In today's culture of Jersey Shore, Honey Boo-Boo and countless other mind-numbingly idiotic "celebrities", it is hard to fault someone for making the decision to go back to school and get their education. The college years are supposed to be the greatest years of your life, and we should be applauding anyone who chooses to make the most of those years instead of dashing for the first thing that appears greater. Occasionally though, a situation arises that makes me question whether the education they received was really worth it in the end. Such is the case in both Oklahoma QB Landry Jones and Southern Cal QB Matt Barkley. Both quarterbacks were projected to be selected in the first round of last year's draft, yet both made the conscious decision to go back to their respective schools, and that lone decision has cost them millions (and not just in astronomical tuition prices).
In the case of Matt Barkley, the decision could not have been a bigger failure, and an unnecessary one at that. Barkley had nothing to prove by coming back to college; he was already projected to be a top 5 selection, if not the overall first pick in the draft. There was also nothing to gain in Barkley's return, as USC was on probation due to numerous violations during the Reggie Bush era, and was thus prohibited from playing in their conference championship game and any bowl game that the school would have otherwise qualified for. Barkley had a substandard year- he threw for 300 fewer yards, three less touchdowns, and more than doubled his interception number from the previous season. When you add in the fact that Barkley suffered a shoulder injury during the latter part of the season his stock has fallen from a sure-fire top 5 pick last year to likely being completely out of the first round this year, in a far weaker draft class at the quarterback position.
As for Landry Jones, his situation is far more puzzling to me. He actually did have something to accomplish by going back to Oklahoma for his senior season. While he fell short of his goal to bring a National Championship back to Norman, he had by all statistical measures a season very comparable to his Junior effort. He had just under 200 fewer yards passing, one more touchdown and four fewer interceptions in his senior year, leading his Sooners to a crushing defeat at the hands of Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. While his stats were essentially the same, he has suffered much the same fate as Barkley, dropping from a top flight prospect in his Junior season to also being completely out of the first round by most projections.
In both cases, I can only imagine that both are asking themselves "Oh what could have been?" as they prepare themselves for this year's draft.
Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.