Matt Barkley to return to USC for his senior season

Yesterday Matt Barkley decided that he was going back to USC to play his senior season, and chase the one and only bowl game victory that he’ll ever have in college. Barkley figured to be one of the top quarterbacks available in the 2012 NFL draft, and probably would have been taken in the first five picks of the draft. There is something to be said for a guy who wants to help carry on a proud tradition of elite success at his college program, but also something to be said for a guy who may have managed to screw Seattle twice in one fell swoop.

You see, without Barkley the Trojans were probably would fall back a few spots in the Pac-12, and though they are in a different division than the Huskies, they remain a road block in between the Huskies and a Rose Bowl appearance.

Sure, the Huskies would have to get through Oregon and Stanford first, but if Andrew Luck enters the draft the Huskies are probably better than Stanford, and the team may be one Oregon bowl ban away from being a serious contender for the coveted Pac-12 North title.

Not to mention that, but such a victory for USC could undo any damage done by the sanctions they faced the last three years, where they saw only minor losses in terms of recruiting.

Also, while there is pretty much no way that Barkley would have fallen to the Seahawks in the first round, trading up to the second spot in the draft figures to be a lot less expensive than trading up for the top pick, as despite and draft value chart analysis, any team trading for the top spot would be drafting Luck, who is perceived to be more valuable than the top pick on the draft value chart.

Not only that but Barkley is familiar with Pete Carroll, and has played in a pro-style-offense. I’m not in love with his arm strength, accuracy, or his decision making, and I’m a bit concerned about his size. However, I do think that apart from Luck he’s by far the least risky quarterback in the draft. I probably would have said the same for Rex Grossman though, and he’s become a journeyman since being drafted, and subsequently released by the Chicago Bears.

At the very least though, having Barkley as the second pick in the draft would have pushed the next-best quarterback one desiring-team slot back, and so the team may have been able to draft Robert Griffin III (if he declares) or Landry Jones (same thing, and BLEH!). I’m partial to Ryan Tannehill, but I had hopes that the team would be able to wait until the second round to draft him. Considering the shift forward for quarterbacks though, the team may be forced to spend a top 20 pick on a player who would otherwise drop further.

So in short, screw you Matt Barkley. You screwed us.