The Pac-12 released their All-Conference teams today and seven Cal players earned Honorable Mention!
Congratulations to WR Stephen Anderson (named as TE), LB Michael Barton, OL Chris Borrayo, DL Austin Clark, QB Jared Goff, RB Daniel Lasco, and S Bryce McGovern (named as All-Purpose/Special Teams)! For more on these players, check out the story by CalBears.com.
"Each of our players honored by the Pac-12 today had tremendous seasons and were very deserving of this recognition," head coach Sonny Dykes said. "We'll have most of them plus many others returning next season and are looking forward to their continued contributions as we build our football program."
There's a bit of a controversy on the Cal Twitterverse that some Cal players deserved a higher ranking, especially considering that we were the only school not to place a single player on the first- or second-teams.
@GoldenBlogs The idea that not one member of Cal's offense was even worthy of second team Pac-12 is beyond absurd.— Leslie Mitchell (@Lesmitch529) December 3, 2014
If you're mad, your best legitimate gripe is Jared at HM instead of 2nd team.— Nam Le (@AGuyNamedNam) December 3, 2014
I think fans would be most likely to expect some better placement for the high point of our team: the passing game. Just by common sense, we can expect that having so many pass-catchers and a system that doesn't favor any primary receiver. At one point, we had different receivers leading the team in catches, yards, and touchdowns, though Kenny Lawler has recently just edged out the lead in all categories.
I've included a comparison of the stats for quarterback and receivers. The All-Pac-12 team contains multiple Honorable Mentions for each position, but I've only included the Cal players who were named as such as well as the other prominent Cal players for that position (well, for receiver).
Up first, quarterback!
Note that these numbers don't include rushing stats; with Mariota and Hundley known particularly as run threats, you can imagine they definitely edge out Goff there. I don't think anyone is surprised to see Mariota beat out Goff, but the statistical comparison only hammers that point home; Mariota beat Goff in all categories except total yardage/yards per game. I think you could put together a bit of a stronger argument that Goff's outplaying Hundley, primarily due to touchdowns and touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Moving on to receivers:
The numbers definitely show that spreading the ball among four great receivers results in a decline in quantifiable production. The receivers who made first- or second-team are putting up far more impressive numbers, some nearly double those of a Cal receiver. However, you do think any Cal player should be recognized for talent or ability while taking into consideration that our offense spreads the ball around?
Note that Anderson put up more yards and touchdowns than either first- or second-team TE (Oregon's Pharaoh Brown and Stanford's Austin Hooper, respectively).
Do you think Coach Dykes even deserves consideration for Coach of the Year when many analysts are considering Cal to be one of the most-improved team in the nation?
Give your congratulations and thanks to our players who were named Honorable Mention and tell me if you think any of our players could make a case for a higher ranking.