USC football is favored by two touchdowns over the Fresno State Bulldogs, College Football News took a more positive spin on the Trojans 2019 record and more.
Early betting lines for the opening weekend of college football are in and USC football is favored by a moderate margin over Fresno State.
The line for the Trojans’ season opener is 11 points, according to @SportsPac12, who pointed out the odds from betonline.ag.
The Bulldogs were impressive last year, going 12-2 while taking home the Mountain West title for the first time under Jeff Tedford.
The trouble is that squad is undergoing some major changes. They have to replace eight starters on offense and will be breaking in a new quarterback. On defense, five starters have moved on.
That’s how a Trojan team which went 5-7 could be favored by two touchdowns over a team that seems to be on the rise in the Mountain West.
USC last played Fresno State in 2014, when Steve Sarkisian’s Trojans blasted them 52-13. Coincidentally, that Bulldog team was also coming off of an 11-win season and Mountain West Championship.
9 wins projected by CFN
Pete Fiutak of College Football News put together a season prediction for USC and settled on nine.
That’s quite a ledge to go out on considering other publications, like Athlon, recent projected the Trojans for a 6-6 campaign.
Here’s his logic:
“This year’s USC team should be four wins stronger and better, but even an improved squad will have a hard time coming up with anything more than a split against the Huskies and Irish away from LA, and beat the Ducks, and beat Fresno State, and win at BYU, and …
Whatever … it’s USC. Win the Pac-12 title.”
It’s a perfectly reasonable counterpoint to Athlon’s more pessimistic expectations. After all, no matter how you slice it, USC will have a talent advantage on all but one team they face: Notre Dame.
If the Trojans throw their weight around like they ought to, then nine wins should be well within reach.
JT Daniels among 117 players who could win Heisman
Caleb Friedman of Sports Illustrated put together an interesting project on Monday. Based on historic trends, he compiled a list of 117 players who could win the Heisman Trophy in 2019.
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Group I contained four players termed “The Elite Quarterbacks on Elite Teams,” Group II featured six candidates who are “Very Good Quarterbacks on Good Teams” and Group III included “Good Guarterbacks on Good or Pretty Good Teams.” That last group of 15 is where JT Daniels popped into the picture.
The USC quarterback still has to win his starting job for the coming campaign, but he no doubt warrants a place in that grouping. Any Trojan passer will instantly have the exposure to make a run at the Heisman if he’s putting up enough numbers. Daniels may just do that in Graham Harrell’s offense. Jack Sears or Matt Fink could do the same.
Joining Daniels are Stanford’s K.J. Costello, Utah’s Tyler Huntley, Arizona’s Khalil Tate and Colorado’s Steven Montez.
“It’s more unlikely any of these players win the award, but we can’t rule it out,” Friedman said.
Neither can we.