- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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When the 2012 conference awards were announced this week -- as voted on by the coaches in the league -- the biggest point of contention seemed to be the selection of Stanford head coach David Shaw as the Coach of the Year for the second straight season.
His peers thought he was deserving. My mailbag says otherwise.
So we'll put it to you. Who is your Pac-12 coach of the year? And I have no doubt that even though Chip Kelly is an option, you all will put fan affiliation aside and vote for ... couldn't get through that sentence with a straight face. But try anyway.
Chip Kelly, Oregon: All he did was win 11 games this season -- and that's after losing his starting quarterback and running back from last season's Rose Bowl championship team. And it looks like the Ducks will be heading to another BCS game this season. Not exactly a down year.
Jim Mora, UCLA: There were raised eyebrows at the hire, yet in his first year he's shown that his NFL attitude and approach to the game works wonders in Westwood. The Bruins are in the Pac-12 title game (this time, not by default) and look poised to be a consistent player in the conference in the coming years.
Mike Riley, Oregon State: His seat transformed from burning to brisk with every quality win. Assuming they are able to sneak by Nicholls State this weekend, the Beavers will finish 9-3 a complete turnaround from last season's 3-9 campaign that had many questioning whether Riley's job was secure. That defense is pretty good, too.
David Shaw, Stanford: He won at Oregon. Despite losing a great deal of talent from last season's team, the Cardinal will play tomorrow in the Pac-12 title game. He won at Oregon. The Cardinal defense is one of the best in the country, and he has his team on the verge of going to a third straight BCS bowl game. He won at Oregon. Oh yeah, he won at Oregon.