The Trojans enter the 2018 season with less experience on the two-deep than most in college football. Here’s the USC football roundup for June 25.
USC football is among the nation’s most inexperienced teams going into 2018, per Phil Steele’s two-deep class breakdown.
Each year, Steele applies a formula to each program’s two-deep depth chart, awarding points for seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen in descending order.
By Steele’s reckoning, the Trojans have nine senior starters, six juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen. Added with backups in each class, the total comes out to 59 points, which ranks 95th nationally.
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That seems rather low for a team which does return an unexpected number of seniors. The defense in particular is set to be veteran-laden with nearly the entire lineup filled by seniors and juniors.
Still, the Trojans will be heavily dependent on sophomores and redshirt freshman as the loaded class of 2017 becomes increasingly involved. The relative disappointment of the class of 2016 looms large in that regard.
Of course, experience only matters so much. The most experienced teams in college football include the likes of Air Force, UAB, Kansas, Navy and Arizona State. Those aren’t exactly in playoff contention.
On the other hand, it’s easy to see why Washington, ranked 22nd, sits atop the Pac-12 in preseason expectations.
It’s also worth pointing out Texas sitting at 27th as USC prepares to battle a Tom Herman team with increasing prospects for success.
Pac-12 shoulds and shouldn’ts
Pete Fiutak of College Football News released his Pac-12 preview by ranking each squad in the North and South while giving reasons they should and shouldn’t be where they are.
USC tops the South. Why? Because of the defense. Why not? Because of the quarterback.
That seems about right.
More head coach rankings
Another day, another ranking of the head coaches in college football. This time it’s Athlon Sports doing the sorting, with Clay Helton landing 38th in the country.
That’s not particularly high for the Trojan head coach, who has been rated in the Top 25 of other rankings. It’s also a few spots lower than a familiar face, Lane Kiffin, at No. 34.
Either way, a general skepticism seems to follow Helton, who has won no less than 10 games in each of his two season as USC’s head coach. That feeds into the perception that Year 3 is make or break. Another 10-win year and Helton will surely be given more credit this time next year. An underwhelming year will simply confirm that skepticism.
More preseason rankings
The only thing more common that head coach rankings are preseason Top 25s and Sporting News updated theirs on Monday.
The Trojans rank 15th, one slot behind Stanford in the latest standings.
Keeping up with recruiting
Summer recruiting efforts are in full swing and Garry Paskwietz of WeAreSC.com has a full breakdown of the week in recruiting, including the commitment of wide receiver Puka Nacua and a bunch of big visitors.
Today’s Trojan Trivia
USC has been broadcast live on 34 different television outlets. Only three of those outlets have never aired a Trojan victory: KTLA, Innovative and a local station in Memphis.