Pac-10 top 25 from 2010: No. 1


We conclude 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. 1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2010 numbers: Luck ranked third in the nation in passing efficiency. He threw for 3,338 yards with 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions, completing 70.7 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 453 yards and three scores.

Preseason ranking: No. 4

Making the case for Luck: Well, the NFL's case would be picking Luck first overall in the draft this spring, but Luck thumbed his nose at expectation and said he wanted to get his Stanford degree and opted to return for his redshirt junior season. But this ranking isn't about NFL projections or that Luck embodies everything you'd want a student-athlete to be. He's not No. 1 because we like him. And he's not even No. 1 because if you asked any college coach in the nation who'd he picked first heading into the 2011 season, he'd take Luck and not even think about it for a moment. Luck, the 2010 Heisman Trophy runner-up, put up huge numbers last fall and led the Cardinal to its best season in the modern era. Stanford finished with a 12-1 record and a dominant Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech, in which Luck threw four touchdown passes and earned MVP honors. Luck had two mediocre games last season: He threw two interceptions in back-to-back games against Notre Dame and Oregon. But over the final eight games he threw 19 touchdown passes and just four picks. And 71 percent completion rate is just sick, particularly when you consider he was throwing to just an average corps of receivers.

No. 2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

No. 3. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

No. 4 Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon

No. 5. Mason Foster, LB, Washington

No. 6. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona

No. 7. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

No. 8. Cameron Jordan, DE, California

No. 9. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State

No. 10. Chase Beeler, C, Stanford

No. 11. Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State

No. 12. Jeff Maehl, WR, Oregon

No. 13 Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

No. 14. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

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