- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is not only the top returning Heisman Trophy candidate in the nation, he also is the defending conference offensive player of the year.
But he will have plenty of competition to defend his crown in 2011, including from fellow Heisman Trophy finalist LaMichael James, the speedy running back from Oregon.
James might not even be the top candidate from Oregon. Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas -- in his first season as a starter -- put up comparable numbers to Luck in 2010. With a rebuilding offensive line, Oregon might need to pass more, which could help Thomas' candidacy.
At Washington, running back Chris Polk might put up huge numbers while the Huskies break in a new quarterback. Speaking of huge numbers, Arizona QB Nick Foles is a candidate to eclipse 4,000 yards, with a pass-happy offense and deep crew of receivers.
And, of course, Luck is Luck. If he wins the Heisman, you'd think he's in pretty good shape to earn POY honors.
The Pac-12 has plenty of potential Heisman Trophy and All-American candidates on the offensive side of the ball. But who will be the best?