USC football moves up in poll after OU blows it without Lincoln Riley

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

USC football has moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 Poll. That's one spot over where they were in the last two weeks, at No. 7. The team that was No. 6 this past week, Oklahoma, is of course Lincoln Riley's old school he was the head coach at for the past five seasons. They have certainly regressed since his departure, as they blew a home game against Kansas State this week.

OU dropped to 3-1 on the year after their 41-34 loss to K-State. KSU Quarterback Adrian Martinez came into the game averaging 100 passing yards per game, but turned in 234 on Saturday, while chipping in 148(!) on the ground as well. He rushed for four(!) touchdowns and threw one as well.

The entire state of Oklahoma swore all offseason that Riley is an awful coach who was hurting the team. They swore that the defense at OU would skyrocket after Riley and Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch left for USC, and that they were holding them back. Unfortunately for them, however, the defense under Brent Venables cost them the game against the Wildcats.

USC football's defense, on the other hand, won them the game against Oregon State in Week 4.

USC football won their Week 4 contest, 17-14. The offense was heroic on their game-winning drive, but it was the defense that won the Trojans the ballgame. The defense forced four interceptions en route to only allowing 320 yards and just 14 points. SC's defense is tied for top five in sacks with 14. OU is well outside the top 10 without Grinch, and tied for 59th(!) in turnovers forced with just six.

USC is tied for first in the nation with 14 turnovers forced. The defense has come a long way from where it was last year; one of the worst (if not the worst) in USC history. The addition of Grinch in the offseason has improved this defense drastically. OU, on the other hand, blew their first Power 5 home game without Grinch due to horrendous defense.

OU moved down 12 spots to No. 18 in the poll. Riley never finished outside the top 10 in his time with the Sooners. Things have most certainly not been the same from where they were with Riley. SC will take it, as even in the close win that they had in Corvallis, they still got the W and moved up.

Next. Game-by-game predictions for USC in 2022. dark

They are the highest-ranked Pac-12 team again, and six spots ahead of the next-closest team (Utah). Perhaps they can move up again when they head back home to play an ASU team that's off to one of their lesser starts in program history.