Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 8/2/12
Lane Kiffin didnt want USC to be ranked number one any preseason polls. On Thursday, he got his wish. USC is ranked third in the USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll behind LSU and Alabama. Despite being third, the Trojans received more first place votes, 19, than top ranked LSU, 18. The Crimson Tide received 20 first-place votes. Others in the Pac-12 included in the Preseason Poll are No. 5 Oregon and No. 18 Stanford. The Trojans ended the 2011 season with 10-2 record and in first place of the Pac-12 South Division. They were, arguably, the hottest team in the nation at seasons end. However, because of NCAA sanctions, USC was not allowed to participate in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game. USC returns two 1,000-yard receivers in Pac-12 Freshman co-Offensive Player of the Year, Marqise Lee and 2011 Biletnikoff Award finalist, Robert Woods. The Trojans received a huge shot in the arm when safety T.J. McDonald and Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Barkley both elected to forego the NFL Draft and return to USC for their senior seasons. During the offseason, the team has developed a motto, Unfinished Business based upon Prep Not Hype which is painted on the grass at the Trojans practice facility, Howard Jones Field. When T.J. and I decided to come back we knew that we had a great time at USC and we have had a lot of fun playing football, but we hadn't maximized our potential here at USC, said USC quarterback Matt Barkley. I think that phrase "unfinished business" has to do with finishing at a top level and finishing at what we're capable of as a team. Kiffin has stated on numerous occasions that he didnt feel his team should be ranked number one heading into the season. He was asked that question again last week at Pac-12 Media Day. I do not, Kiffin replied. I dont know how you vote a team number one that has less players than everybody else, so I dont but Im sure I think I know our issues more than other people do, especially at running back. Those comments were before the Trojans were able to add former Penn State running back Silas Redd. The voting in the coaches poll was also done before Redd decided to become a Trojan. USC opens Fall Camp on Monday. The Trojans will open the season Sept. 1 at the Coliseum against former assistant Norm Chow and Hawaii.
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