Where Barkley falls short of Luck
USC's QB has elite potential but, to get to that level, he has improvements to make
In the fantasy football and stats-driven world we live in, it's simple and clean to evaluate quarterbacks by looking at the cover of the book titled "Yards and Touchdowns." And for this book, USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley would make a great cover boy.
He fills out the prerequisite requirements for a USC quarterback perfectly. He is broad-shouldered, sturdily built, quick to flash the surfer smile yet fiercely competitive and willing to slay opponents in the Coliseum. Former coach Pete Carroll adored him the first day Barkley set foot on campus, just as many talent evaluators do today. Simply put, there is a lot to like in Barkley's game and the unwavering leadership he has displayed in carrying the Men of Troy through difficult, sanction-filled waters the past two seasons.
But if there is one thing that top-level quarterback play -- and the evaluation of it -- is not, it's simple. And a closer look at Barkley's performance and his numbers reveals that the QB still has a clear weakness that he must improve upon in order to reach the Andrew Luck stratosphere of elite, franchise-QBs-in-the-making.
To read Brock Huard's full take on Matt Barkley, and what the USC passer must do to catch up to the elite standard set by Andrew Luck, become an ESPN Insider today.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Notre Dame paid Weis more than Kelly in 2011
- Ex-Penn State QB Bench transferring to USF
- Host Finebaum joining SEC Network, ESPN
- SEC hires Vincent as associate commissioner
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CFB content
Expert Takes• Insider: Can Clemson win it all? | Louisville
• Kiper: Top prospects for 2014, by position
• Haney: CFB's top 10 teams based on talent
• Kiper: Top QB prospects for 2014 | RBs | WRs
• Haney: Make-or-break QB prospect scenarios
Post-spring projections• Pac-12: Oregon, Stanford, USC on top
• ACC: Can Clemson win the league title?
• SEC: Bama, South Carolina early favorites
• Big Ten: Surprise winner in Legends
• Big 12: Two-team race for first place
RecruitingNation• Michigan No. 1 in 2014 class rankings
• Luginbill: Answering mailbag questions
• Crabtree: Urban recruits popular draft picks
• Notre Dame, Boise State trending up
• Recruiting updates for Pac-12 teams
• Recruiting updates for Big Ten teams
• Recruiting updates for SEC teams
• Recruiting updates for ACC teams
• Recruiting updates for Big East teams
• Recruiting updates for Big 12 teams
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Travis Haney's blog
Analysis and buzz from around the nation