The Heisman race has been turned on its head thanks to No. 2 USC's 21-14 loss to No. 16 Stanford in Palo Alto.
Matt Barkley, the consensus preseason favorite to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy, was knocked off his perch after one of the worst performances of his career. The senior quarterback completed 20 of 41 passes for 253 yards, but he was intercepted twice and held without a touchdown pass for the first time since Nov. 20, 2010.
Even more important, Barkley was unable to rescue USC's national title hopes from an inspired Stanford effort.
Great players have great moments and Barkley had none against the Cardinal. Presented with several opportunities to lead the Trojans back, Barkley didn't come through.
As a result, his Heisman hopes are basically finished. Just like Peyton Manning could never beat Florida, Barkley could never beat Stanford and that will always hang over his career. While there is a chance every other contender in the race messes up, thus creating a reset, it has rarely happened in Heisman history. Given the fickle nature of the Heisman electorate, voters prefer to move on.
Barkley's best chance at winning the trophy was always as the star quarterback on an elite team contending for a national title. After Saturday night, those circumstances appear to be inoperable.
We'll have more tomorrow on the the collapse of Barkley's Heisman campaign. We'll also have a new Heisman Watch.
And a new leader in the Heisman race.