USC rises to No. 12 in USA TODAY Coaches Poll

·6 min read

The USC Trojans are No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY AFCA Coaches Poll.

USC defeated Rice, 66-14, on Saturday afternoon in the Los Angeles Coliseum in the first game of the Lincoln Riley era at the school.

USC’s offense dazzled, and its defense — especially up front — leaves a lot to be desired. The Trojans have a ton of work to do on that side of the ball. Alex Grinch has his work cut out for him. The hope is that the defense can do a tolerably sufficient job — nothing spectacular, but a lot better than the rock-bottom standard of last season — in September to keep the team afloat. Giving Caleb Williams a chance to win games in the fourth quarter is what the defense must do, at minimum, in the first month of the season.

Across the country, we saw a lot of significant developments in Week 1.

Oregon got demolished by Georgia and nearly fell out of this poll, but the Ducks managed to stay in at No. 24. The Ducks will not make the College Football Playoff.

Utah lost at Florida and fell behind USC in the rankings. The Utes have to run the table to have a shot at the playoff.

It was a brutal week for the Pac-12, and USC might already have the best odds of making the playoff from the conference.

Here is the full poll, starting with No. 1 and going down to No. 25:

ALABAMA

Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban talks to his team before the second half against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Utah State, 55-0.

GEORGIA

Sep 21, 2019; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart is interviewed by CBS sports reporter Jamie Erdahl after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Oregon, 49-3.

OHIO STATE

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day speaks to media following a spring football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center in Columbus on March 22, 2022.
Ncaa Football Ohio State Spring Practice

Defeated Notre Dame, 21-10.

CLEMSON

Dec 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talk before the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson defeated Georgia Tech on Monday, 41-10.

MICHIGAN

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines during action against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Michigan Stadium.

Defeated Colorado State, 51-7.

TEXAS A&M

Oct 16, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher reacts during the first half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Sam Houston State, 31-0.

OKLAHOMA

OU football head coach Brent Venables speaks to the crowd at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Baylor on Jan. 22 in Norman.

Defeated UTEP, 45-13.

BAYLOR

Nov 6, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Dave Aranda reacts during the second half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Albany, 69-10.

NOTRE DAME

Nov 20, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman sits on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Lost to Ohio State, 21-10.

OKLAHOMA STATE

Nov 2, 2019; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy looks back towards his bench during the fourth quarter of the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State defeated TCU 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Central Michigan, 58-44.

MICHIGAN STATE

Nov 20, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day(left) and Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker (right) before the game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Western Michigan, 35-13.

USC

Sep 3, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley reacts in the first half against the Rice Owls at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Rice, 66-14.

N.C. STATE

Sep 2, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren looks at the scoreboard during the first half against the South Florida Bulls at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated East Carolina, 21-20.

PITTSBURGH

Sep 1, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) passes the ball against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated West Virginia, 38-31.

UTAH

Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham looks to the scoreboard during the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2022.

Lost to Florida, 29-26.

MIAMI

Mario Cristobal — Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Bethune-Cookman, 70-13.

ARKANSAS

Sep 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Sam Pittman talks to his team during a timeout in the game against the Texas A&M Aggies at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Cincinnati, 31-24.

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst, right, and defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard argue in vain against a Notre Dame touchdown reception during the second quarter of their game Saturday, September 25, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

Defeated Illinois State, 38-0.

FLORIDA

Sep 3, 2022; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising (7) and Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) meet after a game at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Utah, 29-26.

KENTUCKY

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras (7) gets set to take a snap from center Tyler Linderbaum (65) during an NCAA college football game in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl against Kentucky, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Defeated Miami-Ohio, 37-13.

WAKE FOREST

Sep 18, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson signals to a referee during the second quarter against the Florida State Seminoles at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated VMI, 44-10.

TEXAS

Iowa State Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell gets a congratulation from Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian after winning 30-7 at Jack Trice Stadium, Nov. 6, 2021, in Ames, Iowa.

Defeated Louisiana-Monroe, 52-10.

 

OLE MISS

Sep 3, 2022; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) talks with Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Malik Heath (8) during the second half against the Troy Trojans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated Troy, 28-10.

OREGON

Oregon coach Dan Lanning directs football practice April 5, 2022.

Lost to Georgia, 49-3.

BYU

Sep 25, 2021; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake walks on to the field after their game against the South Florida Bulls at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Defeated South Florida, 50-21.

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire