Football

ESPN power rankings reveal diminished prominence

trojanswire.usatoday.com

The ESPN end-of-season college football power rankings are out. The USC Trojans did make the top 25… but barely.

The Trojans were No. 24 in ESPN’s rankings, well behind schools such as Coastal Carolina, Liberty, and Louisiana-Lafayette, three programs which were all 10 or more spots ahead of USC.

It gets worse: The Trojans were the only Pac-12 program on ESPN’s list.

This is what ESPN had to say about USC:

The Trojans are the Pac-12’s lone representative in the final power rankings, and their close to the season was a bit hollow. After winning all five of its regular-season games, USC lost 31-24 to Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game, an Oregon team that had not won a game in nearly a month and only got into the Pac-12 title game because Washington had to bow out because of COVID-19 issues.

USC barely being a top-25 program in ESPN’s eyes is a reflection of both the Trojans’ diminished stature and the Pac-12’s bungling, which halved the length of the regular season and made the Pac-12 an afterthought in the season-long College Football Playoff conversation. The Trojans are clearly viewed as the best team in a thoroughly mediocre conference, as opposed to a team which made a significant statement in 2020.

USC and the Pac-12 are both devalued football products. A lot of image restoration and reputational repair must be done in 2021 to undo the damage created in 2020.

trojanswire.usatoday.com

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