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2012 Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List: Big 12, ACC Shine, but Neither Will Win

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans gets ready to run on to the field for their game against the California Golden Bears at AT&T Park on October 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Erin SorensenContributor IAugust 7, 2012

Another day, another watch list to take a look at. This time it is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given annually to the nation's most outstanding senior quarterback.

The list includes 29 names worth watching in 2012, and it is immediately clear that the Big 12 and ACC topped the list with six quarterbacks listed each.

From the Big 12, those quarterbacks are Texas Tech's Seth Doege, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Kansas State's Collin Klein, TCU's Casey Pachall, Baylor's Nick Florence and West Virginia's Geno Smith.

ACC quarterbacks on the list are North Carolina's Bryn Renner, Duke's Sean Renfree, NC State's Mike Glennon, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Florida State's EJ Manuel and Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas.

An impressive list for both conferences, but the winner come the end of the season plays in neither. The quarterback that will win this award will be USC's Matt Barkley.

A favorite to win the 2012 Heisman, Barkley should have no issue taking home the Unitas Golden Arm Award. If similar to 2011, when Heisman favorite Andrew Luck of Stanford took home the award, then this award should be Barkley's to lose.

Competition from the Big 12 with the Sooners' Jones will be there, as well as potentially the Mountaineers' Smith, but Barkley has a lot going for him to take home this award. Whether it is the team around him or the predictions for how the Trojans' season will go, Barkley is poised to be outstanding.

After all, the quarterback had 3,528 yards for 39 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in 2011. Numbers like that should be replicated in 2011, making Barkley a strong candidate to win.

This award, which has been handed out every year since 1987, has included some great names along the way. Who will the new name be added to the list? While the odds are stacked in the Big 12's and the ACC's favor, USC should see their star bring this one home.

Check out the full list here.

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