Did Reggie Bush cause Matt Barkley not to win the Heisman?

The University of Southern California was ineligible for postseason play during 2011 due to being on probation from the Reggie Bush fall-out.

USC would have met LaMichael James and the Oregon Ducks in the PAC-12 Championship game, but instead their season came to an abrupt end.

Barkley put an exclamation point on his Heisman trophy campaign by completing 35 of 42 passes for 423 yards and six touchdowns against crosstown rival UCLA in their last game of the season. It capped a season in which he passed for a school and conference record 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Barkley continued to impress but eventually the Heisman Trophy would go to Robert Griffin III of Baylor.

Imagine if Barkley had one or two more games to show off against a top-ten team.

Every memory of Reggie Bush and the NCAA infractions that occur have been removed from USC, including the replica of his 2005 Heisman Trophy.

Bush was the central figure in a four-year investigation by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which determined both the star running back and his family had taken money and illegal gifts from two sports agents during his junior and senior seasons. The NCAA wound up putting USC on four years’ probation, banning the Trojans from bowl games the next two years, docking them 30 scholarships over the next three years and allowing current players and recruits to transfer without penalty.

Is Reggie Bush’s previous actions causing Matt Barkley not to win the Heisman trophy? It can be argued so.

With one more key game – if Barkley were to put up solid numbers and a win, he would be in a better position to bring home the Heisman. Instead his season came to an end.