USC entered the 2023 college football season with sky-high expectations. Armed with the reigning Heisman winner, a stellar recruiting class, and a seasoned coach, the Trojans seemed poised for a triumphant year. After four games, they are 4-0 and crushing opponents with an average margin of victory of 35 points.
While USC’s dominance is evident, some writers remain skeptical. In the current college football landscape, the Pac-12 conference is flourishing, boasting five undefeated teams, with four of them securing spots in the AP Top Ten.
Jon Wilner, writing for the Mercury News, recently ranked these five undefeated Pac-12 teams and placed USC at the bottom of the list. Wilner’s rationale for this ranking primarily revolves around USC’s schedule.
To be fair, USC has convincingly defeated San Jose State, Nevada, and Stanford. However, their performance against Arizona State raised questions. Arizona State had previously suffered a lopsided loss to Fresno State, and USC’s victory over them was not as commanding.
Furthermore, USC’s defense, while generally solid, has shown signs of vulnerability, despite not conceding many points. This defensive aspect remains a potential weakness for the eighth-ranked team in the nation.
On a positive note, Wilner did acknowledge the exceptional performance of Caleb Williams, even though he had a subpar game against Arizona State. It’s worth noting that even in a “down” game for Williams, the Trojans managed to score an impressive 42 offensive points.
As the Trojans’ schedule toughens, only time will reveal whether Wilner’s ranking, placing USC at the bottom of the undefeated Pac-12 teams, is justified. USC’s journey in the 2023 college football season is still unfolding, and their ability to maintain their undefeated status remains a topic of debate in the college football world.
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