USC football roundup: Disappointing rankings, but positive APR scores

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

USC football maintained their positive APR scores from recent years, but the Trojans are certainly disappointing in other football-centric rankings.

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Academic Progress Rate reports were released by the NCAA on Wednesday with good news for the Trojans.

USC posted their best ever cumulative 21-team multiyear APR with a 983, setting a new all-time high for the sixth year in a row.

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USC football wasn’t among those teams which saw technical improvement, but Clay Helton’s Trojans were only one point lower than last year’s score of 973, which was the best in program history.

USC basketball’s score of 973 equaled their best showing, which was set last year.

Both football and basketball remain above the national average, which is 264 for the former and 267 for the latter. Just a few years ago, football had a score of 948 and basketball had a score of 959. Now they’re well away from the 930 threshold which could trigger NCAA penalties.

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That’s not the case for UCLA football and basketball. The Bruins plummeted to the bottom of the conference with a score of 948 in football and 933 in basketball.

Coaches ranking

Every year CBS Sports puts together a ranking of college football head coaches. For too many seasons, USC football fans haven’t had much claim to a high ranking for the man in charge at Troy.

On Tuesday, the publication ranked coaches No. 65 through No. 26 in advance of their Top 25 and no surprise, Clay Helton features.

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Going into 2019, Helton ranks No. 51, falling 20 places from No. 31 going into 2018. That’s by far the biggest drop for any coach, with Florida State head coach Willie Taggert’s plummet of 13 places coming closest.

Meanwhile, Ed Orgeron jumped a whopping 26 spots to No. 30, right around where Helton found himself going into last season.

Consensus Top 25

Not that it should be any great surprise, but USC does not appear in the consensus preseason Top 25 for college football put together by Sporting News.

The consensus list includes rankings from CBS Sports, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Sporting News, so it’s a pretty comprehensive and credible accounting of Top 25 lists from around the media.

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Clemson tops Alabama at No. 1 and No. 2. Notre Dame stands at No. 8 while the first Pac-12 representative is Oregon at No. 11. The conference also placed Washington at No. 13, Utah at No. 18, Washington State at No. 20 and Stanford at No. 25.

Considering the state of the conference, having five teams ranked is not a bad showing, especially with USC on the outside looking in.

Frankly, after going 5-7, USC has no right to complain about being absent from preseason rankings. Still, with two of their first four opponents, Stanford and Utah, featuring in the rankings, the Trojans will have opportunities to make their case to be ranked in-season.