CGB's 2010 Pac-10 Football Conference Awards: LaMichael James Is The MVP

Submit your own awards and/or disagreements in the comments!

If there was a Pac-10 Heisman: LaMichael James, Oregon Ducks. After serving a one-game suspension for harrassing his girlfriend, and after half of the Pac-10 defenses keyed in on stopping him primarily, James still finished with 1,682 rushing yards in 11 games, the most rushing yards in college football. He saved his biggest games against the biggest opponents--257 yards and three scores on 31 carries against Stanford, 239 yards and three more scores on 36 carries against USC, and big plays to beat Tennessee and Arizona State.

(via jtlight)

When Cal keyed in on shutting down James and managed to take him down as a collective group, Oregon's offense stalled and the Golden Bears hung around for most of the game. That's how important LaMichael was to the success of the kings of the Pacific Northwest. He'll need to be great for the Ducks to win their first national championship.

Offensive Player of the Year: Andrew Luck, Stanford Cardinal. Paced Stanford's offense to 40 points a game, eighth most in the country. Luck completed over 70 percent of his passes for over 3000 yards and a school record 28 passing touchdowns. And when he scrambled, he was deadly too, picking up over eight rushing yards a carry and 438 yards on the season. His 3,483 yards of total offense was the most in Stanford Cardinal history. A great season for a future number one draft pick.

(via StanfordFball)

Defensive Player of the Year: Mason Foster, Washington Huskies. A one man wrecking crew at linebacker, Foster racked up 150 tackles (50 more than the second nearest Pac-10 defender), 11.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks. He helped pace a not-so-great Huskies defense back to respectability the final three weeks of the season, earning himself and the other Washington seniors a final postseason game.

Special Teams Player of the Year: Cliff Harris, Oregon Ducks. Oregon's version of DeSean Jackson, he returned four punts for touchdowns, none more crucial than the one in Berkeley to put Oregon on the board (he also had another one against the Cougars and two ones he nearly broke against USC and Washington).

You could make a strong case for Harris as defensive player of the year (he led the Pac-10 in interceptions and passes defended, and had a pick-six that turned a close one with Tennessee into a rout), but I wanted to give Foster some credit for an incredible year.

Newcomer of the Year: Darron Thomas, Oregon Ducks. Hard to believe Thomas could come in and replace Jeremiah Masoli (who I considered last year's most valuable player) and the team wouldn't miss a beat. But that's about what Thomas did. Although not quite as gifted a runner as a Masoli, he was a better passer, and it opened up other dimensions that allowed the Ducks to play from behind and still feel relatively comfortable they could recover and win (comeback wins against Tennessee, Stanford, and USC best emphasize those traits). Thomas completed 60.6% of his passes and compiled a 150 passer rating, second in the conference. Although he wasn't the best player on Oregon's offense, if he had stumbled or struggled, the Ducks would not be playing for the national championship.

(via keeerrrttt1)

Coach of the Year: Jim Harbaugh, Stanford Cardinal. Harbaugh runs a clean program (unlike the lack of institutional control we saw in Eugene this offseason, the Farm has remained pretty much spot-free), he has the Cardinal playing at a high level, his only blemish is a defeat to the number one team in the country, and he's going to a BCS bowl despite tepid fan support. The only question is whether Harbaugh will be back to try it again, possibly without his star quarterback.

(via RuleofTree)


 

 

Pac-10 First Team

Offense

Quarterback: Andrew Luck, Stanford Cardinal

Tailback: LaMichael James, Oregon Ducks; Chris Polk, Washington Huskies (Polk deserves dap for some huge running performances down the stretch, including eviscerating the Cougars in the Apple Cup for 284 yards and two touchdowns and over 500 rushing yards the final three weeks of the season to bring Washington to bowl eligiblity.)

(via udubadizzmo)


H-Back/Tight end: Owen Marecic, Stanford Cardinal. I thought about Jacquizz Rodgers and/or Shane Vereen for this list, but that wouldn't give me the chance to reward one of the most unique players in the Pac-10. There aren't any great tight ends this year, and Marecic's contributions to Stanford with regards to blocking, playing linebacker, and running in short yardage far outweigh what any tight end did in the Pac-10 this year.

 (via rusty98umvids)


Wide receivers: Juron Criner, Arizona Wildcats (an incredible one-on-one receiver who wins a lot of his individual battles); Jeff Maehl, Oregon Ducks (Thomas's go-to guy on a team that has no other real receiving options)

(via rusty98umvids)

 

Offensive tackles: Adam Grant, Arizona Wildcats; Tyron Smith, USC Trojans

Offensive guards: David DeCastro & Andrew Phillips, Stanford Cardinal

Center: Jordan Holmes, Oregon Ducks

 

Defense

Defensive tackles: Stephen Paea, Oregon St. Beavers; Jurrell Casey, USC Trojans 

Defensive ends: Kenny Rowe, Oregon Ducks; Cameron Jordan, California Golden Bears

Inside linebackers: Vontaze Burfict, Arizona St. Sun Devils; Casey Matthews, Oregon Ducks

Outside linebackers: Mason Foster, Washington Huskies; Akeem Ayers, UCLA Bruins

Cornerbacks: Cliff Harris, Oregon Ducks; Richard Sherman, Stanford Cardinal

Safeties: John Boyett, Oregon Ducks; Chris Conte, California Golden Bears

 

Special teams

Kicker: Nate Whitaker, Stanford Cardinal

Punter: Bryan Anger, California Golden Bears

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