Jordan Addison’s move to the USC football program sent shockwaves through the college football world. It sparked debate, apparently sick radio hosts wanting to “beat the snot out” of Lincoln Riley, and excitement among the USC fan base. However, no one was more excited about Jordan Addison’s USC landing than ESPN.
ESPN recently had USC as the No. 12 team in its Way Too Early Top 25 poll. However, after Addison headed over, they shot her up to 4th place. This means SC is a playoff team and would play Alabama in the first round of the college football playoffs. Lincoln Riley would have his chance for revenge.
This is a controversial ranking, but ESPN explained why they see it that way. Mark Schlabach, who wrote it, made it clear that he was more than impressed with the transfer overhaul Riley undertook ENTIRE offseason:
“Prior to Addison’s arrival, Riley had significantly upgraded the wide receiver corps by bringing in Mario Williams, Rice and Bynum. Haskins, who started 20 games in Virginia, could be pocketed on left tackle. USC’s defense appears to need more work, however. Former Alabama linebacker Lee and ex-Colorado cornerback Blackmon should help.”
– Mark Schlabach, ESPN
Schlabach made a comment about USC football’s schedule that may have seemed to identify him as on the easier side. He mentioned that “the Trojans will not play Oregon or Washington during the regular season, and they will be traveling for games with Stanford, Utah and UCLA.”
Perhaps by adding this information he indicated that the top two programs in the Pac-12 North will not be on SC’s schedule and that could be an advantage for the Trojans.
He also points out that two of SC’s three toughest road games this year are against poor teams in the low Stanford and UCLA rosters, and he might be trying to suggest that USC might have a relatively easy road schedule.
Anyhow, he was certainly right that the team added 19 transfers, two of which were five-star transfers and six four-star transfers. With the No. 1 in the transfer portal class, SC also brings No. 6 in the overall class (recruits + transfers) according to 247Sports.
The major roster overhaul was here and the team is set to improve greatly from last year. While No. 4 is probably a little too high, it’s understandable to look at the roster’s makeover and get excited about SC’s chances of a very impressive season in 2022.