Home » blog » Suck for Barkley?

Posted by on November 2nd, 2011 in blog, CFF Features, Dan Pierson | 2 Comments

Every football game (college or NFL) I’ve watched this season has somehow involved the discussion of the #1 pick in the NFL Draft next year and how teams are “sucking for Luck”.  You literally can’t go anywhere without hearing about the guy who most people agree is the best college QB prospect since at least Peyton Manning and possibly since the GOAT, John Elway.  And let me just say that while oftentimes the hype about young players is way overblown, my opinion is the Andrew Luck hype is only slightly overblown – and I say slightly only because in my lifetime I’ve never actually heard talk centered on a pro football team willingly losing games in order to have the top pick.  If you watch Luck live (or on film) and truly understand the game of football, you will be in awe.  The young man has an absolute fire-hose for an arm, mobility that won’t make you forget about Randall Cunningham but is still comparable to say, Aaron Rodgers, and smarts for the position which are really at a once-in-a-generation type level.  Nothing I’ve seen in his game leads me to believe he’ll be a Ryan Leaf.

So why is this article not an in-depth homage to Mr. Luck, and the title of it refers to a certain QB who resides a little further south down the Left Coast?  Thanks for asking!  Reason #1a is that I’d be roughly the 348,529th blogger to write a piece about him, and reason #1b is that Matt Barkley will end up being a better pro QB than Andrew Luck.

And now for those of you who didn’t click off this blog as soon as I wrote that last bit, I give you my 2 key reasons why:

Hunger:  Anyone close to Matt Barkley who talks about him will describe him as an ultracompetitive player who wants to play in the biggest moments on the biggest stages.  Scouts describe him as having a strong work ethic, with high character and a great commitment to the game.  But without fail Barkley is mentioned as only the 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) best QB expected to be available in the 2012 Draft.  Don’t you think that just eats at a guy who’s as determined to succeed as Matt Barkley?  Can’t you imagine him pushing himself to the limit in the coming years working in the offseason to prove the critics and skeptics wrong?  Even opposing coaches already seem to recognize Barkley is playing with a different fire this season.  CU coach Jon Embree said he noticed this from Barkley during the Stanford game, “What’s best about Barkley comes out in big games…going against Luck, he knew everybody said, ‘This other guy’s the best.’  But Barkley responded… ‘I’m going to show everyone I’m better than you.’”  Sounds like a guy who has found that chip-on-the-shoulder that the truly great ones need to have.

Talent:  Barkley was the first non-senior to ever win the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year in high school; he was the top college prospect in the country coming out of nationally-prestigious Mater Dei High School; he started 12 games at USC as a true freshman (the first true freshman to ever start a season opener for the Trojans, no small feat) and won 9 of them while completing 60% of his passes for 2,735 yards; since then he hasn’t missed a start (32 and counting) and has a career passer rating of roughly 141.  No matter how you slice it, the kid is NFL-ready.  One of the best measures to predict the NFL success rate of college QB’s who are drafted in the first 2 rounds is known as the LCF (Lewin Career Forecast); basically the model says the 3 most important factors in projecting a college QB to the NFL is # of career starts, completion %, and improvement of the QB’s passer rating during his senior season (or last college season for early-entry candidates).  Without going into the gory details, trust me when I tell you Barkley aces the LCF… his career numbers – with 4 games left for him this season – are 32 games started, 63.1% completion, and his passer rating has improved 10.3 points this year.

Basically as I see it, the Dolphins and Colts can continue their “battle” for anti-supremacy (I guess that’s how you’d term it?) and grab Andrew Luck, but whichever team ends up with Barkley will be better off.


2 Comments for this entry

  1. Frank Lee says:

    Really?!?!? With all due respect you are sadly mistaken. How can you possibly say that Barkley will be a better pro? Great stats and 4 year starters in college don’t NFL talent just ask Colt Breenan. Luck is the clear 1st rounder and Barkley barely cracks the top 5. Besides when was the last SC qb to make an impact in the NFL? And don’t say Carson Palmer

  2. CB says:

    Awesome take Dan, and coudn’t agree with you more. It seems SC and Barkley are flying under the radar due to their suspension. The kid has the attitude with raditude. I’d love to see him in Broncos orange and blue next year (although Elway might wanna go with his fellow Stanford alum but I hope for Barkley). “Win sparsely for Barkley”!!!

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