I realize that Kiffin will do a complete evaluation at the spring game between Kessler and Wittek but if time stopped today this would be Wittek's job.
Barring any last-minute mind-changing, the Trojans are expected to announce Thursday that Wittek, and not Matt Barkley, will start at quarterback in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech on New Year’s Eve.
The Trojans held their first practice here Wednesday, and Barkley didn’t participate. He joined teammates on the field for warmups but wore a jersey top and sweatpants, without helmet or pads. After practice, Coach Lane Kiffin said he would announce his starting quarterback after Thursday’s practice.
It’s not much of a secret. Asked Wednesday if he expected to start, Wittek said, "It looks like it.’’
There are two factors at work. One is Barkley’s physical condition. He sprained his shoulder during the Nov. 17 game against UCLA and hasn’t practiced since. The Sun Bowl will be played roughly six weeks after Barkley’s injury took place, and a sprained shoulder can take up to eight weeks to fully heal.
You have to feel bad for Barkley. He came back when he didn't have to (though his game still needed some work) and he endured a very disappointing season.
We saw some good things in Wittek's only start against ND, but we saw some rookie mistakes as well, he still is a work in progress.
I can't really worry about the future right now, there are too many factors that have yet to play out, but Wittek has a chance to grab the starting job by the throat with a solid performance on Monday.
It's trite, I know but the future is now.