For those teams looking to get back into the chase for the BcS title game by way of a Notre Dame loss to USC, your hopes have significantly diminished.
Late in the Trojans’ loss to UCLA Saturday, quarterback Matt Barkley suffered what appeared to be an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder. The senior left the Rose Bowl with both his right arm in a sling and his availability for the rivalry game against Notre Dame in doubt.
Sunday night, any doubt was removed as Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed that Barkley has already been ruled out of the game against the Irish. The official injury is a sprained AC joint in the senior’s shoulder.
As of yet, there’s been no determination as to Barkley’s availability for a bowl game.
With Barkley sidelined, USC will turn to Max Wittek under center.
Wittek was a four-star member of USC’s 2011 recruiting class, rated as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the country. After redshirting his true freshman season, Wittek has appeared in three games this season, completing eight-of-nine passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.
In the latest BcS ratings, Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 for the first time in the football program’s history. A win over USC Saturday would put Notre Dame in the BcS title game for the first time in the program’s history as well.