No College Football fan should get use to seeing the USC Trojans as a top 25 ranked team. This team is a mess, and facing heavy NCAA Sanctions. On top of all that they still have the unproven Lane Kiffin. All I can say about that is dude must have the gift of gab because he remains unproven after landing several big time jobs. Even my new friends over at SBRForum.com have little faith that USC can remain at the high level they have been.
Even though they cannot go to a Bowl Game, and many kids have already left there is still a season to play. The USC Trojans will get a chance to avenge a 47-20 loss to Oregon last year on October 30th. They also get Notre Dame at home on November 27th. The schedule in November is pretty tough as they get Arizona State at home and Arizona on the road in back to back weeks.
On the field the front line of the defense is in tact, but big questions remain in the back seven. Their next big thing is DE Nick Perry who had eight sacks as a part time player in 2009. He is very capable of growing into USC's next All-American lineman. For the most part there are significant questions about all of the coaches and every unit on this team. It makes me wonder why the Sporting News ranked them 16th in the pre-season.
Since this team cannot travel to the post season, they may have more of a fire to win games each week. I suspect that the next two years will be spent implementing Kiffin's system, and working towards getting strong recruiting classes. We could argue that the ban will fire up their remaining players, but I don't know about that one.