How Does the USA Today Preseason Poll Alter USC's BCS Path?

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How Does the USA Today Preseason Poll Alter USC's BCS Path?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Earlier this week, the USA Today coaches preseason poll was released, and to few fans on the West Coast's surprise, it contained a lot of SEC love.

LSU, who is ranked No. 1 in the poll, returns only five starters on defense and will be breaking in a new quarterback.

At No. 2, the coaches, in their infinite wisdom, placed an Alabama team that returns a total of 11 starters, including only four on defense.

Meanwhile, USC, who returns 18 starters, including the prohibitive Heisman favorite, quarterback Matt Barkley, is ranked third, probably because it doesn't play in the deep south where reputation will get you further in this polls ranking than reality.

However, despite the odd rationale that placed the Trojans only third, there is little reason for fans of the men of Troy to worry.

This slide show will look at the impact of the coaches poll ranking and see if it will provide a pitfall for USC as they move through the 2012 season.

Will this No. 3 ranking be a major hindrance for USC?

No, and here's why...

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