There are many new coaches at major colleges this season. There are many high caliber coaches in new places including Tommy Tuberville, Lane Kiffin, Skip Holtz, and Brian Kelly.
All four are fantastic coaches for solid programs. However, one will rise about them all: Kiffin.
I personally don't consider Kiffin is a better coach than Kelly or Tuberville, but I do believe he has the best team by far.
USC did lose some veteran leaders this offseason, because Reggie Bush's family screwed up. However, it didn't lose enough to sink to the bottom of the Pac 10.
The Trojans' skill position players have a year of experience under their belt, and most of their veterans stayed because this is their best opportunity to become a pro player.
USC has a fairly livable schedule. Its toughest road games are at Stanford and Oregon State. It also gets Oregon, Cal, and Notre Dame at home. With this livable schedule expect Kiffin to win nine games this season, which will be the highest of the coaches previously listed.
Kiffin also brings with him a great NFL playbook, and the best defensive coordinator in the NFL for the past decade: Monte Kiffin.
Monte Kiffin will have no trouble finding weaknesses in the college offenses, and with a team as athletic as this coaching works better. If you're a great coach with a bunch of nonathletic players it doesn't matter what system you bring in, it won't work as well as it will with talented players.
According to Scout.com, USC has the 17th best recruiting class. The Trojans are under probation for two more years and recruits don't care. They know USC gives them one of the best chances to reach the NFL.
You know what that tells you? USC isn't going anywhere! If you're a recruit you wouldn't want to go play for a coaching staff that knows what it takes to be an NFL player? The program's head coach, offensive coordinator, and the defensive coordinator all have years of experience in the league.
The USC program will do nothing but train players to go to the next level. Programs that do that are going to be successful year after year.
That is why USC will have a great season this year, because people stayed to play under Lane Kiffin.