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Pac-12 football: Marcus Mariota, Christian McCaffrey and Brandin Cooks lead the Hotline’s all-decade team

Other first-team picks include Zach Ertz, DeForest Buckner and Scooby Wright

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Christian McCaffrey excelled at Stanford and has gone on to become one of the NFL’s most dynamic players.
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Welcome to the first of two installments of the Hotline’s review of Pac-12 football in the 2010s — a decade that began with success and respect and ended with angst and disregard.

2010: Oregon playing for the national championship, Stanford winning the Orange Bowl, and both in the top-five of the final AP poll.

2019: No teams in the playoff for the third consecutive season.

Selection of the all-conference team below took more time than we expected because there were more quality options than we anticipated, particularly on defense.

Notes on the following:

*** To reflect the deployment of personnel we see each week, year after year, I have selected three wide receivers, four linebackers and five defensive backs.

(The Pac-12 should do the same with its all-conference selections, which are poor representations of the on-field product.)

*** The fifth slot in the defensive backfield isn’t specific to players filling the slot corner role. I considered both nickels and traditional CBs.

*** Additionally, I have added a spot for edge rushers, the end/linebacker combos who have become essential in today’s game.

*** A morsel of editorial license was used with the defensive end selections because of the hybrid role assumed by so many linemen who don’t fit the 300-pound, run-plugger model.

*** One position per player.

*** Preference was given to players who performed at a high level for more than one season, which explains the absence of Stanford tailback Bryce Love from the second team.

Love was brilliant in 2017, but in no other season did he even rush for 1,000 yards. At a position as physically demanding as tailback, I felt durability should be rewarded.

(The emphasis on multi-year excellence also explains the absence of Stephen Paea, the dominant Oregon State defensive tackle. He only played one year in the 2010s.)

FIRST TEAM

Offense

QB: Oregon’s Marcus MariotaRB: Stanford’s Christian McCaffreyRB: Oregon’s LaMichael JamesWR: Oregon State’s Brandin CooksWR: Arizona State’s N’Keal HarryWR: USC’s Marqise LeeTE: Stanford’s Zach ErtzT: USC’s Matt KalilG: Utah’s Isaac AsiataC: Oregon’s Hroniss GrasuG: Stanford’s David DeCastroT: Oregon’s Penei SewellAP: Washington’s Dante Pettis

Defense

DE: USC’s Leonard WilliamsDT: Arizona State’s Will SuttonDT: Utah’s Star LotuleleiDE: Oregon’s DeForest BucknerEdge: Utah’s Nate OrchardLB: UCLA’s Anthony BarrLB: Arizona’s Scooby WrightLB: Stanford’s Trent MurphyLB: Washington’s Shaq ThompsonCB: Oregon’s Ifo Ekpre-OlomuCB: Washington’s Sidney JonesCB: USC’s Adoree JacksonS: Washington State’s Deone BucannonS: Washington’s Budda Baker

Specialists

K: Utah’s Matt GayP: Utah’s Tom HackettRS: Stanford’s Ty Montgomery

SECOND TEAM

Offense

QB: Stanford’s Andrew LuckRB: Arizona’s Ka’Deem CareyRB: Oregon’s Royce FreemanWR: Washington State’s Gabe MarksWR: Washington’s John RossWR: USC’s Robert WoodsTE: Oregon’s Pharaoh BrownT: USC’s Zach BannerG: Stanford’s David YankeyC: USC’s Khaled HolmesG: Stanford’s Joshua GarnettT: Stanford’s Andrus PeatAP: Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas

Defense

DE: Utah’s Bradlee AnaeDT: Washington’s Vita VeaDT: Utah’s Leki FotuDE: Oregon’s Dion JordanEdge: Washington’s Hau’oli KikahaLB: Stanford’s Chase ThomasLB: USC’s Su’a CravensLB: Cal’s Evan WeaverLB: UCLA’s Eric KendricksCB: Oregon State’s Jordan PoyerCB: Washington’s Desmond TrufantS: Utah’s Marcus WilliamsS: Washington’s Taylor RappCB: Utah’s Jaylon Johnson

Specialists

K: Arizona State’s Zane GonzalesP: Cal’s Bryan AngerRS: Oregon’s Charles Nelson

* Coming next: The top teams, coaches, players, games and storylines of the decade.

* Your reaction: Let me know which players should have been included on the all-decade teams, either in the comment section below, via email or on Twitter.


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