Pac-12: Zack Robinson
Arizona: The Wildcats have a lot of experience at safety with a combined 78 starts between Jourdon Grandon, Tra'Mayne Bondurant and Jared Tevis. All three of their backups on the AdvoCare V100 Bowl depth chart -- Anthony Lopez, William Parks and Jamar Allah -- also return.
Arizona State: Damarious Randall returns as one of the more talented safeties in the conference after a season in which he finished tied for third on the team with 71 tackles. Marcus Ball is a strong candidate to eventually earn the job next to Randall, but he's still working his way back from a clavicle injury that cost him the 2013 season. Laiu Moeakiola, who appeared in 10 games last year as a reserve, James Johnson, Jayme Otomewo and Ezekiel Bishop are other names to watch.
California: Cal started five different players at safety last year and four of them -- Michael Lowe, Cameron Walker, Avery Sebastian and Damariay Drew -- will be back. Sebastian began the year in the starting lineup and had an interception and 10 tackles before suffering a season-ending Achilles tear in the first half of the season opener. Look for him to regain his starting job next to Lowe.
Colorado: The Buffs need to replace SS Parker Orms, who had 26 career starts and 10 last season, but FS Jered Bell will return. All three of the players competing to replace Orms -- Marques Mosley, Terrel Smith and Tedric Thompson -- have started at least three games. Smith redshirted last season after he underwent shoulder surgery and has 19 career starts.
Oregon: The Ducks lose both Brian Jackson and Avery Patterson from a secondary that has consistently been among the nation's best. Fifth-year senior Erick Dargan, Patterson's high school teammate, looks to slide into his first full-time starting role after three years of meaningful contributions on both special teams and reserve duty. Opposite him, Issac Dixon is the presumed favorite with Tyree Robinson and Reggie Daniels also in the mix.
Oregon State: The Beavers have both Ryan Murphy and Tyrequek Zimmerman back for their third year as starters, which should help soften the blow of losing CB Rashaad Reynolds. A few others to watch are sophomore Cyril Noland-Lewis, Justin Strong, Brandon Arnold, Zack Robinson and walk-on Micah Audiss, who was No. 2 behind Zimmerman in the season-ending depth chart.
Stanford: Ed Reynolds' early departure for the NFL creates the one real unknown spot for the Cardinal. Two former offensive players -- QB Dallas Lloyd and WR Kodi Whitfield -- are in the competition for the vacant spot, as is Kyle Olugbode. Zach Hoffpauir will join the competition once baseball season is over. The winner will play next to Jordan Richards, a senior who has started the past two seasons and played regularly as a freshman.
UCLA: Starters Randall Goforth and Anthony Jefferson are both back after being named all-Pac-12 honorable mention last season. Two names to watch are Tahaan Goodman and Tyler Foreman, both of whom arrived as part of the Class of 2013.
USC: Su'a Cravens and Josh Shaw are back, but the Trojans will have to replace Dion Bailey, who left early for the NFL after converting to safety from linebacker last year. Shaw could wind up back at corner, which would open the door for Leon McQuay III. Gerald Bowman got a medical redshirt after appearing in three games last year and should provide depth.
Utah: Veteran Eric Rowe is set to begin his fourth year as a starter in the Utes' secondary, but he'll play next to a new player with Michael Walker out of eligibility. Charles Henderson was Walker's primary backup last season, but look for junior-college transfer Tevin Carter -- a former Cal Bear -- to challenge him for the starting job.
Washington: The Huskies are looking to fill both starting spots and will likely do so with young players. Sophomores Brandon Beaver, Kevin King and Trevor Walker all saw spot duty last year and the program signed an impressive crop of high school safeties, including Bellevue's Bishard “Budda” Baker.
Washington State: Replacing Deone Bucannon means replacing one of the school's all-time greats at his position. Isaac Dotson looks like the favorite to take that spot, but will be pushed by David Bucannon, Darius Lemora and true freshman Markell Sanders, who arrived for spring practice.
Some more on the trio per the league’s release:
Mannion, a junior from Pleasanton, Calif., set a school record with six touchdown passes in a single game in the Beavers’ 44-17 victory over Colorado at Reser Stadium. Mannion completed 27 of 52 passes for 414 yards and one interception as the Beavers move to 2-0 in Conference play and 3-1 overall. He now has 21 touchdowns on the year and 52 in his career, good for third-most in program history. Mannion leads the nation in passing yards per game (403.6 ypg) and total offense (390.2 ypg). He is also on pace to throw 50 touchdown passes this season, which would rank fourth in the NCAA record book. The honor is the second for Mannion in three weeks and marks the first Pac-12 multi-award winner in 2013.
Darby, a senior from Long Beach, Calif., racked up two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the Sun Devil’s 62-41 win at home against USC on Saturday night. His fumble recovery led to an ASU field goal that put the Sun Devils ahead 20-14 before the half, while his 46-yard interception return extended the lead to 34-21 and was the second of four straight ASU touchdowns in the quarter. Darby was also third among tacklers in the game with seven, including five solo tackles.
Addison, a sophomore from Missouri City, Texas., returned two punts for 142 yards and a Conference-record tying two touchdown returns in the Duck’s 55-16 win over California on Saturday. He returned punts of 75 and 67 yards for scores in heavy rains in Eugene and is first in the country in punt return average (36.50 ypg). Thanks to Addison, Oregon is third-best in the nation in punt return average (24.78 ypg).
Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were running backs/tailbacks Marion Grice of Arizona State, Byron Marshall of Oregon, Justin Davis of USC and Bishop Sankey of Washington; and wide receiver Devon Cajuste of Stanford. Also nominated for defensive player of the week honors were linebackers Trent Murphy of Stanford and Princeton Fuimaono of Washington; defensive end Scott Crichton of Oregon State; and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu of Oregon. Also nominated for special teams player of the week honors were kickers Zane Gonzalez of Arizona State, Travis Coons of Washington and Oregon State safety Zack Robinson.
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
A matchup between ranked -- and similar -- teams that should feature a lot of points.
Oregon ranks seventh in the nation in scoring (41.92) and Oklahoma State ranks eighth (41.58). The Ducks rank fourth in rushing (278 ypg); the Cowboys, seventh (256).
How about stopping the other? The Ducks are 24th vs. the run (119 ypg); the Cowboys are 27th (124). Oregon ranks 78th in scoring defense (28 ppg); the Cowboys rank 70th (27 ppg).
If there is a major difference between the teams, it's that Oklahoma State is a much more consistent passing team, with quarterback Zac Robinson ranking fourth in the nation in pass efficiency while throwing to the extremely dangerous Dez Bryant, who's hauled in 74 passes for 1,313 yards and 18 touchdowns this season.
Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for 572 yards and five touchdowns in the final two games of the season, but he was inconsistent passing much of the year.
This is perhaps the most important bowl for the Pac-10 in terms of perception. If the Ducks manage to win, the maligned conference would prove that it's not just USC and nine dwarfs.