“The upcoming season will be a good marker on how far his talents have progressed. The Trojans will play three of the four ranked teams that they played last year, two of which held a top 10 rank. Darnold will face off against Western Michigan for the first game of the 2017 season. The Broncos proved to be a dark horse last season, only losing to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl by eight points.
Darnold will have his work cut out for him as the Trojans lose both All American offensive tackles, their left guard, a running back, and a few receivers. Luckily Darnold’s elusiveness will help to answer the offensive line problem, and the other offensive pieces weren’t crucial loses.”
“This projection certainly suggests that Athlon believes that USC will win the Pac-12 South division but likely lose to Washington in the Pac-12 Conference Championship game. While past performance does not necessarily predict future outcomes it is worth remembering that the Trojans went up to Seattle last season and beat the Huskies.
Despite narrowly missing the Pac-12 Championship game in 2016 the Trojans were able to secure the Pac-12’s spot in the Rose Bowl after the Huskies advanced to the College Football Playoff. Given the high expectations for USC football in 2017 failing to win a Conference championship would seem like a let down. If Athlon’s projected scenario plays out it is likely, however, that the Trojans would return to the Rose Bowl once again despite not winning the Conference championship.”
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