Anything going on today?
Given the monotony of the week, I thought I'd brighten your day with a little Husky news. The Pac 12 recognized its "Of the Year" and All Pac 12 teams with a few Huskies getting singled out for recognition.
The headliner is the ascension of Bishop Sankey to first team All Pac 12. Sankey, who led the Pac 12 in rushing with 1,775 and scored 18 TDs this year, was selected in a balloting process among Pac 12 coaches. In what many people believe may be Sankey's last season in CFB, Bishop has had a breakout campaign that sees him as the #2 rusher in the nation and a finalist for this year's Doak Walker award.
The Huskies put four other players on the All Pac 12 second team. PK Travis Coons, DE Hau'oli Kikaha, CB Marcus Peters and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins all came in as second team finishers.
This recognition is especially meaningful for Hau'oli Kikaha. Kikaha led the Huskies with 10 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss to go along with 61 tackles. He's the Pac 12's best "comeback player" story following two straight knee surgeries that left him out all of last year. He is second to only Stanford DE Trent Murphy in conference sacks.
Husky fans are sure to raise eyebrows on the snubs of both ASJ and Marcus Peters for first team honors. ASJ finished behind Arizona State's TE Chris Coyle while Peters got blocked out by Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olum and ASU's Robert Nelson, who had 6 interceptions and 1 TD. ASJ's is particular hard to understand considering that not only did he finish with more TDs and catches than Coyle, but he is widely regarded as a far superior blocker, having been a key cog in helping to produce the Pac 12's top rusher of 2013.
Beyond these finalists, the Huskies also had several players recognized as honorable mentions. These players include QB Keith Price, LB Shaq Thompson, DT Danny Shelton, DB Sean Parker, OL Mike Criste and OL Dexter Charles. Travis Coons also earned honorable mention as a kicker.
The Pac 12 Offensive Player of the Year award has been awarded to Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey. Carey, who was interestingly the only unanimous vote-getter for first team honors, edged out offensive standouts Sankey, Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota in earning this honor. While Sankey had better all-around stats than Carey, it is Marcus Mariota who was considered the odds-on favorite and was passed over by Pac 12 coaches, no doubt reflecting the impressiveness of Arizona's upset over Oregon a few weeks ago.
In addition to announcing their all conference teams and their Offensive Player of the Year Award, the Pac 12 also announced the rest of their "Of the Year" awards. Arizona State Head Coach, Todd Graham, was recognized as the Coach of the Year. His DT, Will Sutton, joined Washington's great Steve Emtman as the second player in conference history to win Defensive Player of the Year twice. Finally, UCLA's Myles Jack was honored as both the Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year.
The election of Jack on both sides of the ball smacks as extremely gimmicky and, in my estimation, is an insult to the hard work put in by players like Jared Goff, Khalfani Muhammad, Sefo Liufau and Sean Harlow. It also goes to show that Jack, who did not finish in the top 50 in the conference in Sacks or Tackles for Loss and was far behind Colorado Addison Gillam in tackles / game, is highly over ranked as a defender.
Regardless, this is as good a showing in the Pac 12 post season awards as the Huskies have had in a long time. I'm sure the players are celebrating vigorously tonight because, as you know, they don't really have anything else going on. Right?