This year’s Trojan squad enters the season with the motto "Unfinished Business," alluding to, of course, the sanctions that made them unable to compete for a National Championship title the past two years. Finally free of that albatross, USC looks to make a run for the title with just 75 scholarship players on the team, another remnant of the NCAA sanctions.
The Trojan offense is loaded with four-year starter Matt Barkley lining up under center for his senior season. Barkley has a pair of 1,000-plus yard receivers—possibly the best in the nation—to throw to in standout junior Robert Woods and sophomore Marquise Lee. The team also has a pair of 1000-plus yard running backs in Penn State transfer Silas Redd and senior Curtis McNeal.
If there is a glaring weak spot on this Trojan team, it is the overall depth due to scholarship restrictions. The Trojan faithful like to say “Our 75 is better than your 85,” and while that may be true, they’ve already suffered a significant loss with the injury to CB Devon Kennard.
Coming off a 10-2 season in 2012, the Trojans (and their fan base) are looking for more. “Prep not Hype” has been painted onto the sideline of the practice field, but it is hard not to buy into the hype surrounding this team.
It is amazing what Coach Lane Kiffin has done over the past two years—attracting top talent and creating a culture where many have foregone an early exit for the NFL in order to return to USC and play for the National Championship that many feel is theirs to lose.
The Trojans enter the 2012 season as The Associated Press’ No. 1 ranked team in the nation. They are the odds on favorite to win the Pac-12 title (but will likely have to beat Oregon twice in order to do so), and quarterback Matt Barkley is among the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy.
Don’t look now, but USC is back with a vengeance.