Matt Barkley’s Twitter: Calm Amid Controversy

USC Quarterback Matt Barkley is among the most thoughtful and fun follows on Twitter. Barkley represents the best of what Twitter has to offer in that he gives fans an accurate view of his daily life while also spicing in measured opinions about current events and a wide array of relevant subjects.

Matt Barkley on Twitter

We were provided a different kind of window into Barkley’s personality this week when he weighed in on one of the most controversial subjects facing Americans today: gay marriage.

Wednesday Barkley retweeted a Yahoo News headline that read:

Matt Barkley Tweets

“Gov’t says it won’t defend constitutionality of law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage”

Barkley added “Smh..” which is an acronym for “shake my head.

In other words, Barkley isn’t keen on the U.S. government officially recognizing same-sex marriage as a lawful and legal union.

After Barkley sent out his retweet he was immediately met with barrage of angry Tweets from a single Twitter user. The first in a series of Tweets directed at Barkley: Read more…

Video: Kiffin-Caused Fumble “Key” To USC Loss?

No one is suggesting USC could’ve outlasted Oregon in the track meet masquerading as a football game at the L.A. Coliseum Saturday. But in at least one instance, Trojan Coach Lane Kiffin cost his team a precious possession during USC’s 53-32 loss to the Ducks.

(Amateur video: You can hear Kiffin whistle that distracted Barkley)

With the Trojans leading 17-15 midway through the second quarter and quarterback Matt Barkley lined up in shotgun formation at midfield, USC center Kris O’Dowd snapped the ball past Barkley, allowing Oregon to recover the miscue.

Josh Jovanelly of the DAILY TROJAN described the play as it happened on the DT’s live blog:

The Trojans had momentum on their side when Barkley lined up in the shotgun. He lifted his foot to signal the snap, but was distracted by a whistle (apparently from a coach) coming from the USC sideline. He turned his head and the ball was snapped. 

Jovanelly nailed it. The distraction came when Kiffin, in trying to get Barkley’s attention during the snap count, whistled loudly in the direction of the QB. When Barkley turned his head to the sideline, the ball was snapped passed him.

Moments later Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas turned the USC turnover into six points with a 45-yard touchdown strike to Jeff Maehl, immediately erasing the Ducks’ deficit. Oregon scored again before halftime, taking a 29-17 lead to the break en route to its eventual three touchdown victory.

But was that Kiffin-wrought change of possession really crucial to the outcome of the game?

According to USC running Marc Tyler, yes.

Read more…

First Timer TCU With Year’s Best GameDay Sign

Best GameDay sign I’ve seen this year that thankfully isn’t a gratuitous off-color reference:

(Upset: TCU students give us best GameDay sign o’ season)

Well-played, Frog fans. Amazing that you can actually display something genuinely funny and original without it referencing a bodily function or sexual orientation. Sadly though, saw no references to “IT’S RAINING FROGS, GET ON YOUR KNEES!

My breakdown of USC-Stanford and pick after the jump. Read more…

USC vs. UW? More Like Jesus Christ vs. Al Bundy

After USC’s wild - and maybe undeserved - win over Ohio State, the Trojans shift their attention to the Washington Huskies, while the media still ooh and ahh over true freshman Matt Barkley, who might not even play this weekend. More on that in a second, though.

Chris Polk as Al Bundy
(When asked why Polk’s arms were Caucasian, Adobe Photoshop responded, “Shhhhh.”)

For the 21-point underdog Huskies (underhuskies? no, probably not, let’s scratch that one), though, the game’s all about finding some personal affront to build off of, even if it’s just about the dumbest thing in the world.  To that end, Washington tailback (and noted USC de-commit) Chris Polk is outraged - outraged, we say! - over the unforgivable slight of having been photoshopped by some bored USC fans. Wait, really?

Read more…

Speed Read: Hurricanes Avoid Yellow Jackets Trap

All this week, one of the top stories in college football was about the resurgence of the University of Miami football program after their Labor Day victory over Florida State. They were ranked in the Top 25 for seemingly the first time since Bernie Kosar was behind center, and people were talking about how head coach Randy Shannon had turned the moribund program back into players on the national stage.

Miami vs Georgia Tech

Which meant only one thing: The ‘Canes were due to crash and burn last night on ESPN against Georgia Tech. After all, they would certainly be dealing with a team-wide outbreak of swollen heads after their “program changing” win against the Seminoles. Plus, they would have to deal with the Yellow Jackets’ screwy triple option offense, which is tough under any circumstances. All the signs were there for a total meltdown: in fact, it had to happen.

Read more…

My Brady Hunch: 1-Start Barkley Thrown 2 Wolves

Nov. 21, 1998.

Tom Brady Sacked Against Ohio State in 1998

(Brady’s ‘98 performance @ OSU inspired GPS technology we know today!)

I stood on the sidelines at Ohio Stadium on that miserably cold, gray day, witnessing the above play out over, and over, and over … for 3 1/2 looong hours.

