The 2012 Heisman Trophy Favorite: Matt Barkley

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The start of the college football season is right around the corner. 

 

Only 16 days to go.

 

We will soon be entering the best time of the year for sports. 

Major League Baseball is entering the stretch run with the post-season right around the corner. 

The NBA will be starting on time this season, and this is one of the most anticipated seasons in quite some time. Fans can't wait to see Dwight Howard and Steve Nash playing with Kobe Bryant in Hollywood, whether you love em' or hate em'. 

The NFL season opener is 22 days away. The Super Bowl champs open up against America's team: The Dallas Cowboys.

There is not a better time of the year for sport fans. 

(Sorry hockey fans, no one cares if you guys are locked out with all of this madness right around the corner.)

With college football creeping up, there are some serious contenders to win the Heisman, but there is one guy who has the best seat in the house to take home the 78th Heisman Trophy.

Four of the five Heisman candidates from 2011 are either playing on Sundays or were dismissed from their team.

Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III (2011 Heisman Trophy winner), and Trent Richardson all left school early to start their NFL careers. (Smart move, they were the top-three picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.)

Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from LSU earlier this week for violating team rules. He is expected to sit out this year or transfer to McNeese St.

Wisconsin running back Monte Ball is the only returnee out of the five. He rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and had 39 total touchdowns, tying Barry Sanders all-time mark for most touchdowns in one season. 

He is one of the favorites to win it this year, but I have a feeling someone who was not invited last year will take home the Heisman Trophy.

 

Matt Barkley is coming off a sensational junior season. He threw for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdowns. 

 

His 39 touchdowns were third most in the country last season, and a new Pac-12 record. 

He was one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the nation last year. His 69.1 completion % was 10th best in the country, and a new school record. 

Everything is pointing in Matt Barkley's direction to take home the Heisman this season.

10 of the last 12 Heisman winners have been quarterbacks. Two of them were from USC.

Barkley has two of the best wide receivers in the country returning this season. Robert Woods and Marqise Lee both put up huge numbers last year.

As a true sophomore, Woods had 111 receptions for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns. 

Lee had 73 catches for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns as a true freshman. He came on strong during the last five weeks of the season and had 703 yards receiving and seven touchdowns.

Woods and Lee will be even better this year. Matt Barkley and his two favorite targets are going to scare any defense that lines up on the other side.

Sophmore, George Farmer, and red-shirt junior, De'Von Flournoy, are two very talented wide receivers that could make an impact for the Trojans this year. They are battling it out for the number three spot on the depth chart.

His offensive weapons don't stop there. Barkley has two very talented running backs to hand the rock to this season.

Curtis McNeal led USC in rushing last season as a junior. He rushed for 1,005 yards and 6 touchdowns. 

Silas Redd, a transfer from Penn St., will help form one of the most dangerous duo's in the nation this year. As a sophomore he rushed for 1,241 yards and 7 touchdowns. 

This dangerous tandem will take a lot of pressure off Barkley this season. He is one of the best play action quarterbacks in the nation. Adding Redd to the backfield should open up play action even more. 

Last year, Barkley completed over 75% of his passes and had 13 touchdowns to only one interception out of play action. Those numbers should be even better this year.

USC was hoping Matt Kalil would come back for his senior season, but he left for the NFL and was selected fourth overall by the Minnesota Vikings. 

The Trojans' offensive line should be just fine without him. They are returning four starters from last year's team that allowed only eight sacks. 

They finished tied with Boise St. and Middle Tennessee for the fewest sacks allowed in the nation. Matt Barkley's cardinal and gold jersey should be kept pretty clean again this year. 

USC enters the season ranked number three in the country. This bodes well for Barkley's chances to take home the Heisman. The Trojan's are expected to be one of the favorites to win the BCS National Championship this year. 

Matt Barkley has all of the weapons around him to be the best quarterback in the nation. They have two returning receivers who both had at least 1,000 yards. They have two running backs who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season. USC returns four starters on the offensive line. 

He remembers getting overlooked last season when he was not invited to New York City for the 77th Heisman Trophy presentation. 

He came back for three reasons: win a BCS National Championship, take home the Heisman, and be the first pick overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.

All the signs point for Matt Barkley to win the 78th Heisman Trophy this season. The other two we will have to wait and see.

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