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Matt Barkley Staying At USC -- Will Play Against Syracuse In 2012

Passing on dreams of becoming a possible top 10 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the University of Southern California junior quarterback Matt Barkley announced Thursday that he will return for his senior season. Now, Barkley's announcement doesn't directly impact any of the local NFL franchises -- New York Giants and Jets -- as neither are in need of a quarterback.

It does mean, barring a fluke injury, he will again play against the Syracuse University football program next season when both schools complete their two-year scheduling contract, which featured SU traveling to SoCal this past regular season and then both teams playing each other at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. next season (the SU athletic website does not have an official date announced*).

Because of the return of Barkley, USC should be ranked near the top 5 in the preseason college football polls when they play the Orange probably early next year -- this season, the teams played in Week 3.

More on Barkley facing SU after the jump...

Syracuse fans can look at this development two ways: 1) the Orange are guaranteed at least one national-spotlight shellacking next season; or 2) Syracuse has the opportunity to do what its Athletic Director, Dr. Daryl Gross, wanted it to do when he setup the contest in the summer of '07 -- have "New York's College team" pull off a huge upset on a Big Apple stage.

This season in a dominating 38-17 victory, Barkley tore apart a terrible Syracuse's secondary, tossing for 324 yards and five touchdowns.

*according to, Syracuse vs. USC could happen on Sept. 8, 2012.