That is, watching then-willowy Wolverine Tom Brady, a junior at the time, get sacked (3:09) seven times while taking the most vicious beating I’ve seen a quarterback endure in my entire 20+ years of covering college football. (In addition to bludgeoning Brady, OSU won 31-16)

Tom Brady Gets Pancaked By Ohio State in 1998 - Will Barkley Get Similarly Bitten And Bloodied By The Buckeyes?

(Saturday: Will I need to locate Brady’s owie towel for USC QB in Columbus?) 

Saturday at the L.A. Coliseum I watched a slightly less courageous performance by USC true freshman QB Matt Barkley. In a first-and-only cram session before his ‘Shoe debut, Barkley oversaw an offense one could generously ascribe as ‘basic’ in the Trojans’ trucking of embarrassingly undermanned San Jose St.

If you think I’m island-bound in that assessment, read the L.A. DAILY NEWS’ less-than-enamored accounting. Then read Barkley’s postgame quote about an Ohio Stadium crowd he’ll attempt to stand down in seven days. Read more…

‘Apparently’ Pix Of Barkley’s ‘Sister And Cousins’?

If you’re in the market for vital information about USC football, Scott Wolf of the L.A. DAILY NEWS is your man.

Matt Barkley Already Fawned Over By The Hotties

(’Apparently’ his sister or cousin? Wait, he’s not from the Ozarks, right?)

Case in point, Wolf got to the bottom of my photos of Matt Barkley and three cuties posted here last weekend. I guess. Read more…

USC Fans: You May Soon Want To Chuck Barkley

Saturday I spent the afternoon in the broiling sun at the Los Angeles Coliseum, watching the USC Trojans’ final full-speed scrimmage before opening the season against San Jose State on September 5.

Matt Barkley USC true freshman starting QB for USC Trojans

(No old media, hype-machine analysis from me after I eyeballed Barkley Sat.)

Why did I blow a perfect, sunny Saturday SoCal beach day for an afternoon in the bowels of the decrepit Coliseum? Earlier in the week, USC Coach Pete Carroll made the surprise announcement that true freshman Matt Barkley would start at QB for the Trojans in the home opener against SJSU. Carroll’s curious decision has made the largely-unknown Barkley the most buzzed-about college football player entering the season. And is also the reason 5,000 other folks fought with me for a spot in the shade under the Coli press box two days ago.

It’s pretty common knowledge here in SoCal how Barkley struggled his senior year at Orange County’s Mater Dei. He was picked off an astonishing 18 times in 2008, and his struggles have largely continued in fall camp with the Trojans. But despite that, Carroll announced last week that he was going with Barkley instead of junior Aaron Corp. Corp has shown considerably more polish at the position than Barkley, but clearly doesn’t have the upside potential of the rocket-armed freshman.

USC Band, Parking at Coliseum Scrimmage

(Solace for SC Fans: at least the band, parking trolls were in midseason form)

So that’s where we stood as Barkley took his spot as starter last Saturday. He ended up handling 80% of the plays on the day, leading the first team and second team offense against a black-shirted scout team defense consisting of a rag tag collection of walk-ons and 3rd and 4th-stringers.

And to the surprise of no one, Barkley didn’t exactly blow away the competition.

Read more…

Matt Barkley Already Being Hounded By LA Hotties

I guess the broiling heat @ the USC scrimmage on Saturday in L.A. was appropriate considering the hottest new name in college football was on the field:  USC’s true freshman starting quarterback, Matt Barkley.

Matt Barkley Already Fawned Over By The Hotties

(Dude. Game Ova.)

I was there, 20 rows up on the 50-yard-line for the entire practice, and I’ll have complete analysis of Barkley and Aaron Corp’s performance Sunday on SbB, and even tell you which way to bet the USC-Ohio State game. Brutally honest analysis, not the hype-generating pap you’ll see all over the dinosaur media in the coming week. You can also check out my real time rundown of the scrimmage from Saturday on my Twitter page.

Matt Barkley Already Fawned Over By The Hotties

Additionally, I’ll have a complete rundown of the new 2009 USC Song Girls (yes, with pics) - pushing that back to Sunday night/Monday morning.

I hung around after the scrimmage to watch Barkley interact with *fans* - who turned out to be half-teenies and half dudes wearing relish-stained Juice jerseys with 100 signatures on them - 96 of which were Anthony Davis. Read more…

Brooks Live Tweeting At USC Scrimmage In L.A.

Our benevolent leader Brooks is down at Le Colisee du Los Angeles today, observing & reporting on the super scrimmage featuring your University of Southern California Trojans!

Brooks SbB Girl Jenna USC

(Although it will be hard to top seeing USC with SbB Girl Jenna)

Follow all of Brooks’ as-it-happens analysis & witty bon mots, as he Tweets two cents on the performances of Pete Carroll’s posse - including how the QB competition between scheduled starter Matt Barkley & Aaron Crop is shaping up.

And if you’re good, maybe some sneak peeks of the USC Song Girls.