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Wednesday, April 11, 2012
2012 Trojans better than 2005 team?

By Kevin Gemmell

Brett Perrotta and the folks at ESPN Stats & Info put together a really interesting comparison of USC's explosive 2005 team to the ordinance potential of the 2012 squad.

And the conclusion is the Trojans -- particularly quarterback Matt Barkley and his receiving duo of Robert Woods and Marqise Lee -- could well surpass the statistical success of Matt Leinart and the weapons he had at his disposal.

Writes Perrotta:
Barkley's numbers from 2011 were better across the board than Matt Leinart's were when he won the Heisman Trophy in 2004. Barkley threw for more yards and touchdowns while completing a higher percentage of his passes in 2011 than Leinart did in 2004.

What's particularly scary for Pac-12 defenses is that Barkley has improved from year to year. His touchdowns have gone up and interceptions have dropped every year at USC, while Leinart's numbers were relatively unchanged during his three seasons leading the Trojans.

It makes for a fun comparison. And often when you are comparing teams or players, there are generational issues to consider. Johnny Unitas vs. Joe Montana; the '85 Chicago Bears defense vs. the 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense etc. But these two teams are so close together that a fairly accurate comparison can be made. The game hasn't changed that dramatically in the last seven years.

This is obviously just a projection and there is no real basis for comparison until the 2012 season is at an end. But when you look at the side-by-sides and project what could happen in the coming season, it makes for an interesting debate.