USC is ranked fourth in the preseason coaches poll, its highest ranking in the national poll in five years.
Alabama, last season’s national runner-up, is ranked first, followed by Ohio State and Florida State. Defending College Football Playoff champion Clemson was fifth.
The poll was released Thursday morning.
In 2012, the Trojans debuted at third in the coaches poll, before they ultimately finished 7-6 overall.
Also from the Pac-12, Washington is ranked seventh, Stanford is 14th and Utah is 25th.
Texas, which visits USC on Sept. 16, is 23rd.
The Trojans are not scheduled to face Washington in the regular season. UCLA, looking to rebound from a 4-8 season with a healthy Josh Rosen at quarterback, received one top-25 vote.
USC enters the season with high expectations after a 10-3 season, capped by a Rose Bowl victory over Penn State and a nine-game winning streak. Quarterback Sam Darnold, the Heisman Trophy frontrunner, returns.
Training camp opened for USC on Saturday.
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