Friday, March 9, 2012
Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 2
By ESPN.com staff
Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.
You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.
2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
2011 numbers: Barkley completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards, with 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also scored two rushing TDs.
Preseason ranking: No. 6
Making the case for Barkley: Barkley earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors behind What's-His-Name and third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press, leading USC to a final top-five ranking and 10-2 finish. He ranked eighth in the nation in passing efficiency, and his 39 TD passes ranked first in the conference. Further, over the season's final four games, he completed 72.7 percent of his passes with 17 TDs and just two picks, ending Oregon's 21-game home winning streak at Autzen Stadium along the way. In that 38-35 victory, he passed for 323 yards and four TDs. And get this: Barring injury, he is almost certain to write his name atop the Pac-12 record book's two most important categories for quarterbacks: career passing yards and career TD passes. He needs 2,765 yard passing to eclipse former USC standout Carson Palmer's 11,818 yards, and 20 TD passes to beat former Trojan Matt Leinart's 99 career scoring tosses. Barkley enters the 2012 season as the decided front-runner for the Heisman Trophy.
3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC
5. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford
6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal
7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
8. Robert Woods, WR, USC
9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington
10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford
11. Keith Price, QB, Washington
12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon
13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford
15. Keenan Allen, WR, California
16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC
17. Nick Perry, DE, USC
18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC
20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
21. John White IV, RB, Utah
22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC
24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon