The USC Trojans are not as good as the Oregon Ducks right now. Let’s be real and honest about that point. Oregon has been significantly better in recruiting and moderately better in the transfer portal. Dillon Gabriel is a better QB1 than Miller Moss, though Moss obviously showed he can be very, very good in the Holiday Bowl.
Oregon is better than USC primarily because it has better line play (Josh Conerly) and more depth. USC has to make up the gap in that regard, which is why the upcoming spring transfer portal window is so important. USC will need a few splashes in the spring to gain ground on the Ducks and shore up the defensive line for 2024 in the Big Ten.
There is one realm in which USC has fundamentally caught up with Oregon, however: the quarterback room. Oregon has Dillon Gabriel for 2024 and Dante Moore (the UCLA transfer) for 2025. USC needed to stack its quarterback room in the same way, establishing both a 2024 and 2025 quarterback. USC has Miller Moss as the 2024 quarterback and Jayden Maiava for 2025.
Notably, Julian Lewis reclassified for 2025 from 2026. If he’s good enough, maybe he can overtake Maiava in 2025, but the bigger point is that USC has that position accounted for in a manner similar to what Oregon has achieved.
We discussed this and a lot more with Mark Rogers at The Voice of College Football: