Barkley and the Heisman

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans throws a pass in the fourth quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Eugene, Oregon. Barkley was 26 of 34 for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns as USC won the game 38-35. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

The Barkley for Heisman talk is really starting to heat up.

We saw the USC produced video earlier this week...the problem is that video is probably a month too late.

Barkley's performance against Oregon last week started stoking the fire of the "Barkley for Heisman" train. Unless Barkley has an absolute knock out game against UCLA I see it virtually impossible for him to win it. And even if blows UCLA up it may still be a long shot.

Lane Kiffin thinks Barkley is being probably being treated too unfairly...

Kiffin says Barkley is being downgraded in voters' minds because of NCAA sanctions on the school, and he says he should actually be upgraded for being able to cope with the sanctions and still post Heisman-caliber numbers.

"I think what Matthew's suffering from is things outside his control: the probation, the sanctions, the dark clouds we've talked about," Kiffin told Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on 710 ESPN radio Tuesday. "In reality, to me, that should go the other way. He's the only one dealing with that and putting those numbers up."

There is no question that Barkley has come on strong of late, but the question is a simple one, is it enough?

There are already proclamations about Barkley being better than Stanford's Andrew Luck. Hard to know...both had stinker games, Luck against Oregon, Barkley against ASU. Barkley's other loss, against Stanford, showed that Barkley could go toe to toe with a hyped competitor.

But with Barkley's performance against UO, his name was quickly thrown into the mix...

The quarterback emerged as a must-consider Heisman Trophy candidate with Saturday's four-touchdown performance at Oregon.

arkley defeated Oregon a week after Oregon chopped down Stanford and quarterback Andrew Luck, the yearlong front-runner in the Heisman race.

After Saturday's game, Oregon Coach Chip Kelly said, "Matt Barkley is the best quarterback we've faced all year."

USC immediately put together video a package touting Barkley's Heisman case as the Trojans prepare for the final game of their season Saturday against UCLA at the Coliseum.

Barkley is trying to replicate the 2002 Heisman campaign, when Carson Palmer parlayed late-season performances against UCLA and Notre Dame to win the award.

There have been praises from both Sark and Chip Kelly.

Praises that are seen as hoping Barkley leaves early for the NFL.

Stanford coach David Shaw is having none of it...

Stanford Coach David Shaw called "a joke, an absolute joke" the assertion that Luck has slipped in recent weeks.

"Nobody in college football is doing what Andrew Luck is doing," Shaw said on the Pac-12 coaches' weekly conference call.

I wouldn't expect Shaw to say anything less...but there was a lot of hype on Luck dating back to last season so it wouldn't surprise me if there is some Andrew Luck fatigue.

Luck has had a very good year but that Oregon game really stands out because Stanford was right in the middle of a BCS title hunt. Luck has also come back to the pack a bit when you look closer to his over all body of work. Luck has had some slow starts and played against some awful competition.

Everyone has pretty much ignored Barkley because USC is not in the discussion for post season play. The ASU game was ugly, but it was hardly seen by anyone and it was disregarded because of USC's status like Kiffin alluded to.

It is hard to see Luck losing this, but the field has tightened up.

Barkley is a distant four or five depending on who your listen to or read, but it is hard to ignore the performances he has had on the big stage of late.

They have turned some heads and made people take a second look.

I really want Barkley to win, but he can't win it unless he is in NYC. He will only get to NYC if has a stellar performance against UCLA...

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