ESPN experts predict USC in 2015 College Football Playoff

ESPN experts predict USC in 2015 College Football Playoff
Quarterback Cody Kessler and the Trojans have some high expectations being levied upon them. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

ESPN’s outlook on USC’s 2015 season is certainly high.

The sports network polled 37 of its analysts about which teams would make the four-team College Football Playoff -- and 23 predicted the Trojans would be among them.

Reigning national champion Ohio State got 36 votes, Texas Christian 32 and Alabama 17.

USC finished 9-4 last season. The Trojans return eight offensive starters including fifth-year senior quarterback Cody Kessler.

But three of last season's most productive players -- defensive lineman Leonard Williams, receiver Nelson Agholor and tailback Javorius Allen -- declared for the NFL draft despite having a year of eligibility remaining. Receiver George Farmer also declared for the draft.

For the first time in four years, USC signed a full 25-player recruiting class. Rivals and Scout ranked it the top class nationally.

In 2012, the Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason poll. They finished 7-6.

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