Descent of Trojans has ended

If you were to ask all the Trojan fans out there to name the low point of the past few years, given all that has gone on around USC athletics, you might get several different answers.

Now there is probation, with massive scholarship losses, coming off of a subpar season that saw USC relinquish its streak against Notre Dame, lose again to Oregon State, and lose for two years in a row to all three of the following: Oregon, Stanford and Washington. I heard my friend Petros Papadakis pick Arizona State to win the Pac-12 South on the radio the other day, and when asked who might take their place given the injuries that have hit ASU, he mentioned Utah, UCLA and Arizona … never USC. Just writing all of this gets me depressed, but the question is, have the Trojans even reached bottom?

While the timetable for USC's return to the top is another issue (and my outlook for this season will come in a separate column), below are the reasons I see USC on the rise: