ESPN's USC Analysis
The fundamental issue to this is relating eras. USC is obviously the better team when compared to a team that played with leather helmets in the 50s! I mean - sure I'll take the guy with the plastic helmet and facemask over a guy who is going to potentially shatter his face when he tackles!
Or look at the size, athleticsm, and complexity of the game. I'll take USC's 300 pound offensive linemen over the 200 pound defensive linemen of past eras. Not to mention current schemes are much more complex than old ones. You can look as recently as Nebraska for evidence. You simply cannot run the wishbone effectively today with the way big players run these days.
So what you really have to do is look at their season-long "body of work". You look at how they were (if they were) challenged by teams on their schedule, where they played the games, and then a position-by-position analysis. By this comparison, I'll take the USC teams of the 2003 and 2004 over this one!
For a good comparison, Don Shula even says the 1972 Dolphins weren't his best team. They just had the best record.
My point is if you're going to compare a team from one year to another, you need to go deeper than a 1:1 comparison. And by that measure, USC is not better than half the teams they're being compared to - but rightly, commentators are picking them because they're only asked to look at players versus players.