As many of his teammates left school early to go to the NFL Draft, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley remained in Tuscaloosa for an extra year of seasoning.
That experience was apparent Saturday in the Crimson Tide’s biggest win of the season to date. Dominant defensive performances for Alabama aren’t rare, but Mosley led one of the Tide’s best efforts of the season in the 38-17 win over LSU.
When we sit down to iron out our Top 25 Poll each year at Athlon Sports, we are trying to project the final year-end standings not build a preseason power poll. It might be a small and subtle difference but an important one to acknowledge.
Injuries are a big part of any college football season. Just ask the coaching staffs at Maryland, Missouri or USC.The Terrapins lost four quarterbacks to season-ending injuries last year, while the Tigers played 2012 without the services of standout running back Henry Josey. USC lost defensive end Devon Kennard in the preseason, which played a role in the Trojans’ defense finishing seventh in the Pac-12 in yards allowed.
Clay Helton is just three years removed from leading USC to a win in the Rose Bowl, two from winning a Pac-12 title and yet he enters 2019 squarely on the hot seat. Such is the state of USC athletics, and really the athletic department is just a microcosm of the chaos within the school itself.
USC was remarkably bad last year. For the first time since before Pete Carroll arrived, USC (5-7) finished with a losing record. It wasn’t just the losing record, however, it was the continuous mistakes, the inability to adjust, and the constant breakdowns in communication. This combination of miscues was just too much for the Trojans to overcome, which is another indictment of the coaching staff.