Let Alabama and LSU duke it out, Trojans. Being ranked No. 3 by USA Today is something to be happy about.
When USC quarterback Matt Barkley was named the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy for 2012, many believed the honor would do more harm than good. Call it superstition but fans grew concerned that Barkley would be set up to lose the Heisman, similar to former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in 2011. If preseason nods are the kiss of death, then Trojan fans should be thrilled with the No. 3 spot.
There is an absolute argument for why USC should be in the top spot, but finding themselves at No. 3 should give the Trojans nothing to worry about. After all, Alabama and LSU will ultimately face off on November 3rd, giving USC a good shot at moving up in the poll. Plus, if the 18 starters the Trojans return, including Barkley, play half as well as they are expected, it won't be long until they're knocking on the door of LSU and Alabama.
For a team that was ineligible for the postseason just one season ago, the USA Today poll provides a good jump-off point for the Trojans. USC will need to win out and keep an eye on any potential upsets from the likes of teams like UCLA, but if the Pac-12 champion favorites can get through it perfectly, a BCS championship game will be in the cards.
If anything, the third spot should be a testament to the Trojans and what so many expect of them in 2012. As the Southeastern Conference has won the championship game the last six years in a row, USC has a very strong chance at breaking the streak and taking home the title for the Pac-12.
So while many were up in arms over the Trojans' preseason ranking, take comfort, USC fans. The 2012 season has yet to begin and it is already shaping up to be an interesting one for all involved. Needless to say, USC won't be looking from the outside in any longer.