Preseason No. 1, top-ranked recruiting classes, individual award candidates, All-Americans.
It seems that, despite the sanctions imposed on them, the USC Trojans consistently remain in the limelight of college football.
With the fact that they are so adamant at being in the national spotlight, we must question: What makes them so dangerous on and off the field?
First, you have to look at the group that has been assembled the past few years. The players and coaches currently in place have a bond and have personalities that mesh so well together. There are videos that show the players doing things together that you hardly ever get to see, whether it's walking around campus in full uniform or doing crazy things at the new John McKay Center.
This group of players has formed a special bond that transfers onto the football field. It was evident last season, with two 1,000-yard receivers, a 1,000-yard rusher, one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and an improving defense that played extremely well together.
Off the field, you also have some of the best coaches in the nation, who specialize in recruiting—a unit that replaces coaches that move on to other jobs with ease. Even after losing Willie Mack Garza, Ted Gilmore and Joe Barry, the Trojans went out and got some of the best coaches in that nation to replace them at their respective positions.
The new defensive backs coach is Marvin Sanders, who coached the same position at Nebraska from 2008-2011. Scottie Hazelton, who was defensive coordinator at North Dakota State, will coach the linebackers.
The big get, however, was new wide receivers coach Tee Martin. Martin has been a huge help in recruiting so far and has been traveling most of the last month or so on the East Coast recruiting trail.
The ability to have strong coaches with great recruiting ties is what makes them a constant threat year after year. And top recruiting classes allow the Trojans to stockpile players after they leave for the NFL or graduate.
The state of the current recruiting class is just a sign of what USC is capable of. With Matt Barkley set to graduate, the Trojans have a verbal commitment from top quarterback recruit Max Browne. And with thin depth at running back, the Trojans have verbal commits from two of the top five running back recruits: Justin Davis and Ty Isaac.
It's just a sign of the future to come for the Trojans under Lane Kiffin. Year after year, USC has the ability to compete for the BCS championship.