➜ Coach: Lincoln Riley

➜ 2021 record: 4-8

➜ Projected 2022 record: 9-3

➜ Circle the date: Oct. 15 at Utah

➜ Projected bowl trip: Alamo

➜ Why No. 25: It all starts with Riley, who left a highly successful program at Oklahoma to try to revitalize the Trojans. Wonder if the folks in charge at Southern Cal warned him they were about to move into the Big Ten. The competition got harder, but the potential for reward is greater, too. ... Riley has already made a huge influence on the roster, bringing in transfer quarterback Caleb Williams from Oklahoma and superstar receiver Jordan Addison from Pittsburgh. ... At tailback, Riley reeled in Oregon transfer Travis Dye and Stanford transfer Austin Jones. ... The defense was a mess in 2021, ranking among the worst in the Pac-12. Alex Grinch is the new coordinator and has added a string of transfers to go along with three returning starters. ... The nonconference schedule includes an early home game against underrated Fresno State and the season finale at Notre Dame. In the Pac-12, which will be less friendly than ever, the Trojans travel to Utah and UCLA.

Bob Asmussen

Bob Asmussen can be reached at 217-393-8248 or by email at asmussen@news-gazette.com.

College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is asmussen@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

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