IT'S RAINING MEN! HALLELUJAH, IT'S RAINING MEN, AMEN! - Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE
Matt Barkley forewent an almost-certain place in the first round of the NFL Draft to return for his senior season at USC, claiming to have "unfinished business". But what business exactly?
Let me start by saying that everybody has unfinished business. Take me for example. It's practically November and I still haven't done the spring cleaning I said I was gonna do in April; it was my sister's birthday last week and I haven't gotten her a present; I haven't been to the dentist in three years; and my LinkedIn profile is severely out of date. All of that notwithstanding, my problems pale in comparison to Matt Barkley; the pressures of being a freak athlete and national celebrity, with a big time payday
every month, under the table from USC boosters just over the horizon in the NFL. That must weigh hard on a kid. And to make matters worse, his 2012 season at USC is not living up to the lofty expectations that were anointed by the national media; losses to Stanford and Arizona have left the Trojans out of the national title picture, and USC is no longer a lock to represent the South Division in the Pac-12 Championship game. So what business has Matt Barkley - lord of the talented and confusing, the evolutionary Jay Cutler - left to do?
- Win a national title - deedleedleedleedleedleedleedleedlee wompwomp
- Make it to a BCS Bowl - This can't happen without beating Oregon, probably won't happen without beating Oregon in December, and might not happen if Oregon State finishes the year with two losses. This one may have gone out the window with the Trojans' loss to Arizona.
- Beat Stanford - Swing and a miss. Four straight losses to the Cardinal has to be the second strangest losing streak the Trojans currently sport (three straight losses in Corvallis, anyone?).
- Win a Pac-12 Title - They have to get to the championship game first, and that isn't looking like such a sure thing anymore. USC still controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South, but so does UCLA, and Arizona lurks one win back of first, with the easiest remaining schedule in the Pac-12 and the tiebreaker over the Trojans. This week's Oregon game isn't a must-win for USC if they want a shot at a conference title, but it's pretty close.
- Improve his draft stock - Debatable, but ultimately moot because the NFL no longer cares about college sucess, and Barkley has NFL measurables. Had he declared a year ago, he (most likely) would have ended up in Miami instead of Ryan Tannehill. So that will be the measuring stick this spring when Barkley is drafted. He should be the first QB off the board, so that's progress, right?
- Break the Pac-12 career touchdowns record - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED EVERYBODY, LET'S GO HOME. Question: if a record falls in the Pac-12, and it happens against Colorado, does it really count?