Matt Barkley Needs a Reality Check

Buckeye CommentarySenior Analyst ISeptember 7, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Matt Barkley #7 of USC Trojans is hit after throwing a pass by Carl Ihenacho #95 of the San Jose State Spartans during first quarter of the college football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  Barkley, becomes the fourth-ranked Trojans' first-ever true freshman starter. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It is not every day that a college quarterback goes out of his way to distance himself from perhaps the greatest and most celebrated quarterback in college football history. (Okay, maybe on the virgin front he doesn't mind the distinction.) 

But that is exactly what Matt Barkley did after Saturday’s romp over San Jose State. Asked why he was not more emotional when he threw his first touchdown pass: “I’m not a Tim Tebow-like quarterback,” said Barkley. 

Okay, we got it, Matt.  Does that mean that you are not the consummate winner that Tebow is, or that you just lack the passion of the Gators' two-time national champion and Heisman man?  

Maybe mine is a harsh assessment of an 18-year-old kid.  On the field after the game, Barkley was asked what he had learned about himself as a quarterback: “That this is fun. This is easy. This is what I was made to do,” Barkley said.

Los Angeles Times writer Gary Klein followed up by asking if there was anything that was difficult.

“The run up the tunnel at halftime,” he said. “That was brutal.”

It is no wonder there are folks already talking about Barkley’s cockiness. Chances are that cockiness fades to some extent next week when Barkley's Trojans take on Ohio State.

You know what the freshman quarterback would not find fun?  Being chased by Thad Gibson all night or getting to know Brian Rolle at the bottom of the pile after he decks you.

If the Ohio Stadium crowd and the Buckeyes’ defense perform their respective jobs, next Saturday will hopefully be much less fun for Barkley.

Saturday night is likely to be the toughest road test a Pete Carroll-led Trojan team has faced. It sounds like Pete even agrees with that assessment.

Maybe Carroll should mention that to Barkley before he makes any more comments that would lead people to believe he finds football as simple to master as an easy bake oven.

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