There's no argument to be made, Matt Barkley is the number one quarterback in the country.
Barkley stands at 6'2 and weighs 220 lbs. Last year, Barkley had nothing to play for but still put up huge numbers.
It hasn't always been that way. He took the spotlight as a blue-chip freshmen. It was nothing but disappointment as the Trojan faithful got frustrated. He struggled, he threw only 15 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. His sophomore year, Barkley improved, but had yet to break into stardom. Barkley threw for 2,791 yards, 26 touchdown, and 12 interceptions.
Barkley emerged as star during his junior year. He threw for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns, and completed nearly 70% of his passes. He only threw seven interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of over 200 in two games as well. Barkley threw for 468 yards and four touchdowns against Arizona. His quarterback rating was 211. Then, against crosstown rival, UCLA, Barkley threw for 423 yards, six touchdowns, and completed 83% of his passes. His quarterback rating was 215.
When I look for a star quarterback, I want consistency. Barkley is the definition of consistency. He only completed less than 60% of his passes once last season. Barkley also improved throughout the course of the season. In Barkley's last seven games, he threw 25 touchdowns passes and only three interceptions.
Barkley's competitors are good but not excellent.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma's quarterback, threw for 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Too many interceptions and not enough touchdowns. Jones really struggled down the stretch. If you want to be the best, you need to improve towards the end of the season. In Jone's last three games, he threw zero touchdown passes and five interception. Jones will have to prove himself if he wants to end up on top.
Denard Robinson is the flashiest quarterback in America. However, I like to call him Wild Man or Mr. Out of Control. 20 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions scare me. Yes, I know, he ran for 1,176 yards. But, he's a quarterback. Football is a team sport. Until, he can improve his passing game, he will just be a flashy out of control quarterback for me.
Neither of these guys are as good as Barkley. If they were to improve, there's maybe a glimmer of hope. Only time will tell.
Football season is right around the corner and be prepared for the Matt Barkley show. I believe when the season is done, Barkley will have a Heisman Trophy in his hand.