Chris Petersen Calls USC Football “Completely Underrated”


Washington head coach Chris Petersen has a higher regard for this USC football team than voters in the coaches or AP poll.

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“I think this is definitely one of the elite teams in our conference without question,” Petersen said in his weekly press conference, via the Seattle Times. “I always chuckle at the rankings and the ratings this early. I know this team is completely underrated in terms of rankings.”

USC is currently ranked No. 17 in both polls, behind the other one-loss teams like Alabama, Ole Miss, Notre Dame and Stanford.

Petersen, however, isn’t buying that there are 16 better teams out there than the Trojans.

“That’s why [the ranking] never means anything to me. They have tremendous talent, they do a great job coaching them, and those kids show up,” Petersen said. “This is a really good team.”

Petersen elaborated that rankings don’t take change and improvement into account enough, focusing too much on body of work and a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately mentality.

“You have to play at least a half a season and then you probably have a pretty decent idea of who’s what.”

As for what USC is? Petersen says his perception comes from the tape, not some sort of mystique around the Trojans.

“The mystique is you look at the tape and, to me, the mystique maybe there’s something not real about it. I look at that tape, and you’re going, ‘OK, that’s USC.’ They usually have some pretty good players and these guys have some special guys.”

The Trojans certainly looked special in three of the four games they have played this season, blowing out the likes of Arkansas State, Idaho and Arizona State. USC’s offense definitely looked special in the first half against Stanford, but the men of Troy still face questions about the quality of the defense.

Those questions are not likely to be eased regardless of what the Trojans do against a young and developing Washington offense, but another notch on their belt would certainly give USC a slight boost in the polls this week.

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