I don't know about you guys but I am already missing not being able to go through the routines of a normal game week. I am really missing reading about weekly press conferences and videos out of practices. Still it's fun to go through the articles in the AM in reading gems like this. Yes, this is on the frontpage page of the OC Register today:
On perhaps the final play of a glittering yet ultimately disappointing college career, Barkley was sacked from behind in the waning minutes of the Trojans' 38-28 loss to UCLA Nov. 17, a jarring hit that left the prohibitive preseason Heisman Trophy favorite and projected No. 1 overall selection in the 2013 National Football League draft crumpled and deflated, his right shoulder sprained, on the wet Rose Bowl turf, the soggy rock bottom in perhaps the most dramatic fall from prominence by a superstar player in recent college football history.
Barkley never saw UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr coming on a crushing, blindside play that was emblematic of a season and collapse that few, if any, could have envisioned when Barkley, nearly a year ago, announced his decision to pass up the 2012 NFL draft and millions in salary, bonuses and endorsement deals to return to USC for his senior year.
"The biggest crash by a big-time (college) player that I can think of," said McCarthy on the influential sportsbizusa.com website. "I don't know if it's quite a cautionary tale yet but I can't remember another player of Barkley's (stature) falling so far, so fast and at such a cost.
What's that word again? I believe it's called karma. Yes, I still have vision of this guy smirking "scoreboard" at the entire Bruin Nation, after lobbing that bomb in the closing mins two yeards ago. I don't think we should ever celebrate an injury to any opponent. But I don't see anything wrong with celebrating that legal and monstrous hit by Barr, which could turn out to be a seminal moment in this rivalry, changing it's dynamics for years to come.
From the same article there is also this:
Barkley's stock also has been hurt in NFL front offices and on Madison Avenue by performance of two recent high-profile underachieving Trojan quarterbacks, Leinart and Mark Sanchez, in the NFL. The New York Jets' Sanchez is currently 30th in the NFL's passer ratings.
"There really is a stigma with that," Miller said. "And Sanchez and Barkley are so similar it's easy to make that connection between him and Sanchez. Sanchez was groomed in the same system. They have similar arm strength."
All of which has the likes of Miller projecting Barkley as a second-round pick in April's NFL draft.
And how much will that end up costing Mr. Heisman Barkley:
The difference between being selected among the top 10 picks and sliding to the first pick of the second round could cost Barkley between $16.7million and $7.3 million dollars in salary and bonuses over the first four years of his NFL career.
I guess someone "finished" business. That would be UCLA's Anthony Barr - dishing out a hit costing well over $20 million.