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BMatt is here with a college football future. Is Lincoln Riley and USC the best value bet in the Pac-12?

2022 College Football Predictions: Are Lincoln Riley and USC the Value Bet in the Pac-12?

If you told me this time last year I’d pick the USC Trojans to the win the Pac-12 outright, and I would’ve called you crazy. Former Head Coach Clay Helton took a lot of the wind of the USC sails, making people forget about the dominant run of the early 2000’s.

A lot has changed dating back to last year. The biggest addition came in the form of Lincoln Riley, who became the Trojans’ new Head Coach. That marked a seismic shift in the college football landscape, and Riley is no stranger to success. The fact that he left OU to become the new Head Coach at USC was shocking.

USC to win the Pac-12 (+140) (Bet $100 to win $140)

Soon after Riley’s arrival, we began to hear buzz that former OU signal-caller Caleb Williams, who was brilliant for the Sooners in his true freshman season was coming to USC. Riley wasted no time in changing the culture, and more noticeably, the roster.

Once Williams was confirmed, it seemed like things might slow down, which was not the case. The Trojans then added last year’s Biletnikoff Award Winner as the nation's top wide receiver, Jordan Addison from Pitt. Kenny Pickett was no longer QB at Pitt, and Addison found greener pastures in a Southern California offense led by Caleb Williams.

The Trojans also received commitments from former Alabama inside backer Shane Lee, All Pac-12 Oregon running back Travis Dye, Freshman All-American linebacker Eric Gentry from ASU, Auburn outside linebacker Romello Height, Brendan Rice (Colorado – son of Jerry Rice) and Terrell Bynum (Washington), both starters last year in the Pac-12 last year, four year Virginia starting offensive tackle Bobby Haskins, and a group of other impact transfers. The Trojans have managed to overhaul their entire roster in just one off-season. Welcome to college football free agency folks.

For those worried about how the new scenery might affect Riley and the Trojans, fear not, there is a whole lot of Norman, OK in Los Angeles right now. Riley brought over defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and multiple defensive staffers, as well as a good number of offensive coaches from OU. Not to mention Caleb Williams and Mario Williams, the two OU standout transfers, who are running the exact same system for the second year in a row as true sophomores.

The Pac-12 is not the toughest conference out there, we know this, so the Trojans' path to a Pac-12 Championship is very real.

Article Author


Born in Southern California, Brian lives and breathes sports.  He comes from a football family, with a number of family members who played professionally.  While Brian didn’t play professionally, he took his insights and dominated off the field. In fact, during the 2021 NFL season, his bets and parlays returned a whopping 117.84 units. Specializing in data analysis, Brian takes a unique approach to his NFL, NBA, and MLB bets. You can find him on Twitter at @the_bmatt.


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