USC (AP rank: No. 6)
The USC Trojans have been a preferred decide to make the Faculty Soccer Playoff amongst sports activities bettors. It’s not exhausting to see why. Led by switch QB Caleb Williams, the Trojan offense regarded unstoppable by the primary three weeks of the season. With the entire weapons at Williams’ disposal — Jordan Addison, Mario Williams, Tahj Washington, Brenden Rice, Travis Dye, Austin Jones — it really regarded like their offense may rating each time they need.
Then final week, the Trojans went into Corvallis to play a tricky Oregon State workforce, and their offense went dormant. Nevertheless it was their protection, who’s tied for first within the nation with 14 turnovers, that saved the day. The run protection has regarded holey at instances, however the bend-but-don’t-break philosophy has appeared to work so far. And the big-play turnovers have actually catapulted this workforce to related standing.
It’s nonetheless early, however the Trojans have checked all of the bins as far as a real Playoff contender. As they lead the league in compelled turnovers, they’re additionally the one workforce within the nation but to provide one up. Lincoln Riley deserves a variety of credit score for altering the tradition of that workforce so shortly.
[Full disclosure: I’m a USC grad.]