Barkley named semifinalist for O’Brien Award

Matt Barkley might not be able to bring home a bowl trophy, but he might earn some hardware of a different kind this season.

The sophomore quarterback was named one of 16 semifinalists for the 2010 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award today.

Based on the criteria of “quarterback skills, academics, character, leadership and sportsmanship,” The O’Brien National Selection Committee looks at quarterbacks from schools across the country before selecting each semifinalist, factoring in a fan vote.

Barkley — along with Boise State’s Kellen Moore and Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi —is a returning semifinalist.

Named for former TCU standout Davey O’Brien — who still holds NCAA records for most rushing and passing plays in a single-season that were set in 1938 — the award is given annually to the best quarterback in collegiate football.

The 20-year-old USC quarterback has had a standout sophomore season, and is ranked seventh among the nation’s quarterbacks. He’s tied for fourth in number of touchdowns thrown on the season at 20, and has received much praise for the offensively driven 48-14 victory he led against Cal in USC’s most recent game.

Fans now determine which three quarterbacks will be named finalists by voting at Fans can vote as often as they’d like, but only once daily, until 10 a.m. on Nov. 21.