We looked at a lot of pundit predictions and a lot of publications’ prognostications about USC football for 2022. Websites, podcasters, columnists, reporters, polls — we looked at a large number of predictions about the Trojans in the first year of the Lincoln Riley era.
The most common prediction for USC — in a 12-game schedule — was that the Trojans would go 9-3. Some experts said 10-2, but most went with 9-3, believing that the new and reconstituted nature of the Trojans’ roster would need a lot of time to come together.
“You can’t completely remake a 4-8 team in one year,” a lot of people said in more words or less. “There are too many new faces on the roster,” analysts said about Lincoln Riley’s reliance on the transfer portal. “They will all need to learn how to play as a cohesive group.”
This is why most predictions stopped short of saying USC would win 10 games this year.
After the month of September, those skeptical views are unlikely to hold up.
It’s not impossible, but it’s a lot less likely.
We explained to Mark Rogers at The Voice of College Football that if the consensus on USC’s preseason over-under win total was 9.5, the new consensus is now 10.5. USC’s floor might have been eight or nine wins heading into this season. Now the floor is probably 10 wins. We’ll see if USC can win 11.