JuJu Smith-Schuster has sky-high expectations for USC football under new head coach Lincoln Riley. Smith-Schuster, who is one of the greatest wide receivers in USC history, predicted to TMZ that this program will be winning a Natty under Riley. Smith-Schuster said it could happen even as early as 2022:
"Soon, man," said Smith-Schuster. "This year and whatever God has planned. I think we just gotta keep pushing. I think it's a great move. We have a great coaching staff, so it helps us out a lot."
I personally don't think that SC winning the National Championship in 2022 is well within the realm of possibility for this upcoming season, but I absolutely agree that Riley WILL bring a national title to the Trojans. My prediction for this season is a 9-3 record, but I do think SC will have a 12th championship within the next five seasons.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was close to winning a National Championship with USC football in 2016.
We all remember how JuJu Smith-Schuster's best USC football team performed. They started 1-2, made a quarterback change, and then rattled off nine straight wins to end the year. They were the only 9-3 team to ever be in College Football Playoff discussion. Despite USC being undoubtedly one of the four best teams in the country, it would be a bad look for the committee to place a 9-3 team in the Playoff, so they of course passed.
However, again, there was undisputable evidence that SC deserved to be in the Playoff, as not only did they finish the year with nine straight wins once Sam Darnold was named the starting signal-caller, but they also curb stomped the Washington Huskies in Seattle during that streak, who was selected as a Playoff team. As a result, the final poll ranked SC as the No. 3 team in the country once Smith-Schuster and his teammates won the Rose Bowl.
I don't want to bore you with a history lesson, but the point remains that Smith-Schuster knows what a Natty contending team and program looks like. To receive this type of prediction is by no means irrelevant. It's by no means an example of an alum being a homer. A winner in JuJu sees a winner in Riley, who has also competed at a National Championship-contending level.
Most notably, like JuJu's last year in college, Riley finished third in the final poll in his first year as a college head coach. He took the Georgia Bulldogs to multiple OT's in the College Football Playoff that year. After that, he went on to win three more consecutive Big 12 titles, make each of the next two College Football Playoffs, and win the Cotton Bowl the next year. The worst ranking he's ever finished with in his career is No. 10.
From one winner to another, Smith-Schuster sees greatness in Riley. One would be a fool to disagree with Smith-Schuster, as Riley is more than proven as a top-tier head coach in America. USC will be winning a 12th National Championship in his time as SC head coach.