NCAA Football Big 12 FootballKansas State WildcatsPac 12 FootballUSC TrojansWest Virginia Mountaineers

USC Trojan Matt Barkley Still Running in Heisman Race

Kirby Lee – US Presswire

The Heisman trophy front-runner, Geno Smith, has recently been dealt a few blows to his campaign.  I’m talking about a body shot, followed by a haymaker.  This combo was delivered by Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein.  Klein isn’t the only beneficiary of this, but USC Trojans Matt Barkley is too.

Geno was undoubtedly leading the Heisman race after week five, as the West Virginia Mountaineers were undefeated and Geno was the architect of an obnoxious stat-line.  A line that included 24 passing touchdowns and 0 interceptions.  After an embarrassing 49-14 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Geno’s poll-position was in question.

Then came Collin Klein.

Klein and his squad beat down on Geno and the boys.  Klein was Tebow-esk in the performance.  A performance that included seven total touchdowns for the 6’5 Wildcat’s leader.  Three through the air and four on the ground.  Klein’s ground-game is ruthless and Geno Smith’s campaign was dealt  a knockout blow in this game. Geno was more than disappointing in this heavyweight battle.  A knockout victory for Optimus Klein indeed.

Insert Matt Barkley’s Heisman resume.

The path for Barkley is simple.  He will need some help though.  Klein’s performance and numbers are so impressive, Barkley needs Kansas State to lose a game before it is all said and done.

Barkley does have opportunities to shine bright however.  On November 3rd in the Coliseum, the Trojans will host the undefeated Oregon Ducks  under the prime-time, nationally televised spotlight.  If Barkley and the Trojans can conquer Chip Kelly, Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas in this game, his case will surely be more attractive.

The Trojans close with another monster game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at home, in what will be Barkley’s last game in the Coliseum.  Another prime-time fight to deliver a defining performance.

Barkley’s legacy will very well be defined by how he finishes out this season.  The loyal senior does have filthy career numbers, but things would be better with some hardware on the mantle.  A Pac 12 Championship, Heisman, or even a National Championship.  He needs some hardware.

I am one to weigh “Heisman moments” heavily in my consideration for the award.   With that said, Barkley still has the two scheduled games I talked about, and he may get a crack at a Pac 12 Championship game.  Could he knock off Oregon twice?

With wide-receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee at Barkley’s disposal, and prime-time games ahead, the Trojans captain will have plenty opportunity to make plays and strengthen his Heisman resume.


Paul Bentley is a contributor to Rant Sports.  Follow Bentley on Twitter at @KKingBentley and read more of his work right here!