November 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) before being introduced at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

USC Football: Matt Barkley Snubbed With Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention?

The Pac-12 released its Conference All-Conference lists on Monday, and to the surprise of many on the USC front, Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley only garnered an honorable mention.

WR Marqise Lee and freshman DL Leonard Williams received individual honors, and six total Trojans made the First or Second teams, but Barkley’s name was present on neither.

Sure, the senior quarterback did not have the season anyone expected; with 15 interceptions and five losses, much has been left to be desired in 2012. But to not give him a place on the All-Conference lists seems to be ignorant of his stats this season.

Barkley threw for the most yards (3723), the most yards per attempt (8.5), and the most yards per game (297.5) in the Pac-12. He His 36 touchdowns are the most thrown by any Pac-12 quarterback, and his 157.56 QB Rating is the second-highest in the conference. He came in second in pass attempts per game, third in completed passes, and fourth in completion percentage.

The numbers don’t lie: on paper, Barkley did not have an awful year. So why no post-season honors?

Perhaps the 7-5 record is being held against him–and other Trojans for that matter, like DE Morgan Breslin who did not make the Defensive All-Conference list despite leading the conference is sacks. Perhaps Barkley throwing more picks than he did during his freshman year was something the voters could not see beyond. Perhaps the voters did not notice the Pac-12 records Barkley set in 2012, nor did they notice he holds nearly all Pac-12 quarterback records.

Whatever the reason, it is questionable that a quarterback that finished in the Top 2 of most statistical categories would just be an afterthought for All-Conference recognition. Such honors should be awarded based on how a player performed, not how he could have performed, and in considering the numbers, Barkley certainly did better than what he is given credit for.

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