2010 numbers: Thomas completed 61.5 percent of his throws for 2,881 yards with 30 touchdown passes. He also rushed for 486 yards and five scores. He ranked second in the Pac-10 -- behind a guy named Andrew Luck -- and 17th in the nation in passing efficiency.
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Making the case for Thomas: Well, when you are the quarterback of record leading a team to the national championship game, making a case isn't too difficult. But Thomas isn't ranked way up here merely because he was the quarterback of record as a first-year starter for the Pac-10 champions. He's here because his numbers earned him this spot. Honestly, you really don't have to go much further than 35 total touchdowns. Not to cause a problem or anything, but do you know how many TDs Washington scored in 2010? That's right: 35. Heck, Oregon State scored 39. Thomas showed consistent improvement all year and uncanny poise for a sophomore. Remember how poorly he played early in the national title game against Auburn? Well, he ended up passing for 363 yards and two touchdowns. Not too shabby. Thomas earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2010 and may well end up there again this fall (that Luck guy). But he also could end up a second-team All-American.