While talk of a Barkley boomlet is premature–after all, he’s just a true freshman–it is a harbinger of things to come. Given his current career trajectory–and hype–he’s sure to be a much-talked-about candidate in 2010.
But it would take a special season for Barkley to crack the top five in 2009. Thus far, he’s thrown for 1,338 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. That puts him on pace to have a respectable 2,940 passing yards by the time of the Heisman vote, but he’d need to go on a touchdown tear to really make an impact in the race. He keeps getting better every week, so that’s not out of the realm of possibility.
However, I think a top 10 finish–rather than a serious challenge for the top spot–is a more reasonable assumption. This would set him up as one of the front runners for 2010, depending on the status of some of the draft-eligible juniors.
If the race continues to muddle along and no dominant candidate emerges, he’ll get a healthy smattering of West Coast support, but that’s about it.
No Heisman for freshmen