T-Row's Top 25...No. 16 USC

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:25 pm
By: News 9

Originally Published: Aug 18, 2010 7:57 PM CDT

Each morning on my radio show for the next five weeks Ill be counting down my preseason college football Top 25 with some pertinent info about each team. It is without a doubt the most insignificant and unreliable preseason Top 25 youll find anywhere.

Call this one a hunch. Everything just smells bad around USC right now. Theres a dark cloud over the campus and I think it will carry into the football season. The NCAA mess combined with the hiring of the human wrecking ball (Lane Kiffin) leads me to think the Trojans are headed for another disappointing season.

There is much hype about now 2nd-year quarterback Matt Barkley. I think hes going to be good, but not great. He didnt get better as last year went along. His decision making will have to improve drastically. The good news for Barkley is he has a talented group of receivers to go get the ball led by Ronald Johnson. The running game, however, was dormant for some of 2009 and was the main reason the Trojans offense didnt put up the monster number were used to seeing.

Defensive, USC is hard to figure out. Five times last season they didnt allow an opponent to get to double-digits on the scoreboard. Then they gave up 36 to Oregon State, 47 to Oregon and 55 to Stanford. I think theyll be more consistent this year under defensive guru Monte Kiffin, Lanes 70-year-old father. Former Ole Miss Head Coach Ed Oregeron also returns to USC and should help the Trojans defense return to its stalwart ways.

Bottom line: USC is talented, but I think they are the team under the rain cloud this year. They lose at Stanford and at Arizona and to Oregon. Theyll drop one more either at Oregon State or against Notre Dame.

Prediction: 8-4