ESPN’s Early Bird Power Index

As many of you have been reading lately, ESPN has projected the Trojans as dropping significantly from winning 11 games in 2017 to between 8-9 for 2018.

Notice Washington (#6 in the nation, 51.6% to win Pac-12) is predicted to win between 10-11 games and Stanford is slotted in at #13, somehow two spots ahead of USC, but still projected to win fewer games (only 8.4) and only given a 10% to win the conference. USC trails the Huskies with a projected 25.4% chance to win the Pac-12.

USC plays another incredible schedule with Notre Dame named just ahead of Washington at #5 and Texas ranked #17. USC’s in a real do-or-die September situation.

With the sorely unsettled Trojan QB situation, the ramped-up drama for USC to escape the early part of the season unscathed, while playing both the Cardinal and Longhorns away, promises to have Clay Helton burning the midnight oil. Many expect Helton to falter without Sam Darnold.

Helton has the perfect opportunity to cement himself as the man to lead USC back to power. The stage is set with some new coaches and a disturbing pattern against strong teams that has to be reversed. Who could ask for more?