USC Football: Trojans Have Uphill Climb After Low USA Today Preseason Ranking

Rick McMahan@@RickMcMahanSenior Writer IAugust 1, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 10:  Marqise Lee #9 of the USC Trojans carries on a reverse against the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 10, 2012  in Los Angeles, California. USC won 38-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Well, the USA Today college football coaches poll was released today and unfortunately for fans of the program, USC resides at the No. 24 spot, which means they will have a uphill climb to play in a major postseason bowl game in 2013.

Although the ranking was low, it probably should come as no surprise after the Trojans struggled in 2012, limping home with a 7-6 record, which included an abysmal loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

What this means is that not only will USC have to play well this year, but they will also need the teams ranked in front of them to stumble.

Of course, head coach Lane Kiffin probably couldn't care less about polls—especially those offered in August—as he tries not only to right a listing Trojan ship but also save his job in the process.

This is not to say the Trojans don't have some things going for them, though.

USC has a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, although not much depth and the schedule—especially early on—is relatively easy, which is important for a team that desperately needs to get off to a good start.

What the Trojans can't afford, though, is to stumble early because at No. 24, there won't be time to make up lost ground if they do.

It will be interesting to see what the AP poll has to say because if USC has less room to climb in that poll, it may help their national profile, which can only benefit them in the long run.

But for now, the road in front of the Trojans seems a very long distance journey to get where they want to be.