Sullied golden boy Matt Barkley will be shelved when USC plays Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl

Matt Barkley will never play as a Trojan again.

Comically hideous USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced Thursday that senior quarterback Matt Barkley will be unable to compete in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech due to a sprained AC joint the Trojan suffered against UCLA in November.

The 6-foot-2, 230 pound Barkley, who was once projected as the first pick in this April’s draft, has tossed 116 touchdowns, in comparison to a measly 48 interceptions, for 12,327 yards since making his debut in “The City of Angels” as a freshman in 2009.

Unfortunately for Trojans supporters and the 22-year-old Barkley, who many predicted would guide USC (7-5) to its 12th national championship and become the school’s seventh Heisman Memorial Trophy winner, this has been an extremely disappointing autumn on the gridiron in Troy that has seen the record-breaking passer’s NFL Draft stock plummet.

The strong, accurate, mature and poised Barkley, playing behind a veteran offensive line with countless explosive weapons at his disposal, has thrown a relatively pedestrian 26 scores, in contrast to an alarming 15 picks, for 3,273 yards this season.

Considering that surefire superstars Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III highlighted last spring’s draft class, it’s impossible to proclaim that the devout Christian, who starred at nearby Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, banged the pooch by returning to one of Tinseltown’s rougher ghettos.

Nevertheless, Barkley’s unexpected descent is something out of Greek mythology and it will be interesting to see if the sullied golden boy possesses the testicular fortitude to rebound.

Regrettably for Matt Barkley, it is now official that won’t have an opportunity to shine on New Year’s Eve in El Paso, Texas.

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