Pac-12 superlative tracker

September, 26, 2012
9/26/12
9:00
AM ET
We're tracking the offensive, defensive and coach-of-the-year races in the Pac-12.

For a more thorough look at offense, re-read our Heisman Trophy update.

Offensive player of the year

1. De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon: Thomas is 24th in the nation in all-purpose yards and 13th in the nation in scoring, with 10.5 points per game. He also was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which, yes, counts for something.

2. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA: He ranks fourth in the nation with 146.5 yards rushing per game. Only had 45 yards rushing in loss to Oregon State.

3.Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State: Kelly is first in the Pac-12 and ninth in the nation in passing efficiency. The Sun Devils are second in the Pac-12 with 41.3 points per game. Only six touchdown passes hurts.

4. Matt Barkley, QB, USC: His stock took another hit with a middling performance in the victory over California. His 12 TD passes still lead the conference, but he's fifth in the conference in passing efficiency.

Keep an eye on: Arizona QB Matt Scott; Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor; UCLA QB Brett Hundley; USC WR Marqise Lee; Oregon RB Kenjon Barner.

Defensive player of the year

1.Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah: Fourth on the Utes with 19 tackles. Also has four tackles for a loss, a sack, two pass defenses and two forced fumbles.

2. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford: He's got 16 tackles, four tackles for a loss and a sack. The leader of what might be the conference's best defense.

3. Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State: He's second on the Sun Devils with 26 tackles, including six for a loss. Also has 3.5 sacks and two pass breakups.

4. Morgan Breslin, DE, USC: Leads the conference with 9.5 tackles for a loss and is tied for second with five sacks.

5. Chris Young, LB, Arizona State: He's second in the conference with 8.5 tackles for a loss. Tied for third in conference with eight tackles per game. Has two sacks and a forced fumble.

6. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA: He's third in the conference with eight tackles for a loss. He also has two sacks and 13 total tackles with a forced fumble.

Keep an eye on: T.J. McDonald, S, USC; D.J. Welch, Oregon State; Travis Long, OLB, Washington State.

Coach of the year

1. Mike Riley, Oregon State: The Beavers are back in the national rankings. If they finish there, Riley could become the front-runner. Unless Oregon or Stanford goes undefeated.

2. Chip Kelly, Oregon: Ducks are atop the Pac-12 and ranked No. 2. If they ended up winning a fourth consecutive Pac-12 title and earn another berth in the national title game, Kelly wins.

2. David Shaw, Stanford: If the Cardinal eclipses Oregon in the North Division and wins the Pac-12, Shaw would have the inside track.

Keep an eye on: Todd Graham, Arizona State; Jim Mora, UCLA.

Ted Miller | email

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