USC Football News: Trojans No. 8 in Sports Illustrated Preseason Top 25


USC football checked in at No. 8 in the Sports Illustrated preseason Top 25 as the highest ranked Pac-12 team in the poll.

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In SI’s rankings, the Trojans were ahead of Oregon at No. 10, who outranked USC in the the coaches poll at No. 5. The coaches ranked Steve Sarkisian’s squad No. 10.

Unsurprisingly Ohio State tops the list with the No. 1 ranking, but the big shockers are Notre Dame’s No. 4 ranking and Auburn’s No. 2. For comparison, the Irish are No. 11 behind USC in the coaches poll while Auburn stands a more reasonable No. 7.

Though some see USC being picked to win the Pac-12 championship as an over-ranking, the Trojans have settled into more sensible places in the major preseason polls which have been released so far.

At the beginning of the year, several way-too early preseason rankings listed USC among the top five teams in the country, which seemed a bit high for a team which went 9-4 in 2014 and still must contend with depth concerns.

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Though the Trojans have reinforcements from a loaded recruiting class, they are still pegged to start the season with ten less scholarships than the limit. Also, much of the improved depth will be provided by freshman who have not been acclimatized to the game yet.

Still, USC does have a strong argument for occupying a top ten place. The Trojans return a Heisman candidate at quarterback, boast six returning starters on the offensive line and have injected a load of talent into a defense which could break out in year two under Justin Wilcox.

Not to mention, Sarkisian will have use of Adoree’ Jackson, one of the nation’s most exciting and dynamic stars-in-the-making.

Around the Pac-12, UCLA settled into the No. 14 spot, which seems their level for preseason rankings. Arizona placed No. 15, with Arizona State and Stanford bringing up the rear at No. 17 and No. 18 respectively.

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