Trojans Unranked In Sports Illustrated Preseason Top 25 and More USC Football News

Nov 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans head coach Clay Helton reacts during an NCAA football game against the UCLA Bruins at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans head coach Clay Helton reacts during an NCAA football game against the UCLA Bruins at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Sports Illustrated’s preseason Top 25 snubbed USC football heading into 2016. Plus our daily Trojans news link round up.

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

1st & 10:

First Word… Sports Illustrated, you’ve got some explaining to do.

The publication put out their preseason Top 25 on Tuesday, but there was a noticeable snub — USC.

The Trojans were nowhere to be found among SI’s top teams heading into the 2016 season, though five Pac-12 teams made the cut.

Washington was ranked highest at No. 7, followed by Stanford at No. 11, Washington State at No. 18, Oregon at No. 21 and UCLA at No. 24.

Does USC deserve a preseason ranking? The coaches poll had the Trojans at No. 17, which falls in line with how most publications have judged Clay Helton’s squad this offseason.

READ MORE: USC Ranked No. 17 in Preseason Coaches Poll

A possible explanation for the SI snub? While the SI staff didn’t explicitly state their ranking philosophy, maybe it’s the schedule problem.

It’s widely agreed that USC faces the toughest schedule in the nation this season. Oddsmakers have routinely set the Trojans’ win total over/under at between seven and nine wins. If pollsters were looking to compose a preseason poll which predicted the final outcome of the season, then it’s not insane to have USC on the outside looking in, with so many potential losses on the slate.

At the same time, there’s good reason to be skeptical of the snub.

More from Reign of Troy

As many valid questions as there are surrounding USC at the moment, the Trojans will still field a team with as much talent on hand as anyone. A scan of “Top Players in College Football” lists reveals that no less than three USC stars appear among any given Top 25 for 2016.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is considered the nation’s top receiver, or close to it. Adoree’ Jackson has garnered his fair share of accolades this offseason, while Zach Banner is considered one of the best offensive linemen in the country.

The remainder of USC’s squad is largely built on potential, so there’s no problem with being a little bit skeptical about how high the Trojans’ ceiling is.

Then again, SI is very much banking on potential when they rank Washington ahead of Stanford and Washington State ahead of Oregon.

The good news is that USC has proven very adept at winning when they’ve been ranked behind the opposition.

As pointed out by the Spirit of Troy, a Redditor dug out a list of the top win percentages by lower ranked teams. USC was No. 1 with a 46 percent win rate.

And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…

  1. “Freshman Vavae Malepeai Out 6-8 Weeks” (Reign of Troy) Bad news on the injury front for Vavae Malepeai, the freshman tailback from Hawaii. He’ll miss six to eight weeks with a broken scapula, an injury he suffered on Monday.
  2. “USC Fall Camp: 5 Players Who Impressed From Week 1” (Reign of Troy) It’s particularly bad luck for the Trojans, since Malepeai was among our stars from Week 1. Joining him were Steven Mitchell, Tyler Petite, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu and Ykili Ross.
  3. “USC linebacker Don Hill seeking redemption” ( Don Hill has begun his second trudge up the mountain of redemption. It worked the first time as he earned USC’s Defensive Service Team Player of the Year Award. He’s working to make it up the climb again.
  4. “2016 Pac-12 South Division Preview: USC” (Pick Six Previews) SI may not like the Trojans but Pick Six Previews do. Brett Ciancia has USC as the top team in the Pac-12 South with the nation’s top offensive line.
  5. “Let’s Get Adoree Jackson on The Bachelorette” (CFB Huddle) Adoree’ Jackson says he could win the Bachelorette. He also had thoughts about the show’s outcome this season.
  6. “College Football’s Top 40 Offensive Lines for 2016” (Athlon Sports) USC checks in at No. 5 in Steven Lassan’s ranking of the top offensive lines this year, behind only Clemson, Alabama, LSU and Michigan.
  7. “College Football’s Top 40 Wide Receiver Groups for 2016” (Athlon Sports) The Trojans are No. 7 when it comes to receiver groups. Clemson, Alabama, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Michigan and Oregon outrank USC.
  8. “Pac-12’s top 2016 Heisman contenders” (ESPN) Dave Lombardi lists Adoree’ Jackson among the top Heisman contenders in the Pac-12 along with Christian McCaffrey, Royce Freeman, Josh Rosen, Luke Falk and Myles Gaskin.
  9. “WeAreSC mailbag (8-11 edition)” ( Garry Paskwietz answers questions on positioning for Porter Gustin and Osa Masina, overlooking Dominic Davis and being more physical.
  10. “CBS projects USC’s bowl game; Pac-12 left out of CFP” (FightOn247) USC was projected to play Northwestern in the Foster Farms Bowl this season

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