Monday, March 21, 2011
Some notes & thoughts on top-25
By ESPN.com staff
Our countdown of the Pac-10's top-25 players is over, and the chief result is annoying Stanford fans, particularly those of FB-LB Owen Marecic.
Their gripe is legit. Not including Marecic kept me up at night -- really -- but this wasn't a list of my favorite players.
On Tuesday, we will look at the players who just missed the cut, which includes Marecic and a significant group of Stanford teammates. It's a long list -- nearly as long as the top-25 -- with a lot of good players. It was easier when I did my first iteration of this list in 2009, which included 30 players.
A lot of Oregon fans disagree with me -- and with Chip Kelly and Nick Aliotti and the Pac-10 coaches who vote for the All-Pac-10 team -- and rank Cliff Harris ahead of Talmadge Jackson. Certainly their right. Not sure Ducks fans have much to gripe about with this list, though, considering there are seven Ducks on it and no other team has more than three.
Feel free to make your own lists. The most difficult part, you'll find, is when you come up with 25 names and then go, "Oh, crud, forgot about X! Can't leave him off!" And then you have to knock someone off your list.
And the next list -- preseason -- will be tougher because it will including Colorado and Utah.
Couple of notes.
Here are the top-25 players by team. The bolded names return in 2011.
6. Juron Criner
15. Brooks Reed
18. Nick Foles
11. Omar Bolden
13. Vontaze Burfict
8. Cameron Jordan
25. Shane Vereen
2. LaMichael James
4. Darron Thomas
12. Jeff Maehl
17. Kenny Rowe
19. Casey Matthews
20. Talmadge Jackson
22. Cliff Harris
3. Stephen Paea
9. Jacquizz Rodgers
1. Andrew Luck
10. Chase Beeler
21. Akeem Ayers
14. Matt Barkley
16. Tyron Smith
24. Jurrell Casey
4. Mason Foster
7. Chris Polk
23. Jermaine Kearse
And here are the players who made the preseason list but didn't make this list. Some tough cuts here.
No. 2. Jake Locker, QB, Washington
No. 6. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State
No. 7. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
No. 10. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona
No. 12. Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona
No. 18: Colin Baxter, C, Arizona
No. 20. Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State
No. 22. Owen Marecic, LB/FB, Stanford
No. 23. Kristofer O'Dowd, C, USC
No. 25 Kai Forbath, K, UCLA