The USC Trojans dropped in at No. 15 on the USA TODAY Coaches Poll that was recently released.
That seems about right, especially with the immense amount of talent they have in Los Angeles. Lincoln Riley has already changed the culture, and the Trojans haven’t even played a game yet.
The additions of Caleb Williams, Mario Williams, Travis Dye, and Jordan Addison are just the beginning, and there is serious hype building in Heritage Hall for the first time in a while.
Yet, some people aren’t all the way on board yet with the Trojans. Erick Smith of USA TODAY mentioned the Trojans as an overrated team in the recent poll:
The arrival of Lincoln Riley surely will improve things at USC. How much worse can the Trojans get after a 4-8 campaign that was the worst record for the program since 1991? That said, the idea that one offseason is going to change the Trojans into Pac-12 contenders and potential College Football Playoff participants is overly optimistic. Yes, Caleb Williams brings excitement at quarterback after following his former coach at Oklahoma. Just don’t overlook how much he struggled against Baylor and Oklahoma State last year. There’s talent at the receiver position. Points will be scored. That alone doesn’t win games. The offensive line has to get better, and the defense has holes throughout. A host of transfers were brought in to address these concerns. Molding the pieces together won’t be easy for Riley, who is starting from scratch – unlike his situation with the Sooners. It’s going to take time to be title contenders and it won’t happen this year.
Sure, it could take a while. On the flip side, it might not. For all we know, the Riley era might begin with a Pac-12 title, Caleb Williams heading to the Heisman Trophy ceremony as a finalist, and Travis Dye and Jordan Addison being among the best skill players in college football.
For now, they might be overrated, but landing at No. 15 in the Coaches Poll isn’t a reach at all.