Pac-12's midseason All-Americans
ESPN's Mark Schlabach released his midseason All-America team and there's a healthy representation of the Pac-12 in all three phases of the game.
As you'd expect, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota headlines the group. Fueled by 25 total touchdowns and zero turnovers, the Oregon quarterback is the Heisman Trophy frontrunner through the first half of the season and has shown no indications of slowing down.
Here's Schlabach's take on Mariota:
"He leads FBS players with a 97.0 QBR rating. Even better: Mariota hasn't thrown an interception in 165 pass attempts and has been sacked only five times in six games. The trigger man in the country's most explosive offense looks like the guy to beat in the Heisman Trophy race."
Here are the Pac-12 players on the list:
- QB: Marcus Mariota, Oregon
- RB: Bishop Sankey, Washington
- WR: Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
- C: Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
- G: David Yankey, Stanford
- LB: Anthony Barr
Not much to complain about here. We expect Pac-12 skill players to be highlighted – QBs, RBs, WRs, etc. That's the reputation of the conference, even if some elite defensive players have emerged. There are plenty of outstanding defensive players, but stats often get skewed because the offenses are so prolific. And I think Oregon's secondary in particular has been outstanding as a unit – which makes it tough to single out one guy and say you're an All-American, but the guy next to you isn't.
But it's nice to see the offensive line – which is usually reserved for 17 SEC players – involve a couple of Pac-12 players. Both are deserving.
Also nice to see Utah kicker Andy Phillips get the recognition. The Pac-12 had a horrific kicking season last year as a conference. It was last among all the conferences – not just the BCS conferences, all of them -- in total field goal percentage. Phillips' impact has been significant, both in field goals (11 of 11 with a long of 48) and onside kicks, where the Utes are 2 of 2.