Trojans Ranked High by Advanced Metrics and More USC Football News


Sep 26, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian leaps to celebrate with defensive tackle Delvon Simmons (52) in the second quarter against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. The Trojans defeated the Sun Devils 42-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Can’t get enough USC football news? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the men of Troy.

1st & 10:

First Take… USC may not have moved much in the coaches or AP polls, but the Trojans are on the move in another measure — S&P+ rankings.

These rankings have come up a few times over the last week on Reign of Troy in regards to the strength of USC’s offense, but the latest overall rankings put the team as a whole among the best in the nation.

For those not versed in advanced statistics, S&P+ dives deeper into play-by-play and drive information to rate teams based on efficiency, explosiveness, field position, and finishing drives. All of these factors are then adjusted to take opponent into account while removing garbage time statistics from the equation.

The result is a Trojan team ranked No. 6 in the country.

Despite the bye week, USC moved up to No. 2 in terms of offense, but No. 47 in defense, which is probably much higher than most Trojan fans would have pegged their team after giving up 41 points to Stanford and looking vulnerable early against ASU.

To give USC’s rankings some context, the Trojans are the highest rated Pac-12 team, ahead of Stanford at No. 10. UCLA checks in at No. 37, while USC’s next opponent, Washington, is a respectable No. 46.

Of course, grounding such a ranking is the USC strength of schedule, which is ranked No. 71 up to this point. That will undergo an shift as the Trojans take on the likes of Notre Dame (No. 12) and Utah (No. 19) in the coming weeks.

You can check out the complete S&P+ rankings after Week 5 here.

And Ten USC Football News Links…

  1. Reign of Troy: We’ve got a first look at the storylines surrounding USC’s upcoming match up with Washington, including the Sarkisian vs. Petersen angle, the Huskies’ stout defense and freshman signal caller.
  2. Reign of Troy: The Vegas oddsmakers like USC’s chances at home, favoring the Trojans over the Huskies by 17.
  3. Reign of Troy: The good news? Despite not having a chance to boost their resume this weekend, USC did not fall in the polls. The bad news? Losses by three teams ahead of them did not result in a boost to the Trojans status at No. 17 in the AP.
  4. Isaiah Langley and Iman Marshall spent 35 minutes working on technique after practice on Saturday, showing their commitment to being ready when their number gets called — and it certainly has with both playing big roles for USC in the secondary already this season.
  5. OC Register: Kevon Seymour looks ready to go Washington according to Michael Lev, who has quick hitters from Sunday’s practice.
  6. OC Register: When things got chippy at practice — and Don Hill slammed Aca’Cedric Ware to the ground — JuJu Smith-Schuster demonstrated his cool by turning the atmosphere towards humor when he simulated fisticuffs after catching a pass on the next play.
  7. RipsIt Blog: Cody Kessler continues to focus on getting things right for the long ball. He spent most of USC’s Sunday practice lobbing them up to his receivers, according to Caroline Deisley.
  8. ESPN: Is USC’s talent being overhyped? In his mailbag Ted Miller answers the question fairly well — “In terms of pure measurables, they are bigger and faster than most teams…” but there are questions in the trenches — but the real reason to click the link is to read his undressing of overreacting Oregon fans — “This is not yet a Duck-ocalypse.”
  9. Daily News: Hate Thursday night games? You may have to get used to them. Under Pac-12 rules all teams must host a weekday game two out of every three years. The way the cycle has played out, USC could end up with a fourth straight season with a Thursday game next year as well.
  10. CBS Sports: Latest bowl predictions from Jerry Palm have USC in the Rose Bowl against Michigan State.

Stat of the Day:

Underclassmen led USC in rushing, receptions, scoring, all-purpose yards, tackling, deflections, kick returns and punt returns against ASU.

Tweets of the Day:

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