New Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian inherits enough talent to produce a Pac-12 South contender this coming season. Sarkisian was able to retain USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton, and he brought in defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox from Washington. Quarterback Cody Kessler
played well at the end of this past season, throwing for 345 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-20 rout of Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. Sarkisian figures to open up the quarterback competition, so Kessler will have to hold off Max Browne
this spring. Junior receiver Marqise Lee
is entering the NFL draft, but Nelson Agholor
and tight end Xavier Grimble
are coming back. There is also plenty of talent in the backfield, with Javorius Allen
, Tre Madden
and Justin Davis
coming back. Eight starters might be back on defense, including end Leonard Williams
and safety Su'a Cravens
. The Trojans open the season against Fresno State at home and also play nonconference games against Boston College (road) and Notre Dame (home).
For more on how the Trojans will look in 2014, check out USC's recruiting profile and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.
The Badgers went 9-4 in coach Gary Andersen's first season, dropping their last two games, 31-24 against Penn State and 34-24 against South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl. Wisconsin will have a chance to be as good or even better in 2014, especially after tailback Melvin Gordon
decided to return for his junior season. Gordon ran for 1,609 yards with 12 touchdowns this past season. The Badgers will lose senior tailback James White
, who ran for 1,444 yards with 13 touchdowns, but Corey Clement
averaged 8.2 yards with seven touchdowns as a freshman. Quarterback Joel Stave
is also coming back, but the Badgers lose their top four receivers, including Jared Abbrederis
, who caught 78 passes for 1,081 yards with seven touchdowns. Wisconsin also will have to rebuild its defense, with each of its three down linemen and three of its four starting linebackers leaving. Here's what might give the Badgers their best chance at winning a Big Ten title in 2014: They won't play Michigan, Michigan State or Ohio State during the regular season.
For more on how the Badgers will look in 2014, check out Wisconsin's recruiting profile and ESPN RecruitingNation's class rankings.