USC Football News: SI Ranks Trojans 5th in Pac-12


As it turns out, not everyone in the country is hyping USC football up as a top five team for the 2015 season. Sports Illustrated’s Ben Glicksman ranked the Trojans No. 14 in his Post-Spring Power Rankings, putting them fifth among teams from the Pac-12.

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These rankings, which unsurprisingly slot Ohio State in at No. 1 but interestingly feature Baylor ahead of TCU by four spots at No. 2, reflect impressions from spring camps across the country as the college football season approaches.

Here’s what Glicksman had to say about his USC ranking:

"Based on the eye test alone, USC appears to have the players necessary to make a run at a 2015 playoff berth. Quarterback Cody Kessler, receiver JuJu Smith(nine catches for 152 yards in the spring game) and safety Su’a Cravens are all bona fide stars. The problem? Despite the end of NCAA sanctions dating back to the Reggie Bush case, the Trojans still lack depth, especially on defense. USC’s return to glory—it hasn’t finished in the top five of the AP Poll since ’08—is within reach, but a schedule that includes games versus Stanford, Arizona State,Washington and Notre Dame by mid-October will be formidable."

Placing the Trojans in the teens goes against Vegas and earlier offseason hype lifting USC into the top five, but it does not feel like an unfair ranking for a team which finished last season ranked No. 20.

The questionable part is USC’s ranking in relation to other Pac-12 squads.

With the Trojans at No. 14, Glicksman spots four other schools in the conference ahead of them — Arizona at No. 13, Stanford at No. 11, Oregon at No. 10, and UCLA at No. 8.

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Notre Dame, who finished 2014 outside of AP rankings after a dismal final stretch checks in at No. 7.

Though USC is not without its own baggage, each of those teams ranked ahead has nearly equal, if not greater, question marks surrounding them.

UCLA and Oregon are both replacing top level quarterbacks, while Notre Dame has a major quarterback question to answer as well. Stanford returns an underachieving squad, while Arizona seems to be banking on Anu Solomon’s continued growth.

Overall, the Pac-12 sits with six of the top 19 teams as Arizona State also makes an appearance.

There is not doubt that the Pac-12 could once again prove to be one of the more impressive conferences in the nation this season, but with so many teams with potential strengths and weaknesses, look for these power rankings to change drastically come the fall.

What say you Trojan fans? Is USC’s ranking too high or too low? Vote in the poll and sound off in the comments below.

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