USC football news: Preseason rankings, JT Daniels a Patriot? and more

JT Daniels is leaving USC football. (Harry How/Getty Images)
JT Daniels is leaving USC football. (Harry How/Getty Images) /

USC football got a preseason ranking from while JT Daniels has been floated as a potential quarterback for the New England Patriots.

Quarantine Blues. PODCAST

A new week has begun but USC football’s Spring Camp is still suspended and the coronavirus shutdown continues.

That’s not to say nothing is going on in the world of the Trojans.

CHECK OUT: How Trojan players are getting through the shutdown

Here is all the USC football news you need for today:

Preseason ranking by

USC checks in at No. 19 in Wayne Staats preseason Top 25 rankings for

The Trojans will battle No. 3 Alabama in the season opener while also facing off with No. 6 Oregon, No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 22 Utah and No. 25 Arizona State as the campaign progresses.

JT Daniels, a Patriot?

Real live stories are a bit scarce in the sports world right now, so it should come as no surprise that some of the headlines out there are a bit…out there.

That’s particularly true when it comes to future betting lines.

It turns out, oddsmakers are already setting bets for the New England Patriots quarterback for 2021, now that Tom Brady has officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As you’d expect, names like Deshawn Watson and Trevor Lawrence are near the top of the list, while Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, and Derek Carr also get a mention.

What you might not anticipate is the presence of one USC-related name: JT Daniels.

Daniels was given 33/1 odds of landing with the Patriots for the 2021 season, according to New England Sports Net and That’s on par with Bryan Hoyer, a free agent, and ahead of Aaron Rodgers’ 50/1 odds to be traded to New England.

To end up there, Daniels would have to enter the NFL Draft following the 2021 campaign. He would be eligible to do so, but the likelihood of that is seriously in question.

First of all, Daniels isn’t USC’s starting quarterback and he won’t be unless he beats out Kedon Slovis for the job when the Trojans return to practice. After a year of producing in the Air Raid, Daniels could opt to make the jump to the pros, but he would be a redshirt sophomore with a decision on his hand.

If Daniels didn’t win the job, the possibility of a graduate transfer to play immediately in college for the 2021 season would stand out more than taking a chance in the NFL with only one difficult freshman campaign under his belt. Then again, Matt Cassell started 15 games for the Patriots without starting a single game at USC. So stranger things have indeed happened.

Five-year winning percentage

USC tops the Pac-12 when it comes to the five-year conference winning percentage put together by Pete Fiutak of College Football News.

The Trojans have won 71.1 percent of their conference games, going 32-13 since 2015. Surprisingly enough, they’re the only Pac-12 program in the 70 percent range, though that is largely due to major shifts in the Pac-12 North evening records out between Stanford, Washington, Washington State, and Oregon.

New staffer hired

USC has finally filled the vacant Associate Director of Football Operations position which has been open since Sam Curtis departed for Memphis at the start of the new year.

Jon Blake worked in football operations for the Miami Dolphins in 2019 and had been a graduate assistant for Arkansas from 2016 to 2018. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sports management from Arkansas and grew up in the state, according to his bio on

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