Even through the years of NCAA sanctions, USC's had a talented roster with future pros. And throughout the last decade, it has usually finished the year in the neighborhood of 10 wins. It's been the unfulfilled expectations (2012) and falling short in big-time conference contests that frustrates fans and has left college football pundits wary of declaring that USC is "back."
So when the Trojans started the year by allowing Western Michigan to not only hang around, but have real success running the ball in the opener, the CBS Sports and 247Sports voters with ballots for the CBS 130 reacted dramatically, resulting in a drop out of the top five for USC.
However, after watching USC put on a show against Stanford in a battle of Pac-12 title hopefuls, all of those worries have apparently subsided. There was a "prove it" aspect to the 42-24 win against the Cardinal, and now -- at least for the moment -- we're ready to say USC is "back."
College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top-25 below, and 26-130 on our rankings page.
- USC (+14): As we mentioned above, this is a correction to what was probably an overreaction to the Trojans struggling with Stanford in Week 1.
- South Carolina (+13): Jake Bentley is slinging that rock, and the Gamecocks have an offense that is good enough to challenge for the SEC East title.
- TCU (+12): Arguably the most impressive win of the week was TCU going into Arkansas and being the more physical team against the Hogs, dominating in the trenches and moving the ball on the ground.
- Auburn (-6): The Tigers take a slight step back in the rankings, but Auburn fans are wondering if the struggles on offense are more a credit to Clemson's defensive line or a reason to be concerned with Jarrett Stidham and the offensive attack moving forward.
- Stanford (-7): The most stunning part of Stanford's loss was USC's offensive line beating up the Cardinal in the trenches. They've got a great secondary, but in order to win the Pac-12 North, they're going to have to get better up front on defense.
- Ohio State (-10): A wake-up call in Columbus. Ohio State can still win the Big Ten as built, and can probably still make the playoff if all goes right, but if the offense does not see a vast improvement in its ability to move the ball the down the field, they will not be able to fulfill national title expectations.
Check out the rest of the CBS Sports 130: Teams ranked 26-130