2011 Trojans are anybody's guess

This is a case for "NCIS." Or maybe "Law and Order." On second thought, maybe you wouldn't want to involve "Law and Order," with the NCAA still hovering in the general area.

The point is, USC's 2011 season is your basic big-time mystery wrapped in a Cardinal and Gold enigma.

I've covered Trojans football since back in the John McKay era, and I can't remember a team that remains a bigger puzzle less than a week before its Coliseum opener. I mean, really, who are these guys?

Are they good enough to squeeze back into the national elite and win 10 or 11 games? Or are they doomed to slip into the dark underbelly of Pac-12 mediocrity?