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Pre-season Rankings

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Athlon, The Sporting News and Lindy's has USC ranked as an early Preseason #1. Obviously this is just a formality as we are still 2-plus months away before the first downs are played. There are still a lot of questions for this year's team. The running game is still wide open as to who will be the main back, the receiving game has some new faces that need to perform consistently as they take over the super tandem of Jarrett and Smith and there are a few holes to fill on the offensive line.

From Athlon's

With 15 starters back from last season, including 10 on defense, along with most of the top backups and another stellar recruiting class (they didn't have a lot of scholarships to give this year, but the quality they reaped is ridiculously good), Carroll's crew should roll from Sept. 1 through Dec. 1 and beyond.

I do think its impressive for Pete Carroll and SC to pull down the talent they did with the limited amount of scholarships that had at the end of the season.

I realize that it has to be done but to me it's all mental masturbation. I believe that the first polls should come out after the third week of games to weed things out. There is no question that this year's team has a ton of talent and they are well coached but without a locked in running back and some new receivers I always get a little nervous about all the hype. Last years team relied on shear guile and a little luck as they won some games that they shouldn't have and lost 2 games that most USC fans thought were in the bag.

As we saw with the 2005 team the hype can be just ridiculous.

Steve Dilbeck of Daily News agrees.

This is not heresy, simply a word of caution. This is not to be confused with the sky is falling or the end it is near or Hollywood celeb will not adopt.

Just a request for a deep breath. To control the palpitations and the giddy expectations with a small dose of restraint.

Understand, the college football season will soon be upon us and already preseason publications are falling over themselves to gush on about USC.

The Trojans seem to be everyone's preseason No.1.

Athlon, Lindy's, Sporting News - all have USC its top-ranked team.

More No. 1 adulation figures to come.

Certainly there is a lot to like about these Trojans. They are talented, well-coached, return 10 starters on defense and have a leading Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback John David Booty.

No doubt, Pete Carroll will once again helm a terrific team.

Yet despite the grand basis, the Trojans are not without serious question marks. And that's before analyzing one of the toughest road schedules in the country.

I said it last year and I will say it again this year, chemistry matters and while the offense has some sick talent things have to come together with all the new faces on the team, even more so this season with some of the offensive firepower that we had last year being replaced by talent that has been tested minimally at best.

I'm confident that this team will step up and perform but I don't want these kids to let it all get to their heads. Coach Carroll does an excellent job at keeping his players focused so he should be able to keep these guys feet on the ground.