Pete Carroll’s decision to name Matt Barkley as the Trojans starter will pay tremendous dividends in the future. One thing that Coach Carroll always stresses is that he wants the Trojans to improve every week. Pete has gotten all his teams to do this since he took over the program. There will be a big difference between the Trojan team that lines up on September 5th against San Jose State and the USC team that will play Arizona on December 5th. From September through December Matt Barkley will improve a lot and so will the Trojan’s defense that had to replace seven starters from the 2008 season. The decision to name Barkley the starter may cost USC the chance to play for the National Championship this year, but starting in 2010 they might be the favorites to win it for the next three seasons.
Carroll will have Barkley for a minimum of three years and if USC starts playing for BCS Championships again it might be easy to convince Barkley to stay for a fourth season. The Last time Pete had the same QB for three consecutive seasons Matt Leinart had USC playing for the BCS Championship or a share of the Championship in all three of those seasons. Leinart in his first season had the luxury of having players like Reggie Bush and Lendale White. Matt Barkley will get a lot of help from RB’s Stafon Johnson (5.1YPC), Joe McKnight (7.4 YPC) and WR Damian Williams (9 TD’s). Barkley will have a lot of talented players he can lean on for support. The Trojans also have a very experienced offensive line protecting Matt Barkley.
Barkley will get his first in game experience against the San Jose State Spartans. After The Trojans dispose of the Spartans there will be a lot of talk about USC not being able to win in Columbus with a true Freshmen at QB. The truth of the matter is Ohio State is over hyped and not that good. The Buckeyes lost RB Chris Wells, WR’s Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline. The Buckeyes just don’t have enough talent at the skill positions to complement QB Terrelle Pryor. Matt Barkley has talented WR’s and RB’s that will make life easier for him against the Buckeye’s defense.
The Trojans will face much tougher opponents when they visit California who has one of the best defenses in the country on October 3rd and when they visit one of the toughest venues to win at in the county when they face the Oregon Ducks in Autzen Stadium on October 31st. The Trojans will stumble twice this season, but during the month of November I expect the Trojans to be clicking on all cylinders and playing better than any team in the country. If the Trojans finish with a 10-2 record they should still qualify for a BCS game and that will be a great accomplishment to get that done with a Freshmen QB.