USC picked as one of teams best positioned to make first College Football Playoff in 2022
The arrival of Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams in Los Angeles has USC fans dreaming of a College Football Playoff appearance, but beyond that it has media wondering how quickly the Trojans can rebound from a 4-8 season in 2021 and regain their footing near the top of the sport.
Some think Riley and USC can ascend quickly enough to threaten for a CFP appearance next season.
247Sports’ Clint Buckley wrote this week the Trojans are one of the best-positioned teams in college football who have yet to appear in the CFP to earn a spot in 2022.
Here’s what he had to say on USC:
“OK, before you start laughing at the Trojans being ranked so high, consider this: Where will the Pac-12 competition come from? And with Lincoln Riley in charge now and a slew of transfers joining him in L.A., the USC two-deep roster is bound to look vastly different than it has in recent years under Clay Helton. Given his immediate success at Oklahoma as a five-star true freshman, a case can be made that Caleb Williams is already the Pac-12’s best quarterback without the dynamic signal-caller having even taken a snap yet for the Trojans. However, given the Pac-12’s recent track record on the national scale, the conference jumping into the CFP this season will likely hinge on whether there is an unbeaten program in the league when the committee reveals the final rankings in December. Two games to circle on the calendar: Oct. 15 at Utah and the Nov. 26 regular-season finale at home against Notre Dame.”
The Trojans were the fourth-highest team in Buckley’s top 10, behind Baylor at No. 3, Texas A&M at No. 2, and fellow Pac-12 South resident Utah at the top.
Utah went 10-4 last season, winning the Pac-12 and nearly toppling Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. The Utes beat USC 42-26 last season.
If the Trojans are to make a run at the CFP in 2022, they’ll need to get past Utah first. They meet on Oct. 15 in Salt Lake City.