Last week, the idea of USC Trojans quarterback and potential top-five pick Matt Barkley staying in school instead of entering the 2012 NFL Draft would've seemed farfetched. Coach Lane Kiffin had just about conceded his star passer to the pros. Now, hours away from his announcement, the whole thing's changed.
If Barkley says this afternoon that he's heading for the NFL, a lot of people are going to be surprised.
NFL.com's Jason La Canfora says agent chatter leans toward a USC return, other Pac-12 fans are just about ready to concede the division (not so fast!), and -- once you take a step back -- the whole thing does sort of look like a coronation. That's in addition to USC players past and present expecting Barkley to come back.
The blue-sky scenario: Barkley returns and leads USC to a Rose Bowl victory in its first year off of probation, making himself the 2013 No. 1 pick in the process. Or he could leave right now and make millions of dollars with the Redskins or some such. The immediate future is not bleak for Matt Barkley.