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Now enter Matt Barkley: a player who has gained much respect from his teammates and coaches, as well as college football fans alike, for his ambition and dedication to bring a BCS Championship trophy back to his school.
But was winning a BCS Championship the main reason Barkley decided to come back? It might not be the only reason, but it certainly factored into the decision because of all the perks that will come along with it.
If Barkley is somehow able to lead the Trojans to a BCS Championship in 2012, he could potentially become the greatest quarterback in USC history. Now before all you Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart fans close the window and grumble to yourselves, "just another typical Bleacher Report article," hear me out.
As Mark Saxon of ESPN writes,
Barkley already has thrown eight more touchdown passes than Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer did as a Trojan. By the end of the 2012 college football season -- assuming he stays healthy -- he will have thrown for more yards, more touchdowns and with a comparable completion percentage to Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart.
Statistically, Barkley could be considered the best quarterback in USC history. And if you watched the Trojans play in 2011, you would've noticed the chemistry that he developed with his receivers, Robert Woods and Marquise Lee. With another year throwing to those targets and furthering his relationship with each of them, who knows what type of numbers Barkley could put up next year.
But there's one thing that the critics and the Palmer lovers still have going for them: Barley's lack of a BCS bowl win.
Leinart has one. Palmer has one. Heck, even both of them have Heisman trophies. But Barkley doesn't have either and that undoubtedly played a huge factor in his decision making.