Injuries, inexperience and bad luck doomed USC to a disastrous season, but help is on the way for a Trojans program that sorely needs it.
With big official visit weekends on deck and roster spots that need to be cleared in order to comply with NCAA sanctions, it's a tricky time for Trojans coaches.
Sophomore Robert Woods and freshman Marqise Lee rank as perhaps the best wide receiver duo in USC history. The records they set certainly would back that up.
The crosstown rivalry has some championship stakes for UCLA, which would clinch a berth in the Pac-12 title game with a victory over USC.
USC hasn't been able to keep up with Oregon the past two seasons, giving up a combined 100 points. It will be tough to reverse that trend.
Washington has been a stone in USC's shoe the last two seasons and brings a potent team into the Coliseum on Saturday.
USC has the best class in the Pac-12 to date, but Arizona State and UCLA are looming.
Several Pac-12 North teams are primed for big recruiting finishes, as Stanford, Cal, Oregon and Washington are in on many top prospects.
Colorado has faced a brutal Pac-12 schedule to date. It doesn't get much easier this week with USC coming to town.
California has lost consecutive road games to open its Pac-12 season, but the Golden Bears are hoping that getting back home will turn the tide.
Arizona has lost three in a row and eight of nine dating to last season, but the Wildcats also have faced three top-10 teams already this season.
It may be early, but Saturday night's battle between USC and Arizona State could go a long way in determining the Pac-12 South Division champion.
LB/RB prospect Ryan McDaniel has Arizona State in front, but he will take an unofficial visit to USC this weekend.
With postseason now an option and expectations through the roof, the Trojans are trying to maintain the even-handed approach that paid off last season.