Thursday, December 4, 2008

BWNQ's All Pac-10 Team

Offensive Player of the Year: Jacquizz Rodgers

Rodgers was not necessarily the best offensive player in the conference (Best and Sanchez certainly have arguments there). But he was arguably the most indispensable player for one of the top teams in the conference. Without him, OSU would not have beaten USC, and would have lost at least one or two other games.

Defensive Player of the Year: Taylor Mays

Again there are several other defensive players who singlehandedly affected games and played dominantly the way Mays did (Brian Price, Rey Maualuga, and Brian Cushing all come to mind). What makes Mays different is that his play transcended what is typically expected of his position. First there is his size and speed combination. He was really like another linebacker in there in terms of tackling and stopping ability, but his closing speed was that of a safety. Second, he covered the whole field and was so rarely out of position. How many times have we seen him jarring the ball loose just as the receiver is catching the ball, at spots all over the field? When you combine his physical presence and speed with his nose for the ball, he deserves the award.

Coach of the Year: Mike Belotti

Jonathan Stewart, Dennis Dixon and Cameron Colvin graduated, leaving big holes at key positions. Then Belotti lost his first and second string starters in the first few weeks of the season. (Think of Longshore and Riley going down and being forced to start Mansion last year.) Yet behind a JC transfer third string QB, Oregon ended up with only two conference losses, both on the road, one of which was a very rainy game due to freak mistakes. The lone blemish was laying an egg at home against a now undefeated top 10 Boise State team. Better season than Cal. Better season than Oregon State.

I know a lot of people will want to give this Mike Riley. Sorry, I disagree. The temptation is only there because no one ever thinks Oregon State is going to be any good. The problem with that theory is that the low expectations are Mike Riley's own fault. Oregon State consistently loses badly a couple times a year, and takes themselves out of the conversation, only to claw their way back. So come preseason rankings, they don't jump to the front of people's list of potential conference challengers.

The fact is, they are, and have been, a consistent 8-10 win team under Riley, which is admirable, and that is where they finished this year. Their 5-year conference W-L record is tied with Cal and Oregon for second in the conference. But they tend to finish somewhere between third through fifth every year. This year? Third. Why should the third place coach get coach of the year? So what if he beat USC? He got blown out by Penn State, lost to Utah, and got blown out in his rivalry game, the biggest game of the year, by giving up almost 700 yards of offense (Jacquizz Rodgers doesn't play defense, so you can't blame it on his injury).



QB Mark Sanchez

RB Jacquizz Rodgers

RB Jahvid Best

WR Sammie Stroughter

WR Damian Williams

TE Rob Gronkowski

OL Alex Mack

OL Max Unger

OL Andy Levitre

OL Fenuki Tupou

OL Ebben Britton


DL Brian Price

DL Nick Reed

DL Tyson Alualu

DL Slade Norris

LB Brian Cushing

LB Rey Maualuga

LB Zack Follett

CB Alterraun Verner

CB Syd'Quan Thompson

S Taylor Mays

S Kevin Ellison

P Brian Anger

PK Kai Forbath

PR Mike Thomas

KR Jahvid Best



QB Rudy Carpenter

RB Toby Gerhart

RB Jeremiah Johnson

WR Mike Thomas

WR Shane Morales

TE Cameron Morrah

OL not enough information


DL Will Tukuafu

DL Fili Moala

DL Kyle Moore

DL Cameron Jordan

LB Pat Maynor

LB Clay Matthews

LB Reggie Carter

CB Darian Hagan

CB Jairus Byrd

S TJ Ward

S Al Afalava

P Antwine Perez

PK Jason Bondzio

PR Sammie Stroughter

KR James Rodgers


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