Believe it because it's printed in black and white.
USC is No. 1 in the first AP poll of the season with 25 first place votes.
"I think it's great for our fans, I think it's great for our university," said USC head coach Lane Kiffin. "After everything that they've been through, after everything that was taken away from them, to have a statement made that this is where the media evaluates your football program, I think means a lot to them. So, it's our job to go out and play really well"
"I think it's cool for our school, I really do," said quarterback Matt Barkley. "For our fan base and the people who have stuck with us and who endured the sanctions with us, it's a cool thing for our program, for our team."
Barkley carefully notes, however, the only ranking that really matters to the team is the one at the end and if focus is placed on opening the season at No. 1, complacency could settle in.
"I think it's great for the school, for the fans, and even for recruits to see that headline back at the top," he said. "But for us players and everything it doesn't really mean much right now."
Final Scrimmage Set
The Trojans will hold their final scrimmage of fall camp Sunday.
"It's just a good way, especially for the young guys, to get reps in a game like situation," said Barkley. "I think more importantly to try and just get rid of all the little things that are holding us back."
It will also be a good way for the coaches to see who sinks and who swims, as coaches remove themselves from the middle of the drills to watch from the sidelines and press box.
"This is usually where [players] divide," Kiffin said. "You're going to see a division tomorrow, unfortunately, of guys that can do it and guys that can't.
The top priority to evaluate remains the defensive line, which has been Kiffin's biggest area of concern since opening fall camp nearly two weeks ago.
"It's going to start with the defensive line playing really well," he said. "Playing the run game, and a lot of guys who haven't played much before, tackling in general on the defense because we haven't done very much of it at all."
The Trojans have only had two practices dressed in full-pads during the 13 days and 16 practices of fall camp.
No pads for Saturday morning's practice.
Right tackle Kevin Graf did not practice Saturday with an undisclosed injury.
Defensive end Greg Townsend did not practice Saturday, he did not wear a boot on his right foot as he has been doing over since leaving practice with the injury this week.
Cornerback Torin Harris did not practice with an undisclosed injury.
Tight end Junior Pomee did not practice with an undisclosed injury.
Defensive end Wes Horton did not practice with an undisclosed injury.
The team worked on 2-minute drills during the first half of practice.
Defensive end J.R. Tavai recorded a sack during 11 on 11 drills.
The Trojans will hold their final fall scrimmage in the Coliseum Sunday at 4:30. It is not open to the public.