- Matt Barkley is the starting quarterback.
- Robert Woods is the starting wide receiver.
- Rhett Ellison is the starting fullback.
- The center Khaled Holmes and tackles Matt Kalil and Kevin Graf are firmly situated in place.
- Three of the four defensive linemen (Christian Tupou at NT, DaJohn Harris at DT, and Nick Perry at DE) have earned their spots.
- Two of the secondary (sophomore Nickell Robey at cornerback, free safety T.J. McDonald) are both settled into position.
And....that's about it.
- USC still has a four way battle going at running back, which probably means the starter and backup won't be announced until later this week. Expect it to be some combination of Dillon Baxter and Curtis McNeal, but D.J. Morgan and Amir Carlisle are talented youngsters, and Kiffin might think of making them play.
- The backup quarterback is walk-on junior John Manoogian, who beat out Cody Kessler and Max Wittek. I hadn't even known Manoogian was on the team before I read the depth chart. I'm guessing USC really needs to keep Barkley healthy, because neither Kessler nor Wittek are close to ready to burn redshirts face top-level defenders if a guy who barely scrimmaged is in the second position.
- Freshman Marqise Lee could be lining up next to Robert Woods, following in the footsteps of Robert Woods as the second straight true frosh to see PT. Or it could be senior Brandon Carswell stepping in. George Farmer or Brice Butler OR Kyle Prater could be the third man in. Or De'Von Flournoy. Or Robbie Boyer. Or Victor Blackwell. Terrible dilemmas USC suffers (commence rest of conference rolling eyes).
- No one wants to play left guard at USC according to Kiffin. Currently there are three guys in there fighting for the spot, but Kiffin's frankness is usually not a good sign for whoever wins the position.
- USC has three underclass tight ends battling for the number one position. A little bit of a downgrade from Ellison and Blake Ayles.
- John Martinez looks like he'll be the starter at right guard, as Aundrey Walker is barely able to stay on the field at a gargantuan 375 pounds.
Devon Kennard was supposed to be the starter at defensive end, but Wes Horton is pushing him. Kennard's odyssey all over the USC defense won't end.
- NONE of the linebackers have secured their spots. Chris Gallippo might if he was healthy, but if he isn't, it's not out of the question that three freshman/redshirt freshman are playing in the middle this season. Scary.
- I'm too tired to discuss the secondary.
Anyway, don't think too much of this chart. It sure does show a lot of depth, but when it comes to starters and backups, nothing is really settled.
For more on USC football, go to Conquest Chronicles.