USC Trojans 2011 CFBMatrix Profile
The baseline win/loss predictor of flat recruiting ranking comparison had been correct 90% of the time on all USC regular season games from ’05-’09. In 2010 that dropped to 61.5% due to a bad year by Coach Carroll on his way out and the first year of Coach Kiffin.
Recruiting remains very high and above the ‘elite’ line that only the BCS Title Berth Tiered teams belong. The talent this team had last year and this year if given an Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, etc, fans would be expecting a BCS title run only.
The ’10 schedule was perfect with both Oregon and Notre Dame at home. The losing followed Coach Kiffin from Tennessee as the coaching staff has a net game effect of -5 games after 2010. All but one game fell into a newly developed pattern by the Trojans coaching staff. No matter how bad ’11 is the Trojans will not replace the coaching staff as the NCAA will knock them back into the PAC 12 South pack for 6 years.
Trojans Recruiting Rank Links:
2011 Schedule Overview
From the 10,000 foot level this is a good schedule. The OOC team (3) are all AQ schools with two of them at home. The Trojans, while going through the adjustment of new coaching and NCAA sanctions, are fortunate to be in such a weak and down trending division.
Every team but the Trojans and Utes had horrible down recruiting years. This will have lingering effects in the model for 4 years (we have proven every class is of no greater importance than another). And with additions of a weak Utah team and a horrible Colorado team, this is an easy division to win with the Trojans huge talent disparity. 6-3 should be the worst case scenario for Southern Cal.
The baseline CFBMatrix model (comparing 4 year recruiting class rankings) has the team at 11-1. Adjustments for ‘normal’ national home/away scheduling knocks it down to 10-2. The biggest question mark are the 6 of 7 teams they play to finish the season with 4 year national recruiting rankings under 30. With the trends established by Coach Kiffen in 2010, at Cal, at Oregon and at Notre Dame are going to be the toughest. Stanford and Washington at home will be no less tough but this team is much better at home. There are a lot of trends and predictor indicators to pin down with a relatively new staff. The odds are over 70% that this team will have 8 or fewer wins in 2011, but the talent and schedule show otherwise. Unfortunately, with this talent and the ’10 trends in games if this team wins less than 8 games then the likelihood of USC having the wrong coach for the future increases significantly.
Links to other Trojans stats, trends, and articles
USC Trojans Win/Recruiting Trend Chart
From 2001-2005 this programs recruiting and winning went hand in hand. During this decade, USC recruiting has been the highest ranked in the country. However, since 2005, the win trend line has been in slow decline, whiel recruiting has maintained itself well about the ‘elite line” and it takes top 25 classes to stay there. That is not to say the 2002-2008 run of bowl games by the Trojans was anything less than awesome However, there has been a clear decline in the winning/recruiting trends. Since 2003, this has been an BCS Title berth caliber team. Anything less than 10+ wins at this level, is simply an underperformance for coaching the talent. I would expect this team, at its current talent level to be at a minimum of 9 wins in 2011, but the odds are against it.
This team is at an amazing cross roads in the CFBMatrix model. First, the trend of wins needs to change direction from flat/declining to Up. 9 wins or more are important to break the trend line. However, the 5 losses in 2010 on the road and at home follow a very clear pattern. If that pattern continues in 2011, then you can expect USC to have 7 wins and a near confirmation that you have the wrong coach. The other issue is that of the sanctions. As of today, April 18, 2011 there has been no ruling. If it is upheld the recruiting trend line will start to decline very quickly with the wins trend line to follow. The 3 years down, will then take 3 years to recover in this 6 year cycle the the NCAA is forcing upon the Trojans for one bad apple (or ‘Bush’el of apples as it were).
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