Matt Barkley may still be on the outside looking in on the Heisman Trophy race, but he’s right in the thick of things for the 2012 Davey O’Brien Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best quarterback. Barkley is one of 16 semifinalists for the award and one of just two candidates from the Pac-12 Conference, along with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
Through seven games, Barkley has thrown for 1,773 yards and 22 touchdowns while throwing just six interceptions. His passer rating is second in the conference behind Arizona State’s Tyler Kelly and he’s tied for third nationally in touchdown passes alongside Fresno State’s Derek Carr.
Barkley is now the Pac-12 Conference’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes with 102, and his 19 for 20, six touchdown performance against Colorado earned him honors as the conference’s offensive player of the week for the first time this season.
The award has have never been won by a USC quarterback, and the voting is based on the criteria of quarterback skills, athletic ability, academics, character, leadership and sportsmanship.
2012 Davey O’Brien Semifinalists
Matt Barkley, USC, Pac-12
Tajh Boyd, Clemson, ACC
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, Big East
Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech, WAC
Seth Doege, Texas Tech, Big 12
Nick Florence, Baylor, Big 12
Landry Jones, Oklahoma, Big 12
Collin Klein, Kansas State, Big 12
EJ Manuel, Florida State, ACC
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, SEC
Marcus Mariota, Oregon, Pac-12
AJ McCarron, Alabama, SEC
Braxton Miller, Ohio State, Big Ten
Aaron Murray, Georgia, SEC
Denard Robinson, Michigan, Big Ten
Geno Smith, West Virginia, Big 12