When quarterback Matt Barkley decided to return to the USC Trojans for his senior season, he cited "unfinished business" that the team still had to take care of. After two years of bowl ineligibility, one could imagine a Rose Bowl berth was on Barkley's mind. Or perhaps a higher goal is in order, as many preseason polls might suggest.
USC is ranked No. 1 in the 2012 preseason BlogPoll by SB Nation college football writers. The Trojans received seven first-place votes compared to nine for the No. 2 LSU Tigers, but USC was able to gain in other areas. "In a poll that has a significant bit of volatility thanks to a smallish voter base, the Trojans receive fewer first-place votes than No. 2 LSU and still outpoint the Tigers by .36 points per ballot," wrote Andy Hutchins. "That's a much smaller difference than the gap between LSU and Alabama, which falls from the overwhelming No. 1 in the final 2011 BlogPoll to a distant No. 3."
Here are the SB Nation BlogPoll top 10:
The November 3 matchup between the Trojans and the No. 4 Oregon Ducks in Los Angeles might just be the most anticipated college football game of the season, at least in the Pac-12 Conference if not the country.
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