The word quarterback and the USC Trojans football program go together like peanut butter and jelly. Although none of them have enjoyed a ton of NFL success, there are several quarterbacks from Southern California in the pros today on various rosters. Another will join them in late April when Matt Barkley is selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, but no one is really paying attention to who will lead USC in 2013 with Barkley gone.
Barkely missed USC’s final two games of 2012, a home loss to Notre Dame and a loss to Georgia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. Then-redshirt freshman Max Wittek, who was also Barkley’s backup at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, filled in during both contests, showing he could be a decent replacement if given a little preparation.
Of course, USC head coach Lane Kiffin says there will be an open competition at quarterback for 2013 between Wittek and fellow redshirt sophomore Cody Kessler, but we all know that’s not true. Kiffin brought Wittek to USC to succeed Barkley, just like he did at Mater Dei.
The question is this: will Wittek do what Barkley was supposed to, which is win a national title, become a Heisman Trophy finalist and get drafted within the top 10 picks at the next level?
No one knows, but one thing is for sure: Kiffin is not the right coach for USC and the sooner the Trojans get rid of him, the sooner they can get the kind of production they expected out of guys like Barkley and Wittek.