Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/18/12
The road to the BCS National Championship may have got a bit easier. USC quarterback Matt Barkley has officially been ruled out for Saturday’s matchup with Notre Dame. USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced the bad news to the media in a teleconference. Sitting at No. 1 in the BCS rankings, Notre Dame just has to beat USC to move on to the national title game. They’ll face first-time starter, redshirt freshman Max Wittek. Barkley injured his shoulder late in the fourth quarter in USC’s loss to UCLA. Barkley fell awkwardly on his shoulder when he was sacked by UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. Barkley left the game with his arm in a sling. While Notre Dame has had a surprise undefeated season, USC’s has been a major disappointment. They entered the season with national championship hopes, and are exiting it without their star quarterback, and without an AP or BCS ranking. Barkley’s season has also been a bit of a disappointment. He was supposed to vie for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, but his stock as slipped throughout the season. He also hasn’t lived up to the Heisman hype he was receiving in the preseason. Notre Dame has won nine of the last 10 matchups with Notre Dame, with the Fighting Irish’s only win coming during that span in 2010. Notre Dame has an overall series record of 43-34-5 over USC.
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