Bowl season is one of the most fun times in college football but for teams with a really good, draft-eligible underclassmen, it can also be one of the most stressful.
Many people assume that if you are projected to be a top five overall pick in the next NFL Draft that you will declare. Apparently that logic doesn’t hold for USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil who is reportedly going to be sticking around for his senior year.
He is the consensus top tackle in this year’s draft, and with the stock of NFL quarterbacks so high, his future was only looking brighter. But based on the report, that doesn’t matter because he has some unfinished business to take care of in Los Angeles.
Kalil never played in a bowl game because of the sanctions levied on the Trojans because of the Reggie Bush scandal. And they could be playing for a lot more than just an average bowl. The Rose Bowl or even a national championship is within reach considering that only five players are seniors on the roster.
However, there could be a potential problem at quarterback because Matt Barkley is eligible for the draft and he is also a top five choice. Would having his all-everything left tackle around be enough to keep him around for another year?
There is a chance that Barkley comes back next year even without Kalil because he is just that kind of guy, but the odds get considerably better if Kalil returns.
A left tackle for a right handed quarterback is the most important position on the field because he protects the blind side. Barkley was the least sacked quarterback in the country this year and everyone else on the offensive line would be returning if Kalil decided to stick around.
With an experienced quarterback at the helm, an offensive line that could stop a truck and a defense returning eight of 11 starters, a shot at the national title is completely realistic. That has been enough to bring back plenty of the nation’s best before.
Plus, like Kalil, Barkley has never played in a bowl game because of those sanctions.
Obviously nothing is set in stone but if I’m Matt Barkley, I stick around and it would be largely in part to Matt Kalil.