Matt Barkley's shot at a title

USC QB has more talent around him than past star returnees; is it enough?

Originally Published: August 30, 2012
By Brock Huard | ESPN Insider
Matt BarkleyStephen Dunn/Getty ImagesCan Matt Barkley and USC overcome the team's depth issues to earn a title game berth?

Matt Barkley gave the reason "unfinished business" when he was asked why he chose to return to the USC Trojans in December. Although those exact words might not have been used by Andrew Luck when he decided to return to Stanford for the 2011 season, or by Sam Bradford when he signed on for the 2009 season with Oklahoma, the sentiment behind their reasoning was the same: The NFL and its millions could wait, while the chance to win a BCS national championship could not.

Ultimately, both Luck and Bradford went on to become No. 1 draft picks with very large bank accounts anyway, but both left school without the title hardware. So why will it be different for Barkley? How can he accomplish what the two future No. 1 picks could not?

The good news for Barkley is that he has more advantages in returning than either Luck or Bradford did. The bad news? Enough concerns remain that a national championship for Barkley and the Trojans may be just out of reach. Let's take a look at both sides:

• College football analyst for ESPN
• Six-year NFL QB and three-year starter at University of Washington
• Co-host of the Brock and Danny Show on ESPN 710 AM in Seattle