Jordan Addison's transfer to the USC football program sent shockwaves through the world of college football. It sparked debates, clearly unwell radio hosts wanting to "beat the snot out of" Lincoln Riley, and excitement around the USC fanbase. Nobody was more excited about USC landing Jordan Addison, however, than ESPN.
ESPN recently had USC as their No. 12 team in their Way-Too-Early Top 25 Poll. After Addison headed over, however, they shot them up all the way to No. 4. That means that SC is a playoff team, and would play Alabama in the first round of the College Football Playoff. Lincoln Riley would have his shot at revenge.
This is a controversial ranking, but ESPN explained why they see it this way. Mark Schlabach, who wrote it, made it clear that he's been more than impressed with the transfer overhaul that Riley has been doing ALL offseason:
"Even before Addison's arrival, Riley had vastly upgraded the wide receiver corps by bringing in Mario Williams, Rice and Bynum. Haskins, who started 20 games at Virginia, might get plugged in at left tackle. USC's defense seems to need more work, although former Alabama linebacker Lee and ex-Colorado cornerback Blackmon should help."- Mark Schlabach, ESPN
Schlabach also seems to see USC football's schedule as favorable.
Schlabach made a comment about USC football's schedule that appeared to possibly identify it as on the easier side. He mentioned that "the Trojans won't play Oregon or Washington during the regular season, and they'll hit the road for games with Stanford, Utah and UCLA."
Perhaps him adding this information in was him pointing out that the two best programs in the Pac-12 North are not going to be on SC's schedule, and that could be an advantage for the Trojans.
Also, pointing out that two of the three toughest road games this year for SC are against poor teams in the lowly Stanford and UCLA squads, he could be trying to indicate that USC may have a relatively easy road schedule.
Either way, he was most certainly right in the fact that the team has added 19 transfers, two of them being five-star transfers and six of them being four-star transfers. Bringing in the No. 1 transfer portal class, SC also is bringing in the No. 6 overall class (recruits +transfers) according to 247Sports.
The significant roster overhaul has been there, and the team will be much improved from last year. While No. 4 is likely a bit too high, it's understandable to look at the roster overhaul and get excited about SC's chances at having a very impressive season in 2022.