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.
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?
Yes, really; per THE HERALD:
“It’s a little personal battle for me,” [Polk] said.
Polk added that he’s been looking forward to this game for awhile. A shoulder injury kept him out of the 2008 meeting with USC, and now the redshirt freshman is excited to finally get his chance.
“I think there’s a little more at stake because they didn’t take it too lightly when I de-committed to come here, he said Saturday while sitting in an interview room at UW. “They were kind of talking stuff when I was hurt last year, so I feel like I have to go out there and prove myself.”
Asked what kind of “stuff” the Trojans had been talking, Polk mentioned some Internet photos that bothered him.
“They put my face on Al Bundy’s body,” he said, referring to a character from the 1990s television show Married With Children. “So I feel like I’ve got to prove myself.”
Dude. It’s the Internet. Internet is where people go when real life is tired of them. Trust me, I work here.
Polk’s teammate, cornerback Quentin Richardson, went so far as to guarantee a victory against USC, which is so crazypants idiotic that we’re not even dignifying it with a blockquote. Washington will lose this game because they’re vastly inferior to USC, the “guarantee” will fall even farther into irrelevance, and nobody will trust Quentin Richardson’s words ever again, because he chooses them as well as a blind man can choose socks.
But Barkley. Barkley, Barkley, Barkley. Being that he’s a true freshman quarterback at a high profile school with no reservations about public displays of piety (Oh, you prayed your way through a shoulder bruise? God’s handing out favors like those now?), it’s no surprise that the media have fallen in love with him and are openly rooting for him to succeed. Witness this disgusting quote:
“Then he comes to SC and he’s exceeding expectations of everybody but himself. I can’t imagine Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, John David Booty, Mark Sanchez doing what he’s doing. To me, in four years this guy is going to be better than all of them.”
That, of course, was total media hack Steve Sarkisian and wait wait wait Sark is an opposing football coach, not a reporter. Whoops.
Still, that’s a ridiculous statement. While it’s obvious Barkley’s going to exceed the standards set by Booty, the other three quarterbacks are top-10 picks in the draft and some of the most productive quarterbacks of the last decade. Sure, Barkley may be better as a true freshman than they were, but that probably means that his development curve is farther along than theirs was at his age, not that he’s expected to turn into the greatest quarterback of all time.
Further, there are few better blunters of development than success. If you’re doing something well enough to be praised for it, the drive to do it even better is often not as strong as if earlier efforts were met with failure. It’s why it’s about 10 times easier for a team to go from 3-9 to 9-3 than to go from 9-3 to 12-0.
So do we think Barkley is overrated? Yeah, kinda, but the remarkable aspect of winning in Columbus against a legit OSU team can’t be brushed aside so easily. So when we read something like this from the TROJAN DAILY:
But to say that he is now a certifiable star? To say that he has officially come of age?
Come on: He completed 15 of 31 of his passes in the game — 48 percent, which would’ve been good for ninth in the Pac-10 last season — and some of the misses were glaring.
…all that pops into our head is an all-caps rant of unprintable language about what an unbelievably spoiled brat one would have to be to take issue with what Barkley did. We don’t even disagree that much with what they’re saying. But come on, a little gratitude and appreciation, guys. Yes, Barkley was a very highly-rated QB out of high school, but so was Terrelle Pryor, and he’s getting molded into Craig Krenzel With Wheels by Jim Tressel. It’s agony to watch. You Trojans have no idea how good you have it.