Kiffin: Barkley not out of the Heisman race

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Barkley's early season performances took him out of the running for the Heisman Trophy he was favored to win just two months ago, but he's not out of it yet, according to his coach.

USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday that Barkley could still win the trophy if he continues to play the way he did against Colorado last weekend. Barkley set a school record for touchdown passes in a six-touchdown day against the Buffaloes, completing 19 of 20 pass attempts for 298 yards.

It was his best performance of the 2012 season and the best statistical game of his college career, although lowly Colorado didn't exactly present a ton of challenges.

Kiffin indirectly referenced Carson Palmer's 2002 Heisman-winning season at USC in arguing that Barkley could still win the award with five big late-season games. He'll have the stage to do it, too, with games coming up against top-10 teams Oregon and Notre Dame.

"Like I've said all along, the Heisman is a full body of work through the whole year," Kiffin said Tuesday. "Everybody wants to figure it out way early. There's been a lot of Heismans won in a lot of places, including a couple here, late in the year.

"So we'll wait and see and obviously if he keeps playing the way that he did, I think everybody will be happy."

Kansas State's Collin Klein seems to be considered the latest favorite after his team's 55-14 dismantling of Geno Smith and West Virginia last week.