USC vs. Oregon: Bowl Eligible Again Next Year, the Trojans Are the Team to Beat

William PenfieldCorrespondent IINovember 20, 2011

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 4:  Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans whams up before a game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on November 4, 2011 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

In the 38-35 win over the Oregon Ducks last night, USC proved they are still a force to be reckoned with in college football despite being banned from postseason play.

Matt Barkley played well enough to enter his name into the Heisman Trophy conversation and the Trojans showed the talent and speed to be able to keep up with one of the most talented teams in the country.

With the Trojans probation set to end next season, they could very well be the team to beat in 2012 as long as one important guy returns to school.

That guy, Barkley.

Now before you go writing the idea off, just use Andrew Luck last year and Sam Bradford the year before. Both were set to be the No. 1 overall picks in the NFL Draft and both returned to school.

Luck, the defacto No. 1 overall pick in this April's draft, could be motivation for Barkely to return to school. He could have dreams of being the No. 1 overall pick and those dreams could be realized if he returns.

Or maybe he just really likes the party scene at USC like Matt Leinart.

But either way, the Trojans will be a top team in 2012.

For starters, their top receiver, Robert Woods, although NFL ready, has to return to school as he is not eligible for the NFL Draft yet in just his second season at Southern Cal. 

Another star at receiver emerged in last nights game in Marqise Lee, a true freshman, as he caught eight balls for 187 yards and a touchdown. 

The Trojans top rusher, Curtis McNeal, is likely to return as well as a jump to the NFL is unlikely for the junior. 

With all that fire power on offense returning, the Trojans will likely have one of the top offenses in college football in 2012. 

Add that explosive offense to a defense led by two freshman linebackers and the Trojans will be a very dangerous squad.

Not only will they have talent on their side but they will also have hunger on their side as well. The Trojans have been out of postseason play for a couple seasons now and the program is hungry for a bowl.

Not to mention the Trojans have the No. 15 overall recruiting class coming in next year according to

College football definitely needs to be on watch for the Trojans next season and if Barkley ends up returning, it could be a long season for the Trojans' opponents as they would be on the losing end of some lopsided victories.