USC's reign as the No. 1 recruiting program in the nation has ended, at least according to ESPN.
Lane Kiffin and his program have had the consensus No. 1 2013 class for a while now, but with the recent addition of 4-star safety Marcell Harris, Will Muschamp's 2013 class has overtaken USC for the top spot, according to the ESPN recruiting class rankings.
When it rains, it pours. Count this as yet another loss for the Trojans.
Kiffin and his program have grown accustomed to losing this year, unfortunately. 2012 was a horribly disappointing season on the field—one that saw the Trojans lose to Stanford, Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Notre Dame en route to a 7-5 season. For all their issues on the field, though, the one thing Kiffin could hang his hat on was an extremely strong No. 1 recruiting class that features five 5-star recruits.
They still have the 5-star recruits and USC's class is still very strong, but at least according to ESPN's rankings, the No. 1 spot is gone, for now.
While it still has the No. 1 class according to Rivals and 247Sports, there's no doubting the fact that USC is slipping a bit. Earlier this month, it lost the commitment of 4-star safety Max Redfield, and with this rankings loss, it needs to be time for a turnaround for USC.
How does it steal back the No. 1 class from Florida?
The simple answer would be to add another elite recruit. Realistically, though, that's going to be much easier said than done because of the recruiting sanctions USC is dealing with.
Right now, USC's class is at 17, with its sanctioned cap being 15. With only 12 recruits signed last season, though, the Trojans can bring in three over their limit as early enrollees and back count them to 2012.
Essentially, the Trojans can bring in one more elite recruit, and that's not counting decommitments or offer withdrawals.
Their best options?
The biggest recruit that has USC at the top of his interest list (247Sports) is 4-star safety Tahaan Goodman, who is from Rancho Cucamonga, California. Goodman is ranked as the No. 8 safety in the class of 2013 by ESPN.com, so bringing him into the class would go a long way towards regaining the No. 1 spot.
Another recruit USC has a shot at is 4-star weak-side defensive end Tim Williams from Baton Rouge Louisiana, who has USC in his top four, along with Florida State, Miami and Alabama, according to 247Sports.
ESPN ranks him as the No. 3 defensive end in the nation, so landing him would definitely be enough to propel USC back to its No. 1 class ranking. Having a few recruits decommit from Florida would also help a ton, but that's not something USC will have a hard time controlling. Focusing on Williams and Goodman will be its best bet.
In the end, the rankings don't matter as much as the production from these recruiting classes, but after this season, it sure would be nice for USC to at least win something.
Getting back ESPN's No. 1 spot would be a great start.