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USC placed on Sports Illustrated’s list of teams most likely to take a step back in 2018

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SI’s list provides some interesting insight as it mainly consists of standout teams from 2017

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 Cotton Bowl Classic - USC v Ohio St Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sports Illustrated recently published an article detailing a list of five teams who may experience significant slides to the back of the pack in college football for the 2018 season. USC, low and behold, was on the list - mainly due to the fact that the Trojans are losing key contributors such as Sam Darnold, Ronald Jones II, Rasheem Green, and Deontay Burnett.

From the Sports Illustrated article:

The Trojans are stockpiled with enough high-end recruits to weather those defections, returning running back Stephen Carr and wideout Tyler Vaughns among them, and Daniels is the linchpin of a 2018 prospect haul rated higher than that of any other Pac-12 program, according to the 247Sports Composite. USC also still looks like the class of the conference’s South division even taking into account UCLA making an A+ hire in Chip Kelly after canning Jim Mora. Two North teams, Stanford and Washington, are more compelling candidates than the Trojans to represent the Pac-12 in the playoff this season, though.

Also named in the article were Georgia, Notre Dame, TCU, and Oklahoma State.

What is big for USC in 2018 is the return of a lot of young talent they had in 2017 along with some strong leaders on defense; having the likes of Cameron Smith and Jack Jones (who broke out in 2017) will be huge as they continue to lay a foundation before they pass the torch off to younger players in years to come.

I know it’s really early to be talking about this, but do you think this article holds any merits? Will USC slide to the back of the pack in 2018 or will young talent step up and fill the holes on both sides of the ball? Let us know in the comments below!

Fight on!