• Paul Compton

My #1 Recommended Regular Season Win Play, 2017.

1 Unit:

USC Over 9.5 wins (-160 5Dimes) -- This is my favorite play for the P5 teams.

By the end of last season, USC was playing as well as almost anyone in all of college football. In week #10 they beat eventual playoff team, Washington, 26-13. Their season got off to a very rocky start, suffering a massive blowout at Alabama in week #1, a 27-10 loss at Stanford in week #3, and a 31-27 at Utah in week #4.

That Utah game is actually where USC started to turn it around, with the full time insertion of Sam Darnold into the starting QB role. They were unlucky to lose that game at Utah, but they didn't lose another game the rest of the season, with only one game being even close, the week #6 21-17 win vs. Colorado.

At seasons' end, I ranked USC's defense 13th best, and their offense 12th best. The Trojans are a very balanced squad, they have no weaknesses. Even Alabama and Clemson had a unit that didn't finish in my top 20 rankings, unlike USC (Alabama's 33rd rated pass offense and Clemson's 36th rated rush offense).

USC's only real losses entering this year are a couple of their top wide receivers. With Darnold having a full off-season to prepare as the starter the USC passing game shouldn't suffer any drop off. And you may have seen that Darnold is the #1 candidate for the Heisman Trophy in the preseason?

USC gets top running back Ronald Jones II back, and have a pretty veteran offensive line composed of 2 Seniors and 3 Juniors.

Defensively USC returns a healthy portion of their players on the defensive line, at linebacker, and in the secondary.

As far as I'm concerned, 9.5 is a fair number for how many games I think USC will win by double digits. USC will play a lot of good teams this year, but no great teams -- I think they'll be disappointed with anything less than a perfect record heading into the college football playoff.