Without McCoy, who transferred to Texas after he was enrolled in classes for less than three weeks, USC does not have a five-star in the fold for its recruiting class for the first time since 2000, when recruiting services began ranking the top high school players.,Over more recent years, the Trojans have faced more difficulty reeling in five-star talent, largely the prospects from outside California, at times leaving them over-reliant on top players from their own backyard.,The Trojans finished 5-7 last year, their first losing season since 2000, prompting calls from fans for Helton to be fired following his third full season before the embattled coach was retained by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.,But even in the initial seasons under Helton, while the Trojans made consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, they were unable to pluck five-star recruits from other regions of the country and poach prospects from other blue-blood schools that have had a better recent track record of producing NFL draft picks, especially among offensive linemen.,Gorney and other analysts reasoned that the Trojans have had enough talent in recent seasons to contend for Pac-12 championships, and they won the conference crown in their second season under Helton in 2017.

Does it matter to most residents of Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Utah and Colorado whether their states' major college football programs match those in Alabama or Ohio dollar for dollar and victory for victory?,OK, more links: The O’s James Crepea takes a deep dive into Oregon’s 7-6 victory over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl, the good, the bad, the encouraging and the discouraging.,Vince Grippi for the Spokesman-Review: Washington’s loss shows the Pac-12 just doesn’t measure up against college football’s elite level.,Joey Kaufman of the Los Angeles Daily News: Washington’s loss to Ohio State is one more Pac-12 disappointment.,Washington wilts in a Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State, leaving the Huskies with bigger questions.