Joel Klatt is one of the most recognizable and respected voices in college football. The FOX Sports analyst and former Colorado quarterback knows college football as well as anyone.

When the Trojans added former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams via the transfer portal earlier this year, Klatt stated that Williams made USC a “solid” dark horse pick to make the College Football Playoff in Lincoln Riley’s first year at the helm of the program.

Last week, Klatt went on The Herd with Colin Cowherd to discuss the Trojans, among other topics.

“I’m a Lincoln supporter. Not quite to the level you are, but I’m excited for USC,” Klatt told Cowherd. “I think they’ve got a great team. We both take arrows on this because I’m the one that sat here on this show and said I think at some point in this first season of his they’ll be ranked inside the Top 10. I don’t think they’re going to finish there, but at some point this season I think they’ll be ranked inside the Top 10.”

Klatt and Cowherd agreed that USC doesn’t look like a team that can beat Notre Dame at this point, with Klatt adding that he thinks Notre Dame is too tough at the line of scrimmage for USC as presently constructed. The two also agreed that UCLA is better than many give them credit for.

Cowherd said he thinks USC wins nine games in Riley’s first year, with Utah, UCLA, and Notre Dame being the three losses. Asked if that was realistic, Klatt agreed.

“Yeah, I think that’s completely realistic,” he said. “Now, they’re not where they need to be on defense yet. They’re not where they need to be on the line of scrimmage yet. But I think that’s going to come. The recruiting will get to a point where they’re not going to need this influx of transfers like they’re going to in this first season.

“With the news for Jordan Addison, they got Mario Williams, the wide receiver from Oklahoma, they’ve obviously got Caleb (Williams). They are loaded offensively, and (if) we know one thing about Lincoln Riley, it doesn’t matter really how his defense plays, he’ll find a way to have success. He’s done that for a number of years. He did it with some really poor defenses at Oklahoma, and this is not a conference that is nearly as deep or as good as what those Big 12 conferences were over the last four, five, six years.

“There’s no reason to believe USC is not going to be at least near the top of the Pac-12. No reason not to believe that.”

You can see Klatt’s full appearance on Cowherd’s show below.