With Spring football and the NFL draft behind us, the attention is now turned towards the upcoming college season and ESPN wasted no time. ESPN senior writer Mark Schlabach put together a post-spring Top 25 ranking. If you’re wondering where the he has the Trojans ranked, you’ll have to scroll down a little bit. The defending Pac-12 Champions are ranked No. 17 in the way too early ranking.
Schlabach’s ranking of the Trojans likely the effect of the Trojans having some question marks in different areas, mainly at the quarterback position. Sam Darnold was taken 3rd overall by the New York Jets in the 2018 NFL Draft, which leaves his former team searching for his replacement. Matt Fink and Jack Sears had a chance to get a leg up during spring ball, however neither looked impressive enough to give Trojan fans hope. Incoming freshman J.T. Daniels will be enrolled at USC during the summer and will get a chance to take reps with players during the player ran practices. While Daniels has a legitimate shot at winning the starting job, that won’t be enough to answer the questions at the position.
Ahead of USC in Schlabach’s rankings are Washington at No. 6 and Stanford at No. 13. Two teams who are considered the early favorites to win the Pac-12. USC, Stanford, and Washington are also the only Pac-12 schools ranked in his poll as well. USC will play at Stanford week 2 while the Trojans don’t play Washington this season.
Typically these way to early Top 25 rankings are to be taken with a grain of salt. Only time will tell what the Trojans will look like as they play the 2018 season. For the mean time, all we can do is wait and speculate on the Trojans as we draw closer to the college football season.