USC future power rankings

The 2012 season was an undeniably disappointing one for USC. From preseason No. 1 to a 7-6 record and a Hyundai Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech. With an unsettled quarterback situation and a coach on the hot seat, there are plenty of questions about the Trojans. But it's still USC, with a storied history, a stockpile of talented skill players and some of the best recruiters in the country.

So despite the uncertainty, USC is No. 25 in the inaugural college football future power rankings. Here's one thing that could propel the Trojans even higher and one thing that could knock them out of the rankings over the next three years.

The Trojans will rise if: The physicality is back

One of the major traits of the Trojans during the program’s magical run under former coach Pete Carroll was the physical brand of play that his teams consistently displayed -- during games and practice. It’s an integral element that had been noticeably lacking over the past two years, due in part to the limited roster numbers that USC has been forced to deal with because of NCAA sanctions.