Trojans set up nicely for future

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Barkley's return for his senior season does wonders for the prospects of USC's 2012 season. The Trojans likely will enter the fall as a top-5 team with a Heisman Trophy candidate leading one of the nation's top offenses.

But beyond that, it's something of a holiday miracle for USC's quarterbacking future. Not only does it give the Trojans the top quarterback in the country for 2012, it strengthens the unit as a whole.

Heading into spring ball, a three-way battle was set to take place between Jesse Scroggins, a redshirt sophomore next fall, and Max Wittek and Cody Kessler, both redshirt freshmen next season. If history is any indication, one of those three would have emerged as the starting quarterback going into the summer, which would have set the rumor mill in motion in terms of whether or not the second- and third-string quarterbacks would transfer to another program.