The expected news dropped on Tuesday as quarterback Caleb Williams announced his commitment to USC. The former Oklahoma quarterback will join his old coach, Lincoln Riley, in LA and have three years of eligibility left. His transfer, along with the other additions joining him, will make USC College Football Playoff contenders next season.
Riley has now added 13 transfers, and maybe of them should have a serious impact. Williams is the big fish, but former Oregon running back Travis Dye was a huge addition, as was former Oklahoma wideout Mario Williams. There are plenty more impact guys arriving as well. Add that to a small but powerhouse recruiting class and the Trojans' returning roster and things are looking good in the Land of Troy.
Williams is the key to everything though. Quarterbacks drive wins in college football, and USC just got one of the best in the nation. As a true freshman in 2021, the former five-star recruit saw action in 11 games. He completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 1,912 yards, with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions. He averaged 9.1 yards per attempt and finished fourth in the nation in QBR (86.5). He also ran the ball 79 times for 442 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. He's a dynamic presence at the position.
Combining Williams, Dye and a loaded receiving corps, a few solid returning lineman and left tackle transfer Bobby Haskins, USC should be dangerous. It should be exciting to watch those players in Riley' system.
If the additions to the roster aren't enough to convince you the Trojans could make the playoff next season, their schedule might put you over the top. USC will host Rice, Fresno State, Arizona State, Washington State, Cal, Colorado and Notre Dame. The Trojans only have five road games (Stanford, Oregon State, Utah, Arizona and UCLA) and avoid facing Oregon. The road game against Utah and a matchup with Notre Dame are the only games that should give fans pause. Other than that, the schedule is painfully weak.
At the very least, Riley and his team will open the 2022 season as the clear favorites in the Pac-12. Adding Williams and the rest of his transfer buddies is what put that over the top.
With an easy Pac-12 slate in front of them and a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback, don't be shocked if USC is contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff in Lincoln Riley's first year. What a stunning turnaround we've seen in LA.