Poll: Pac-12's tackling leader in 2013?

June, 6, 2013
6/06/13
7:00
PM ET
We've been reviewing Pac-12 statistical leaders from 2012 who are returning in 2013. Now it's your turn.

We've already polled you on passing, rushing and receiving with 45 percent saying "Other" for rushing, 42 percent saying Oregon's Marcus Mariota for passing and 41 percent favoring USC's Marqise Lee for receiving.

Now we move on to defense.

SportsNation

Who will lead the Pac-12 in tackles?

  •  
    18%
  •  
    10%
  •  
    10%
  •  
    13%
  •  
    49%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,617)

The contest for top tackler could be a tight one. Eight teams welcome back their leading tackler from 2012. But the Pac-12 blog is limited to five choices in our polls. So we'll consider the top-four returning tacklers and give you "other" to volunteer your dissension.

Of course, having a lot of tackles isn't always a good thing. If you play for a defense that forces a lot of three-and-outs, you won't get as many chances as a guy who plays MLB for a defense that yields a lot of 11-play touchdown drives.

So that might factor into your pick here. We, for example, do not believe the Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov, one of the nation's best tacklers, is going to lead the Pac-12 in this category this season. The Cardinal defense is too good.

UCLA LB Eric Kendricks is an obvious favorite. He led the Pac-12 with 10.6 tackles per game last year. If the Bruins' defense improves, however, his numbers might go down. That said, this guy can track down the ball.

Undersized but wily Arizona LB Jake Fischer was third in the conference with 9.2 tackles per game in 2012. With every starter back on defense, the hope in Tucson is a defense that struggled mightily last year will take a big step forward. If that happens, Fischer's numbers could go down while his actual performance is better.

No. 4 in the Pac-12 in tackles was Washington State safety Deone Bucannon, who averaged 8.8 stops per game. It's typically not good when a safety lead a defense in tackles, but Bucannon unquestionably has some LB in him. He's a contact seeker.

Washington's defense was greatly improved last year, which is reason why Huskies leading tackler John Timu had 7.0 tackles per game compared to 2011 leader Cort Dennison's 9.85 per game.

A vote for "Other" could include several good candidates, including Utah LB Brian Blechen, Oregon State LB Michael Doctor and Colorado LB Derrick Webb.

Ted Miller | email

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