Daily Grind 12/22

Matt Barkley returns to USC to win a title, a stupid UCLA tradition is gone, a World Series lineup, and another Billy Devaney draft bust.

I don’t blame Matt Barkley for returning to USC. Barkley will have a chance to increase his value for the 2013 NFL draft with a successful senior season. He was ranked the 3rd best QB behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Barkley will have a chance to lead the Trojans to a National Championship next season when the NCAA lifts their 2-year ineligibility ban. USC finished 10-2, with one loss including a triple overtime thriller vs. Stanford.

Taken by James Santelli, Neon Tommy. September...

Matt Barkley (Image via Wikipedia)

Barkleys commitment is a credit to HC Lane Kiffin. Keeping USC’s football program sturdy following the Reggie Bush/Pete Carroll turmoil was important. Kiffin, 36, left a good job at Tennessee to return to Southern California despite the implications. He had to sell a football program to both current and future Trojans that was barred from participating in postseason games. Granted, his salary is over $4 million a season.

English: USC Trojans football Head Coach Lane ...

Lane Kiffin talks with Matt Barkley (Image via Wikipedia)

I wonder what the new NFL rookie pay scale played in Barkley’s decision. Gone are the days where rookies can demand $50 million guaranteed contracts (Sam Bradford). Cam Newton signed a four-year deal worth more than $22 million guaranteed as the first overall pick in 2011. Blaine Gabbert, the 10th pick, signed a 4-year, $12 million contract. Barkley was staring up at both Luck and Griffin–next year he will potentially head the spear.

An interesting article regarding a UCLA Bruins “tradition”. New coach Jim Mora Jr. is putting an end to a senior ritual. I like his quote, “I’m not about making threats, and I’ll keep that between the players and myself, but I can tell you that my general feeling is that if they feel they want to skip out of practice and jump over a wall, then they might as well just keep going, they’re not a part of what I want to be a part of.”

Moving on…

Furcal, Jay, Berkman, Freese, Holliday, Beltran, Craig, Molina, Schumaker sounds a lot better than Bourjos, Kendrick, Pujols, Hunter, Trumbo, Abreu, Wells, Callaspo, and Iannetta. Just sayin’.

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 10:  Albert Pujols sign...

Pujols signs autographs for Angel Fans (Image by Getty Images via @daylife)

Rams 3rd round draft pick Austin Pettis was flagged 4 games for performance enhancers. Whatever he was using, he should probably consider a stronger dose. 27 catches for 256 yards and 0 TD’s. Spags, what happened to the four pillars? Faith, character, core values, team first. Huh, the turmoil continues in Earth City.

Interesting quote from Blues HC Ken Hitchcock from Jeremy Rutherford regarding the teams loss to Colorado Wednesday night: ““We have for a long period of time been ready to play, and we haven’t been ready to play the last two games. … We’ve just thrown our sticks on the ice and (tonight) we didn’t get away with it.”

St. Louis plays Phoenix tomorrow night in their final game before the Christmas break.

The consensus is for Mizzou to take care of a young Illinois team tonight in the annual Braggin Rights game in St. Louis. I like Mizzou, but these games always have a competitive balance. Remember, no team goes undefeated. Plus, at some point Mizzou has to cool off offensively–which will show their weakness: rebounding. Key Missouri statistics:

Thanks for reading.

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