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Pac-12: USC Coach Steve Sarkisian responds to Trojans’ preseason rankings

USC Coach Steve Sarkisian speaks to reporters Friday as part of Pac-12 football media days in Burbank.

USC Coach Steve Sarkisian speaks to reporters Friday as part of Pac-12 football media days in Burbank.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

USC has been picked to win the Pac-12 championship in a media poll, and the Trojans are ranked 10th in the preseason coaches poll.

When USC Coach Steve Sarkisian was asked whether winning the Pac-12 was a realistic expectation, he said he would not know until his team takes the field.

“Until we perform, we don’t know yet,” Sarkisian said. “The preseason polls are somewhat like a beauty contest.”

USC returns quarterback Cody Kessler, a fifth-year senior who will start for a third season, and several key defensive players, including linebacker Su’a Cravens and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.

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“I have been challenging Cody to be at his best in the most critical moments,” Sarkisian said.

The Trojans must replace tailback Javorius Allen and receiver Nelson Agholor on offense and lineman Leonard Williams on defense.

“Not one guy replaces Leonard Williams,” Sarkisian said. “It’s going to take a group effort.”

USC finished the 2014 season with a 9-4 record.

Times reporters do not vote in polls.

Questions or comments about USC? Email me at LNThiry@gmail.com or tweet @LindseyThiry and I will respond to select messages in a weekly USC Now mailbag.


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