Does USC look like a top 5 team? It certainly has the talent to be one. But in four games, it probably only looked like it once (vs. Stanford). This is where being in the Pac-12 helps. USC goes to Cal and plays before about 40,000 including the usual large group of Trojan fans making the Bay Area trip. Cal is a waltzing stadium. So is Stanford. And Arizona State. And Arizona. And Oregon State. And Washington State. And . . .
How many waltzing stadiums are in the SEC? South Carolina had 71,821 at Williams-Brice Stadium for Louisiana Tech on Saturday. Kentucky had a sellout crowd of 62,945 at Kroger Field for Florida. And lost 28-27.
You think the crowd made a difference in those games? I haven’t even mentioned the traditional hostile atmospheres like LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. The point is the crowd makes it more difficult. USC and Washington won’t really deal with anything like it. So there’s less chance for upsets.