SEC outlook: Lincoln Riley's USC to compete with Texas, Notre Dame, LSU
May 6, 2022
It's no secret that USC will feature a lot of offensive firepower under Lincoln Riley. There are a variety of skill positions that the coach will utilize to compete in the SEC against Texas, Notre Dame, LSU, and the rest of SEC West.
Jordan Addison, the Biletnikoff Award winner, officially joined the NCAA transfer portal on Tuesday. He caught over a hundred passes for 1,593 yards on 143 targets and became one of the country's most prominent targets for quarterbacks. His most recent quarterback, Kenny Pickett, was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Mark Whipple, USC's offensive coordinator last season, is now at Nebraska. His former wide receivers coach, Brennan Marion, is also at Texas. Despite the changing staff, Addison is believed to have started his transfer process at USC.
The USC Trojans entered spring practice with just 13 scholarship offensive linemen. Also, there's still a lot of work on the defensive side of the ball under new coordinator Alex Grinch.
Texas as worthy rival
The Texas Longhorns running backs have a combined five-star rating, making them one of the most dangerous groups in the country. It's the highest rating given to a group of running backs in the country since Vince Young and Jamal Charles were in Texas.
Bijan Robinson and Quinn Ewers are both good enough to be considered among the best players in the country. They'll also have a receiving group that includes former Alabama and Wyoming players like Agim Hall and Jahleel Billingsley. With a couple of transfers and a couple of good quarterbacks, Texas should score a lot of points this season.
Freeman leads Notre Dame
Marcus Freeman is putting his stamp on the program at Notre Dame by breaking the school's long-standing tradition of not scheduling an HBCU or an FCS team.
The Fighting Irish will host Tennessee State in 2023. A smart move by Freeman, who was a part of the staff that helped Oklahoma State win the Fiesta Bowl, shows that Freeman is still putting his stamp on the program. He's only the second African-American head football coach in Notre Dame history, following Ty Willingham's tenure from 2002 to 2004. He's also setting the program up to compete for another national title.
Aside from Freeman, the decision to schedule Tennessee State wasn't Freeman's alone. It was also made by Jack Swarbrick, who served as an executive at the Indianapolis Sports Commission during the 1980s.
LSU has strong QBs
It's believed that Walker Howard will be the starting quarterback for LSU in 2023, with either Myles Brennan or Jayden Daniels competing for the position. This is conventional wisdom that college football coaches love.
Brian Kelly is the same coach who started Brandon Wimbush before giving Ian Book the starting job. That type of situation could happen again if Book continues to develop into a quality quarterback.
SEC West is tough
Although the number of practices that the Alabama football team has participated in has increased, many doubters about its chances of returning to the playoffs still remain the same. Nick Saban must have a deeper understanding of the program's new staff members.
The Texas A&M football team gave fans a glimpse of what it can do in 2022. The program's first win over Alabama since 2008 came after Johnny Manziel criticized the way Saban used to approach the position. For the first time since he became the program's head coach, Jimbo Fisher could out-recruit the other SEC coaches.