 5 Oregon Ducks.

Defending national champion Ohio State is No. 1, while USC’s arch-rivals UCLA and Notre Dame are 11th and 13th, respectively.

Here’s what Steele had to say about the Trojans sitting at 7th:

"USC got a nice blowout win over Notre Dame and a bowl win to finish last year at No. 20. This year, the sanctions are gone, the depth returns, they have 14 returning starters and two key things happened in the postseason. QB Cody Kessler opted to stay, and he was the best QB you never heard of last year, throwing for 3,826 yards (69.7 percent, 39 touchdowns, five interceptions), and they also brought in one of the best recruiting classes in the country. Their starting 22 can match up with almost every other team in the country, and those final 2 factors put the Trojans into the top 10."

The ranking seems like a fair projection, as it’s almost a foregone conclusion that USC will be pretty hyped up to at least start the 2015 season.

Back in February, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach had the Trojans as high as No. 3, arguing that he expects Steve Sarkisian’s group to get to the College Football Playoff.

The preseason AP Top 25 is set to come out in the middle of August.

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