Pac-12 top 25 for 2012: No. 4

Our countdown of the top 25 players in the 2012 season continues.

You can see the preseason top 25 here.

No. 4: Matt Scott, QB, Arizona

2012 numbers: Scott passed for 3,620 yards with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He rushed for 506 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.

Preseason ranking: Unranked.

Making the case for Scott: It seems ranking Scott this highly is controversial among some of you. Simply: It shouldn't be. It's obvious. Scott, second-team All-Pac-12 behind a quarterback we've yet to rank, led the Pac-12 in total offense. No, that's not right. He led the Pac-12 in total offense by 50 yards per game. He ranked sixth in the nation in total offense. The next highest guy in the conference was UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley at No. 23.

Scott also led the Pac-12 in passing (301.7 yards per game). His offense, by the way, ranked second in the Pac-12 and seventh in the nation with 526.15 yards per game. He did that against perhaps the toughest schedule in the Pac-12 (the Wildcats' schedule misses were California and Washington State, and the nonconference schedule included Oklahoma State and 9-4 Toledo) and with a defense that could not be counted on to protect a lead.

Scott produced 485 yards of total offense and 48 points at Stanford. Stanford, owners of the No. 1 defense in the conference, gave up 336 yards and 17.2 points per game. While Oregon fans will note the goose egg the Wildcats had in Eugene, it's a worthy counter that the Ducks had 405 yards and 14 points against Stanford. In the upset win over USC when the Trojans still had a pulse, Scott passed for 369 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 100 yards and one score. He, in fact, probably played through a concussion while leading a comeback from a 15-point deficit. Clutch? He threw two touchdown passes in the final 46 seconds to steal an improbable win over Nevada in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

There are little things, too. Scott was sacked just 14 times despite leading the conference with 499 passing attempts. The Wildcats' line was solid, but if you watched Arizona this fall you saw a quarterback who sensed the pass rush perhaps better than any other in the conference. But, really, it comes down to this: The Pac-12 blog believes Scott was the most valuable player to any team in the conference. The Wildcats went 8-5 with Scott. They would have struggled to win more than four games without him.

No. 5: Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

No. 6: Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon

No. 7: Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA

No. 8: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

No. 9: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

No. 10: Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State

No. 11: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA

No. 12: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

No. 13: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford

No. 14: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

No. 15: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

No. 16: Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford

No. 17: Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

No. 18: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

No. 19: David Yankey, OL, Stanford

No. 20: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon

No. 21: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

No. 22: Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford

No. 23: Michael Clay, LB, Oregon

No. 24: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State

No. 25: Reggie Dunn, KR, Utah