The school that brought us John Wayne, O.J. Simpson and Will Ferrell is garnering a lot of hype. Imagine that, Pilgrim.

The Trojans are everybody’s favorite to win the Pac-12. And sophomore Sam Darnold, who went 9-1 after taking over the starting QB job in late September, seems to be the pre-season favorite to win the Heisman.

That said, Phil Steele, who combines the statistical fascination of Warren Buffett with the aplomb of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, pointed this out:

“USC does not fare well when picked high in the pre-season AP poll.’’ In 2012, he noted, USC was the pre-season No. 1, and 2015, it was a pre-season No. 8.

In both cases, it finished unranked.

Phil doesn’t say anything about USC’s history in the pre-season TMGcollegesports Super 16 rankings.

But I’m not buying any of that. It says here that the Trojans are going to have a mighty nice year. They’ll beat Washington in the Pac-12 game and punch a ticket to the College Football Playoff. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.