Our countdown of the Pac-12’s Top 25 players from the 2013 season continues.
You can review our 2013 preseason Top 25 here.
No. 21: Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State
2013 numbers: Mannion passed for 4,662 yards with 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He averaged 358.6 yards passing per game.
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Making the case for Mannion: Mannion ranked first in the Pac-12 and second in the nation in total passing yards -- his 4,662 yards being a new Pac-12 single-season record -- and passing yards per game. His 37 touchdown passes ranked first in the Pac-12 and tied for fourth in the nation and is the third-most in a single season by a Pac-12 QB. He also ranked 31st in the nation in ESPN.com Stats & Information's Total QBR. He put up huge passing numbers for a team that didn't discover that running the football makes life easier on a quarterback until the very end of the season. Mannion was outstanding during the first half of the season, one of a small handful of elite, pro-style quarterbacks. His numbers went down late in the season as better teams with better defenses figured out that the Beavers were one-dimensional. But Mannion's overall production is difficult to dismiss. He will enter the 2014 season as an All-American candidate, the nation's active leader in career passing yards (10,436), which is already 10th on the Pac-12's all-time list. It's almost certain that, if he stays healthy, he will shatter Matt Barkley's career conference passing record of 12,327 yards. Mannion also has 68 career TD passes, which ranks 13th on the Pac-12's list. While he won't break Barkley's all-time conference mark of 116, he could eclipse Matt Leinart's 99, which ranks second.