An unfriendly, skeptical media environment could be USC’s best friend in 2022

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Games and championships aren’t won in preseason polls or media votes. Yet, it was impossible for USC coaches, players and fans to ignore the recent Pac-12 media poll released just before the July 29 Pac-12 media day gathering in Los Angeles.

The Pac-12 media voters placed USC third in the conference, behind both Utah and Oregon. We all get why this is the case: Media voters sincerely think Clay Helton did way too much damage to the program for Lincoln Riley to rebuild it in one year. Oregon and Utah aren’t starting over the way USC is. The Ducks do have a new coach, Dan Lanning, but Mario Cristobal left some resources in Eugene, far more than Helton did in Los Angeles. This is why skepticism toward USC in 2022 runs so high among media voters. It makes sense.

Nevertheless, Oregon is quarterbacked by Bo Nix. USC is quarterbacked by Caleb Williams. The talent and resource gaps at two programs have to be massive in order for Oregon to overcome that particular deficiency. Yet, media voters still trusted the Ducks more than the Trojans.

It’s certainly a bit of bulletin board material for USC and Riley. Getting that kind of easy motivation doesn’t guarantee anything, but it certainly helps a coaching staff get a roster’s attention in August camp and in the lead-up to the regular season.

We talked about this with Mark Rogers at The Voice of College Football:

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Complete Pac-12 football game predictions for 2022

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire