Most indispensable player: USC

See your team in your mind's eye -- 24 starters, including specialists.

If you could put an absolute halo of safety around just one, who would it be?

We're rating each Pac-12 team's most indispensable player. The only rule: Quarterbacks are not eligible for this post.

Next up: USC Trojans

Most indispensable player: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

You don't want to be predictable here, but choosing anyone else other than Smith-Schuster would simply be wide of the mark. Very wide.

While USC's biggest question -- as in nearly singular -- is its defensive line, where the talent drain from 2015's middling unit is nearly complete, there is no question who the Trojans' most indispensable star is, particularly while they look to replace three-year starting QB Cody Kessler.

It's more than Smith-Schuster leading USC in every single receiving stat, from total yards (1,454), to yards per game (103.9, which ranked 11th in the nation), to yards per reception (16.3), to touchdowns (10). It's that no other receiver was even close to the All-American.

Smith-Schuster's 89 receptions? The next three receivers totaled 92. His touchdown total? The next three totaled nine. Those receiving yards? You have to actually go six deep to eclipse that.

USC has plenty of talent at receiver, and it almost certainly would be better if the next QB distributes the ball more widely. But there's no question who the first (and second) option is. Take Smith-Schuster away, and the Trojans passing attack suddenly would feel like a rebuilding effort instead of a potential strength.