Jeremy Hogue writes that with the No. 1 ranking come higher expectations.
Considering the circumstances in which he took the USC job, and how the Trojans looked early in the season compared to now, Lane Kiffin is as good of a choice for national coach of the year as any.
For all the flak that Lane Kiffin has taken during his head-coaching career, he deserves that same amount of praise for Saturday's win.
Argue with each other all they want, USC and Notre Dame fans find their teams in similar places entering this year's meeting.
The loss to Arizona State exposed a lot of USC's warts. How they respond to that against Arizona this week will set the tone for the rest of the season.
A year of working together and learning each other's strengths seems to be helping both Matt Barkley and Lane Kiffin.
USC has the 2-0 start it wanted, but the Trojans seem to be locked in battles with themselves.
USC has a little more depth and a little more talent, but the expectation level probably still is too high.
The fall of the Trojans was swift and ugly, but there are plenty of reasons to believe the program already is climbing again.