1. Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times wrote a perceptive analysis of the collegiate career of USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who may not play in the Sun Bowl because of injury. It came as a stunner to read that Barkley never made All-Pac-10/12 in his four seasons as the Trojans’ starter. Barkley got outplayed by Sean Canfield of Oregon State (2009), Andrew Luck of Stanford (2010-11) and Marcus Mariota of Oregon (2012).
2. On the same day that the Senior Bowl announced that Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins had accepted its invitation, Bulldog head coach Mark Richt announced that Jenkins had been ruled ineligible for the Capital One Bowl because he didn’t make his grades. I bring up the Senior Bowl because a senior who trips up on academic issues isn’t sending a very smart message to his 32 prospective NFL employers. Jenkins will have some explaining to do in Mobile and throughout the pre-draft dog-and-pony show.
3. Barry Alvarez and the Wisconsin Badgers arrived in Pasadena on Wednesday for the Rose Bowl, and what a delight it is to see him back in charge. He called the opportunity to coach in his fourth Rose Bowl “the greatest gift anybody could give me.” Alvarez, the Wisconsin athletic director, isn’t coaching for free but he is a bargain. He will make $118,500 for his work. Alabama coach Nick Saban makes $5.32 million this season, which over a 14-game season works out to $380,000 per.