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Thursday, December 1, 2011
Barkley: 'It'll be interesting' to see Heisman nominees

By Pedro Moura

The Heisman Trophy finalist list comes out in four days, with anywhere from 3-5 players expected to be announced as having earned a trip to New York City next weekend for the trophy presentation.

Barkley
Barkley
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is expected to be on it, as is Alabama running back Trent Richardson and probably Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. Then there are three other candidates with significant supporting sects of the country whose selection will determine how players end up on the list: Houston quarterback Case Keenum, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

Barkley indicated Wednesday night that he feels he deserves to be a finalist and would feel somewhat slighted if he didn't make the list. And he brought up his season statistics as a primary reason why.

"I would say pretty disappointed," Barkley told anchor Neil Everett on SportsCenter from Los Angeles when asked what his reaction would be if he didn't get an invite to the Big Apple. "Just looking at numbers, it'll be interesting what happens with that come next week.

"But, like I said, I think we put forth our best foot in terms of the striking performances throughout the year and against big teams like going up to Oregon and beating them. And finishing out 50-0 against UCLA. Things like that."

Barkley, a draft-eligible junior, threw for 3,528 yards, 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2011. He completed over 80 percent of his passes in the Trojans' final two games against Oregon and UCLA, boosting his stock and leading to increased talk of a Heisman campaign.

Before the Oregon game, he had little to no national buzz. But after he led USC to an upset win in Eugene, the school created a highlight video championing him for the Heisman, and he started to find his way into a number of national mock-voting lists.

Barkley said he's long envisioned himself as a Heisman winner. But it sounds as if he'd be content simply being named a finalist.

"It's something I've always dreamed about as a kid," he said. "Just the chance to go to New York would be unbelievable and I think we put forth a good effort this season to be recognized.

"Hopefully something happens."