USC vs. Colorado: Matt Barkley Shines but He Still Has Work to Do for Heisman

Ian BergCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Quarterback Matt Barkely #7 of the USC Trojans throws a pass against the Colorado Buffaloes at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 20,2012  in Los Angeles, California. USC won 50-6.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Matt Barkley put on a clinic on Saturday when the USC Trojans blasted the Colorado Buffaloes 50-6 in Los Angeles. Barkley was nearly perfect, finishing the game 19-of-20 for 298 yards and six touchdowns.

Even with that amazing performance, Barkley still has a lot of work to do if he wants to win the Heisman.

There are a number of big-name players who are producing around the country on an every-Saturday basis while Barkley has not been the most consistent this season. Against Washington the week prior, Barkley only completed 50 percent of his throws for 167 yards.

Consistency is the key. Barkley can work his way back into the Heisman discussion, but he has to keep producing against top talent like he did against Colorado.

USC still has Oregon and Notre Dame remaining on the schedule. There are plenty of Heisman moments that will be able to be made in those huge games.

It will also put the Trojans back into the national spotlight. After losing to Stanford earlier this season, the Trojans have fallen from the national college football narrative.

The Trojans are out of the minds of the country right now. That is hurting the Heisman candidacy of Barkley. Barkley can’t afford to hit the spotlight against Oregon and Notre Dame and not perform well.

Barkley is only ranked No. 38 in the country in passing currently. He is far from the best signal-caller in the land as it stands today. The Trojans do rely on his ability to lead this team, but he isn’t the best player in the country leading his team right now.

That can change. Big games could come against Oregon and Notre Dame, but nothing short of wins would vault Barkley to the top of the Heisman chart. He is a good quarterback and has done some great things for USC, but winning is what matters the most when climbing back into the Heisman talk.

USC does pull both big games at home, which is very favorable for Barkley and the Trojans.

The Heisman is not a clear-cut race at this point with a number of running backs and quarterbacks currently finding their way into the discussion.

This season has seen its fair share of amazing plays and upsets, but no definitive Heisman moments have landed yet. That is a positive for Barkley as he looks to continue his climb into the discussion.

After the performance against Colorado, Barkley has earned an invite to New York. He may not be a winner just yet, but earning a trip to the Heisman ceremony is a good start.