Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Pac-12 superlative tracker
By ESPN.com staff
Tracking the offensive, defensive and coach of the year races in the Pac-12.
For a more thorough look at offense, re-read our Heisman Trophy update.
Offensive Player of the Year
1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: Luck ranks sixth in the nation in passing efficiency. He's completed 71 percent of his throws with 11 TDs and just one interception. He's also rushed for 58 yards and a TD. And caught a 13-yard pass.
2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon: James leads the nation in rushing (153.3 yards per game), all-purpose yards (226.8) and punt returns (22.8 yards per return).
3. Robert Woods, WR, USC: Woods ranks No. 1 in the nation in receptions per game (11) and is No. 3 in receiving yards per game (149.4). His six touchdowns ties him for second in the nation.
4. Chris Polk, RB, Washington: Polk ranks 10th in the nation with 122.2 yards rushing per game.
Defensive Player of the Year
1. Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State: He hasn't played great all the time. He's missed some tackles and been out of position. But, really, if you could choose just one player for your defense, how could you not choose Burfict. And he does have four sacks.
2. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford: Thomas leads the conference with 4.5 sacks and is second with 6.5 tackles for a loss. He's also forced three fumbles.
3. Mychal Kendricks, LB, California: Kendricks leads the Bears with 35 tackles, including 4.0 for a loss, and a fumble recovery.
Coach of the Year
1. Dennis Erickson, Arizona State: It's not just that the Sun Devils are nationally ranked and the South Division favorites, it's that they have overcome -- so far -- epidemic injuries.
2. David Shaw, Stanford: If the Cardinal, the highest ranked Pac-12 team at present, win the conference in his first year as head coach, well, that's pretty darn good.
3. Paul Wulff, Washington State: If the Cougars win more than six games, Wulff should get serious consideration for turning around a program that had FCS talent when he arrived in 2008.
4. Chip Kelly, Oregon: Pretty simple: If Oregon wins a third consecutive Pac-12 title, it will be hard to deny Kelly the award. Again.
5. Steve Sarkisian, Washington: If the Huskies somehow break through the Oregon-Stanford dominance of the Pac-12 North and win nine or 10 games, it would be worthy of recall that this program was 0-12 in 2008.