USC football has the third-best odds to win the 2017 national championship at 8/1, behind Florida State and Alabama, per Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
The hype train for USC football’s 2017 season took off the moment Matt Boermeester’s game-winning field goal split the uprights at the Rose Bowl.
So it’s unsurprisingly to see the Trojans favored to be in the mix for the coming season’s national championship.
USC’s odds to win the title game on Jan. 8, 2018 are 8/1, per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
The Trojans are even with Ohio State and Oklahoma in the oddsmakers’ estimation, but trail Florida State at 7/1 and Alabama, the clear favorites, at 3/1.
With Archie Griffin Award winner Sam Darnold leading USC into 2017, expectations are as high for the Trojans as they have been since entering the 2012 season as the No. 1 team in college football.
USC won the Rose Bowl over Penn State, who face odds of 30/1 for the title, in stunning fashion, overcoming a 15-point second-half deficit to win the game on a walk-off field goal.
The victory showed two things which now propel the Trojans towards plenty of offseason hype — Darnold’s special ability at quarterback and plenty of young playmakers like Deontay Burnett.
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However, standing in USC’s way to the playoff are a number of key departures. Both offensive tackles, Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler, have graduated while Rose Bowl defensive MVP Stevie Tu’ikolovatu and critical contributors Michael Hutchings and Leon McQuay III have also exhausted their eligibility.
Meanwhile, junior starters JuJu Smith-Schuster and Damien Mama have declared for the 2017 NFL Draft while star three-way player Adoree’ Jackson is expected to follow suit.
In order to live up to the hype, the Trojans will need to fill those gaps quickly and start much more strongly in Year 2 of the Helton era.
USC’s out-of-conference opponent Texas enjoys 25/1 odds — the highest for a team on the Trojans’ schedule. Washington has 40/1 odds while UCLA is 50/1, Notre Dame is 60/1 and both Washington State and Stanford are 80/1.