USC football encounters unreal expectations heading into this season

USC Football, USC Trojans
USC Football, USC Trojans / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2022-23 season is approaching, USC Football continues to receive generous amounts of praise for what is yet to come. After landing some of the best prospects in the nation, it is clear why USC is ranked with some of the best teams in the nation. 

Many analysts are very optimistic that USC will have one of the best seasons in recent memory. Furthermore, head coach Lincoln Riley has all the tools needed to lead USC into being ranked as a top 10 team in college football. 

Analyst Brandon Walker of Barstool Sports predicts where each of the top six teams will rank during the upcoming season. Walker ranks USC at number three, just behind Alabama and Ohio State. Moreover, Walker has USC over the reigning National Champions, UGA. In the prediction, Walker adds that although USC has had a few disappointing seasons over the years, all that matters is the season ahead. 

Although USC football may not live up to these expectations, a remarkable season is still underway.

Despite going 4-8 last season, USC football had a phenomenal off-season. Caleb Williams is one of the main reasons why USC is being ranked as one of the top teams. Not only is Williams one of the best quarterbacks in the country, but he is now reunited with Riley. Pairing Williams with one of the best wide receiving cores in the nation elevates the offense to another level as well. 

In front of USC stands Alabama and Ohio State. Both of these teams deserve to rank in front of USC. Led by head coach Nick Saban, Alabama won 13 of their 15 games last year and made an appearance in the National Championship. On the other hand, Ohio State won 11 of their 13 games, as they are led by Heisman candidate C.J. Stroud. 

Ranking USC at number three may be a bit too high. Along with Alabama and Ohio State, several other teams have the potential to finish ahead of USC. Each year, these teams are constantly in the mix for a playoff spot. Despite making many notable additions, it may take some time for the players and coaching staff to make the proper adjustments. 

Last season, USC had six games in which they lost by 15 or more points. This is extremely underwhelming, especially considering that the majority of these losses were against teams that were not ranked. 

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As there is plenty of hype surrounding USC, recency bias may be a factor in many of these off-season predictions. Ranking USC as a top-five team may be seen as unrealistic. However, USC will still have a great season. There should be no reason why USC is not ranked as a top 10 team by the end of the season.