Our Fridays recently have been hectic, so this is our first Pac-12 Friday entry in three weeks. We apologize! In this second season of the CFP, we see the Conference of Champions and its Midwest brethren, the B1G, competing for (the corrupt) College Football Playoff slots. However, it really began the phase of keeping the Pac-12 out of the fray, in truth, in favor of weak(er) Big XII champions. Sad.
We will try to sprint through these corrupt seasons as quickly as possible … we promise.
2015 Pac-12 MVP: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford & Deforest Buckner, DL, Oregon (original); McCaffrey (revised)
The Stanford Cardinal won the conference title, but Oregon, USC, and Utah were also in the hunt. The voted MVPs, McCaffrey (2,019 rushing yards and 2,664 scrimmage yards) and Buckner (10.5 sacks), are legit candidates, therefore, but are there others to consider? Sure, but before we do, ponder this: McCaffrey added 1,200 return yards to his overall total, and he scored 15 touchdowns on the year.
Keeping that in mind, we’re not even going over any other candidates here: McCaffrey easily outdistances all players in the conference for value here. There will be a convo on this later, but we have no idea why McCaffrey didn’t win the Heisman Trophy this season. Well, we do have an idea, and it’s a sad statement about the corruption in the sport.
2015 B1G MVP: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State & Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State (original); Elliott (revised)
Michigan State won the conference, although Ohio State and Iowa were also in serious competition for the honor. That somewhat eliminates Nassib from the MVP discussion that follows, with Elliott (2,027 scrimmage yards and 23 TDs) taking the early lead. Are there any competitors from the Hawkeyes or the Spartans to consider here? We do like MSU wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, and here’s why.
He carried an inconsistent offense to the league title, without the aid of a decent QB performance or a decent running game—leading the conference in receptions (85) and reception yards (1,285). No Spartans QB had a QB rating above 137, and no MSU RB had even 765 rushing yards. Also, Iowa defensive back Desmond King posted 8 INTs and 13 PDs, so he’s a contender, too.
However, Ohio State also received mediocre QB play this season, and it had no receiver with more than 800 yards receiving. It was impressive what Elliott did in terms of carrying his offense to an 11-1 finish in conference, with the only loss coming to MSU and its stout defense. We will go with his dominance here, even if his team came up short in the title chase.
2016 Rose Bowl MVP: McCaffrey & Aziz Shittu, DE, Stanford (original); McCaffrey (revised)
We got a traditional matchup here, albeit a boring one, with MSU being selected for the CFP. Stanford buried Iowa, 45-16, in the Granddaddy, as the Cardinal ran up a 38-0 lead in the third quarter to make this one of the most boring Rose Bowl games ever. And this is all you need to know about our choice for MVP: McCaffrey took a seam pass down the middle and scored on a 75-yard play in the first 11 seconds.
Overall, the Stanford star totaled 277 scrimmage yards and 91 return yards to dominate the game, and even though he scored just that one TD, it was the psychological damage it caused to Iowa’s stout defense that really had the value behind it. The Hawkeyes had started the season 12-0 before losing to MSU in the B1G title game by a 16-13 score, giving up one TD very late to lose. They were very tough.
McCaffrey crushed all hopes with that one play, and then he kept on bringing it. Enough said. He should have won the Heisman, and his team should have been in the CFP instead of Oklahoma. What a disgrace to the sport to keep him off the biggest stage!