<
>

Pac-12 top 25 for 2011: No. 1

8/28/2011

Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players concludes in a not unexpected way.

You can see the final post-2010 top 25 here. It doesn't, however, include players from Colorado or Utah.

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.

2010 ranking: No. 1

Making the case for Luck: Well, Luck is the No. 1 player in college football this season. And even if the 2010 Heisman Trophy runner-up doesn't take home the award this fall, he's still almost certain to be the top overall selection in next spring's NFL draft, just as he would have been last spring if he'd not chosen to return for his redshirt junior season. There, really, are no holes in Luck's game. He can stand in the pocket. He can run out of it. He's huge -- 6-foot-4, 237 pounds -- and athletic. He can make all the throws. He's a good leader. He's smart. He's humble. He's competitive. He's poised. He led the Cardinal to its best season in the modern era: a 12-1 finish and a dominant Orange Bowl win against Virginia Tech, in which Luck threw four touchdown passes and earned MVP honors. But Luck, like all of us, is not perfect (at least not yet). He 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. If there is any question heading into this season, it's about his supporting cast: He lost his top two receivers and three starting offensive linemen. He might be under more pressure in the pocket this fall and he might not have targets that are as reliable catching the ball. Still, if he exceeds -- or, really, just matches -- last season's numbers, it's hard not to see another special season on the Farm.

2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

3. Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon

4. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

5. Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

6. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

7. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

8. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona

9. Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon

10. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

11. Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

12. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

13. Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington

14. Matt Kalil, OT, USC

15. Delano Howell, S, Stanford

16. Mychal Kendricks, LB, California

17. Rodney Stewart, RB, Colorado

18. Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington

19. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford

20. Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State

21. Robert Woods, WR, USC

22. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA

23. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

24. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

25. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State