I suppose we have vastly differing definitions of the word "best". Besides, I'll put my hypothetical future non-$C study group up against yours any day. Not a Bruin, but who knew you'd been trailing the boys from Pasadena until this year? I guess that academic battle's been about as competitive as Kiffen's squad will be once scholarship reductions actually hit.
Anyone associated with USC will admit that legacy used to be a lot more important than academic record, but since that's changed we've been gaining in the rankings faster and farther than practically any other school. I would rather be a part of the school that turned its standards around, works hard, and rebuilds its reputation than the one that sits near the top for years before slowly sliding backwards. Also, it looks like the sanctions aren't as detrimental as predicted (http://espn.go.com/college-football/recruiting/). One more season and we'll be back in action stronger than ever!