Pac-10 superlative tracker

Time to start tracking the offensive, defensive and coach of the year races in the Pac-10. This will be a regular Wednesday feature going forward.

Offensive Player of the Year

1. LaMichael James,RB, Oregon: He leads the nation in rushing (169.6 yards per game) and he's a leading Heisman Trophy candidate.

2. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: He leads the conference in passing efficiency and has the most TD passes (16).

3. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona: He's top in the conference in passing yards per game with 305.8 and has posted a pair of clutch, game-winning TD drives.

4. Shane Vereen, RB, California: He's second in the conference in rushing with 115.4 yards per game and is challenging Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers for the title of "Most Versatile RB."

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA: The All-American candidate and likely first-round NFL draft pick is all over the field. He's got 6.5 tackles for a loss and two interceptions and he's forced and recovered two fumbles.

2. Brandon Bair, DT, Oregon: He leads the Pac-10 with 12 tackles for a loss, which is four more than anyone else. And 11 are solo, which is five more than anyone else. When he's not making tackles in the backfield, he's breaking up passes: His five breakups are tied for ninth in the conference.

3. Mason Foster, LB, Washington: He leads the Pac-10 with 12 tackles per game, with 4.5 for a loss. He's also forced two fumbles.

4. Mike Mohamed, LB, California: Fellow linebacker Mychal Kendricks has the best numbers on the Cal defense, and Mohamed's numbers don't shine because he's played in only four games, but -- taking a long view -- Mohamed will be in this race over the season's second half.

Coach of the Year

1. Chip Kelly, Oregon: The Ducks are undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country. 'Nuff said.

2. Jim Harbaugh, Stanford: Stanford earned a top-10 ranking and then bounced back from a tough loss at Oregon by beating USC with a clutch late drive. Harbaugh has transformed a patsy into a team that seems comfortably set in the national rankings.

3. Mike Stoops, Arizona: He's not Tom Landry on the sidelines, but he's built a consistent winner in Tucson that is on the cusp of taking the next step. The win over Iowa was the conference's best showing at midseason.

4. Mike Riley, Oregon State: If the wins keep coming, as they often do following a slow start for the Beavers, Riley will climb this list.