There is no disputing the talent USC brings to the table. Leonard Williams, Hayes Pullard, Claude Pelon, Josh Shaw and Su'a Cravens all bring immense talent to the defensive side of the ball while Nelson Agholor, Buck Allen and Cody Kessler bring continuity and big-play explosion to Sarkisian's offense.
While the chips will certainly fall into place over the course of Fall Camp and the leading practices before USC takes the field August 30th against Fresno State, the preseason excitement continues to build around this camp. We know the valiant efforts Sarkisian and his staff have taken in landing a top-10 recruiting class and those seeds could translate an already dangerous team into one with better depth, than the 40 or so scholarship players last season, right from the opening kick.
What USC does have is promise, and that potential could finally translate into success if the team can avoid early-season pitfalls against Stanford and Arizona State before diving into the bulk of the Pac-12 schedule. That said, College Football Insider Phil Steele holds equally high promise for the Trojans in his newest College Football Preview Magazine.
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They do play Stanford and UCLA on the road and will be the underdog in those games. While none of my nine sets of power ratings calls for an unbeaten season, I can say that about most of the teams on this list. I do not have USC in my top 10 this season, but if the Trojans stay healthy and catch a break or two, all of their games are winnable, as new coach Steve Sarkisian will bring renewed optimism.