The Trojans rate highly in a hypothetical 2019 NCAA video game while court docs add ugly Steve Sarkisian details. Here’s the USC football roundup for July 11.
How would USC rate if EA’s NCAA Football franchise still existed? Now we know, more or less.
Jason Kirk of SBNation took on the task of generating team ratings for a hypothetical 2019 edition of the iconic, but dormant video game, using S&P+ ratings and other preseason expectations.
The Trojans aren’t one of the top teams available, that distinction belongs to the likes of 95-rated Alabama and Ohio State, 94-rated Clemson, 93-rated Washington and 93-rated Auburn.
USC drew a rating of 87, good for 16th nationally. That’s right around preseason expectations for Clay Helton’s squad.
If there’s any gripe to be had, it’s in the offense being rated an 87 while the defense ended up as an 86. The Trojan defense was flawed in 2017, but it returns far more of its key figures than the rebuilding offense.
Best in College Sports ranking
USC was poised to do particularly well in CBS Sports’ “Best in College Sports” ranking this year with high expectations for both the football and basketball teams. Unfortunately, the Trojans didn’t exactly live up to the hype and now sit outside of the Top 25, ranked 26th.
The ranking is generated on a weighted-point system factoring in football, men’s and women’s basketball and two wildcard sports.
Football was the biggest point-getter for the program, but it wasn’t enough to overcome low scores for men’s and women’s basketball.
More head shaking on Sarkisian
Court documents from Steve Sarkisian’s $30-million wrongful termination lawsuit against USC don’t paint a pretty picture for either the head coach or the university.
Joey Kaufman of the OC Register has the details, like how questions around Sarkisian’s drinking had come up well before his outburst at Salute to Troy in 2015. In the spring, he appeared intoxicated at a booster event, per the documents.
And it was then-athletic director Pat Haden who described that incident and others in a “last-chance agreement” given to Sarkisian before the breakdown which ultimately saw him removed in the fall.
USC definitely had cause to fire Sarkisian, but questions over Haden’s vetting of his head coaching hire aren’t lessened by these revelations.
Sports Illustrated decided to rank the best teams who were snubbed by the BCS, and unsurprisingly USC was represented.
Though the 2008 squad undoubtedly deserves a mention, they didn’t rank No. 3, so it seems they weren’t eligible for the ranking. But the 2003 squad was, sitting fourth among snubs.
CHECK OUT: Which Trojan team was the best of all-time?
That team may have been left out, but they still got the national title, so it worked out.
Trojan Twitter brags
Today’s Trojan Trivia
On Wednesday, freshman linebacker Palaie Gaoteote officially took on the No. 1 jersey. Only one other linebacker has worn No. 1 at USC this century: Frank Strong, who moved to LB as a senior in 2001.