Pac-10 top 25 from 2010: No. 14

We continue our countdown of the Pac-10's 25 best players from 2010.

Note: Because we are ranking players based on this past season, it's Pac-10, not Pac-12.

Here are the preseason rankings (click each name to read the blurb).

No. 14. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

2010 numbers: Barkley ranked 31st in the nation and third in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency in 2010. He completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 2,791 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Preseason ranking: No. 21

Making the case for Barkley: Barkley was solid as a true freshman starter in 2009, and he took a step forward in 2010. He did his best work over the first seven games of the season: On Oct. 18, he ranked eighth in the nation and first in the conference in passing efficiency. But over the final five games, he threw eight of his 12 interceptions and missed a start -- the home loss to Notre Dame -- because of a high ankle sprain. Still, this is a measure of an entire season, and Barkley's final numbers were strong. In fact, when Barkley is in sync, few are better. Twice in 2010, he threw five touchdown passes with no interceptions (Hawaii and California). He is a major talent who figures to take another step in development in 2011.

No. 15. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona

No. 16. Tyron Smith, OT, USC

No. 17. Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon

No. 18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

No. 19. Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon

No. 20. Talmadge Jackson, CB, Oregon

No. 21. Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

No. 22. Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon

No. 23. Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington

No. 24. Jurrell Casey, DT, USC

No. 25. Shane Vereen, RB, California