'Herbie' shows the Pac-12 love

ESPN "GameDay's" Kirk Herbstreit gives the Pac-12 plenty of love in his annual "Herbie Awards."

Let's start with what he has at the end: He picks Oregon to beat Alabama for the national title.


Herbstreit also includes Pac-12 players in just about every one of his categories.

  • He rates Oregon's LaMichael James No. 1 and Washington's Chris Polk No. 5 among running backs.

  • He rates Arizona's Juron Criner No. 5 among receivers.

  • He rates Stanford's Andrew Luck, USC's Matt Barkley and Arizona's Nick Foles Nos. 1, 2 and 5 among quarterbacks.

  • He rates Oregon's Darron Thomas the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback.

  • He rates James the most exciting player.

  • He rates Foles as No. 1 among players who don't get enough respect. Stanford safety Michael Thomas was No. 3 in that category.

  • He rates Oregon's running backs the nation's No. 1 position unit.

  • He rates Polk the No. 3 best-kept secret.

  • He rates Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict the No. 1 big-hitter. He rates Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov No. 3 in this category.

  • He rates Oregon safety John Boyett No. 5 among "high-motor men."

  • He rates Oregon coach Chip Kelly No. 1 among "top offensive minds." He rates Washington coach Steve Sarkisian No. 4.

  • He rates Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler as the No. 4 guy to "take it to the next level."

  • He rates Utah's Kyle Whittingham No. 1 among underrated coaches.

  • And he ranks Luck No. 2 on his "Ultimate Herbie" list.