Some notes & thoughts on top-25

Our countdown of the Pac-10's top-25 players is over, and the chief result is annoying Stanford fans, particularly those of FB-LB Owen Marecic.

Their gripe is legit. Not including Marecic kept me up at night -- really -- but this wasn't a list of my favorite players.

On Tuesday, we will look at the players who just missed the cut, which includes Marecic and a significant group of Stanford teammates. It's a long list -- nearly as long as the top-25 -- with a lot of good players. It was easier when I did my first iteration of this list in 2009, which included 30 players.

A lot of Oregon fans disagree with me -- and with Chip Kelly and Nick Aliotti and the Pac-10 coaches who vote for the All-Pac-10 team -- and rank Cliff Harris ahead of Talmadge Jackson. Certainly their right. Not sure Ducks fans have much to gripe about with this list, though, considering there are seven Ducks on it and no other team has more than three.

Feel free to make your own lists. The most difficult part, you'll find, is when you come up with 25 names and then go, "Oh, crud, forgot about X! Can't leave him off!" And then you have to knock someone off your list.

And the next list -- preseason -- will be tougher because it will including Colorado and Utah.

Couple of notes.

Here are the top-25 players by team. The bolded names return in 2011.


6. Juron Criner

15. Brooks Reed

18. Nick Foles

Arizona State

11. Omar Bolden

13. Vontaze Burfict


8. Cameron Jordan

25. Shane Vereen


2. LaMichael James

4. Darron Thomas

12. Jeff Maehl

17. Kenny Rowe

19. Casey Matthews

20. Talmadge Jackson

22. Cliff Harris

Oregon State

3. Stephen Paea

9. Jacquizz Rodgers


1. Andrew Luck

10. Chase Beeler


21. Akeem Ayers


14. Matt Barkley

16. Tyron Smith

24. Jurrell Casey


4. Mason Foster

7. Chris Polk

23. Jermaine Kearse

Washington State


And here are the players who made the preseason list but didn't make this list. Some tough cuts here.

No. 2. Jake Locker, QB, Washington

No. 6. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State

No. 7. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA

No. 10. Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona

No. 12. Ricky Elmore, DE, Arizona

No. 18: Colin Baxter, C, Arizona

No. 20. Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State

No. 22. Owen Marecic, LB/FB, Stanford

No. 23. Kristofer O'Dowd, C, USC

No. 25 Kai Forbath, K, UCLA