3. USC Needs To Be USC Again
It’s great when a Washington, or an Oregon, or a Stanford, or a Utah does big things, but across the college football landscape, the perception of the league changes when USC is terrific.
It shouldn’t be that way, but from a prestige factor, of course the biggest-name program has to be solid.
It doesn’t matter to Clemson that the rest of the ACC isn’t strong, but how much better is the league’s cachet when Florida State and Miami are a thing?
The same goes for the Big Ten – it’s a big deal when Michigan and Ohio State are rolling. The Big 12 needs Oklahoma and Texas to be good, only so more people pay attention.
That goes for the Pac-12.
A 5-7 USC that’s getting rocked by Texas and sputters and coughs its way through life is a problem. Last year, had Washington State been able to beat Washington and go on to win the Pac-12 title and finish 12-1, it would’ve been – at best – sixth in the CFP pecking order because it lost to a mediocre USC.
The Trojans don’t have to be amazing, but they do need to get by Fresno State, at BYU, and at Notre Dame in the non-conference slate, and they need to hover around the ten-win mark.
They need to be good enough so that beating them matters.