USC Football: If Matt Barkley Stays, Are Trojans Preseason BCS Favorite?

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USC Football: If Matt Barkley Stays, Are Trojans Preseason BCS Favorite?
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

In their Week 9 shootout against the Stanford Cardinals, the USC Trojans showed a little more fight than they have in previous years. It's surprising, considering they're on probation and forbidden from any kind of postseason play, regardless of their record. And yet, their 56-48 loss against the Cardinals showed the kind of athletic ability the Trojans still possess despite being on probation for two to three years.

USC Quarterback Matt Barkley and Stanford's own quarterback Andrew Luck both provided the means for a Pac-12 slug-fest in Southern California, as both quarterback had lights-out performances. Barkley threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns to go along with one interception as the Trojans fall 56-48 in triple overtime due to a bad snap by the center.

Unfortunately, while USC fell in triple overtime, they gave the Cardinals more than they could handle. This game could possibly be a sign of things to come for the Trojans, especially if quarterback Matt Barkley sticks around another year after USC's probation ends.

In fact, one could ask this: will the USC Trojans be BCS-worthy in 2012?

USC is still able to recruit the best out of the state of California and has all kinds of athletic talent on both sides of the ball. On offense, they, of course, have Matt Barkley, but they have a strong running game with Curtis McNeal, who gained 145 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. They also have big, strong receivers on the outside, who proved themselves to be a handful for Stanford's secondary to handle.

USC's defense, despite giving up 56 points to a good offense like Stanford's, is still among the most talented in the entire Pac-12 conference. It can stand against most offenses, making a key interception on Luck late in the game, and played perhaps the most physical, hard-hitting game Luck has ever had to play against.

The way that the Trojans played against the Cardinals, it could be said that they are in fact BCS-worthy once their probation is lifted. What do you think? With a Matt Barkley under center, are the USC Trojans BCS worthy?

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