Barkley, Price on Manning watch list

USC QB Matt Barkley and Washington QB Keith Price have been added to the watch list for the Manning Award, given annually to the nation's best QB.

The Manning watch list is being announced by conference in conjunction with each league’s media days. Pac-12 media day is Tuesday in Burbank, Calif.

From the news release:

The overall Watch List will include 25 of the top quarterbacks in the nation heading into the 2012 season. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

Barkley, who is one of three Manning Award finalists returning for this season, had an outstanding junior campaign in 2011. He completed over 69 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also set a host of school records, including the single-game marks for touchdown passes (six vs. Colorado), passing yards (468 vs. Arizona) and completions (35 vs. UCLA, when he matched his six TD record). He is making his third appearance on a Manning Award Watch List. After not being eligible for postseason competition since the 2009 season, USC will open its 2012 campaign by hosting Hawaii on Sept. 1.

Despite battling a pair of knee injuries, Price still managed an excellent season in 2011, completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns. The 33 touchdown strikes are a school record, while his passing yards are the second-best in school history. He also set Husky standards for completion percentage and passing efficiency (161.9). Price capped his first year as a starter by throwing for 438 yards with four touchdowns to go with three additional rushing scores in the Alamo Bowl against Baylor.

The preseason Watch List recognizes top quarterbacks in the nation based on previous collegiate performance, however, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible for the honor. Additional quarterbacks may be added to the Watch List after the start of the season. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Monday, Nov. 26. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

The Manning Award will be recognizing its ninth winner this year. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn’s Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. This past season’s honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins).