Barkley Panic Hits LA

By Jason Priestas on August 28, 2009 at 8:24 am
Too cool for EarthEVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!!

Not everyone in LA is enamored with Pete Carroll's decision to hand his golden boy the starting job:

USC Coach Pete Carroll's decision Thursday to name (too-good-to-be-true?) freshman Matt Barkley the team's starting quarterback may have just clinched a spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game . . . for Ohio State.

They're probably pouring beers and doing knuckle-bumps at Betty's Fine Food and Spirits on High Street in Columbus -- with good reason.

I'm listening...

Making Barkley's first-ever road trip a nationally televised game at Ohio Stadium is like sending a first violinist to Carnegie Hall before he has learned to play the entire concerto.

You talk about risky business. We know Barkley is getting the nod over Aaron Corp for Columbus because Carroll said in his announcement that the move wasn't "a one-game deal."

It apparently doesn't matter whether Barkley tosses five interceptions in Saturday's scrimmage or lines up behind guard instead of center against San Jose State.

This is newsworthy because you just don't hear Petey's way questioned that often. When you win a decade's worth of conference titles, some accompanying crystal and generally beat the living hell out of all of your big game opponents, you get a certain amount of latitude.

But Chris Dufresne may be on to something. USC is still a very talented and dangerous team and the Buckeyes have plenty of their own problems to iron out, but the quick ascension of Barkley can only be seen as a win if you're a Buckeye fan. We'll gladly take the true frosh coming of a miserable night outing over the third-year soph that threw all of one interception in spring practice.

The Bollman Ease?

It was widely publicized last season when Jim Tressel had to take it upon himself to try and motivate Jim Bollman's offensive line. I don't know about you, but if my boss had to come in and light a fire under my reports, I would not categorize that as a win in my development plan.

Now word has come out of camp indicating that Bollman no longer even works with the tackles, instead focusing his effort son coaching the interior of the offensive line. Recruiting coordinator John Peterson is now handling the tackles along with his regular group of tight ends.

On the surface, this move might pay off. Peterson spent nearly a decade coaching Miami's offensive line and his experience with the tight ends, which are really just agile tackles at Ohio State, should perhaps help form a more cohesive edge blocking strategy.

The big question is what this means long term for Bollman. To me, this looks like a pretty strong sign that his career may soon be coming to an end. This should please a Buckeye fan or three.

UPDATE: Quick clarification on verbiage above. When I said "the quick ascension of Barkley can only be seen as a win if you're a Buckeye fan" I wasn't implying Barkley getting the start would mean a win in the sense of a game victory, but rather a positive development for the Buckeyes. Poor choice of words on my end.