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College Football Rankings: USC Trojans Ranked No. 2 By Sports Illustrated

The USC Trojans are one among a handful of preseason national championship contenders, which means they'll be on top of every rankings. Matt Barkley will likely be the first reason cited as why the Trojans can win the BCS title game this year, and other reasons like Silas Redd, Curtis McNeal, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee wouldn't be too far behind. There's a lot of talent on offense and a good offensive line to boot. We haven't even gotten to one of the most talented defense in the country that peaked at the right time come the end of last November.

Andrew Lawrence has the writeup for USC at Sports Illustrated. The excerpt in the poll is below.

Much of what made last year's USC team successful remains unchanged. Quarterback Matt Barkley, who bypassed going to the NFL because, he said, USC "has some unfinished business to attend to," is under center for the fourth straight season and is a Heisman Trophy favorite. Behind him in the backfield are two 1,000-yard running backs (senior Curtis McNeal and Penn State transfer Silas Redd), and to Barkley's left and right are a pair of 1,000-yard receivers (junior Robert Woods and sophomore Marqise Lee). On the other side of the ball, senior All-America safety T.J. McDonald -- another Trojan who delayed going to the pros -- is among six lettermen returning to the defense.

USC is among one of three Pac-12 teams ranked in SI's top 25. Oregon is right behind them at No. 4, and Stanford holds the No. 17 spot. Getting past the Trojans will be a daunting task though.

Click here for the full preview of USC at Sports Illustrated.

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