Arizona receiver Cayleb Jones, linebacker Gionni Paul and Utah placekicker Andy Phillips get the weekly Pac-12 players-of-the-week awards, and in this case, there’s a little more intrigue than usual.
The awards are chosen by media members around the league, from a list of nominees made by each school. For some reason, Oregon didn’t nominate Marcus Mariota this week (maybe it’s figuring on him winning more coveted awards).
I stipulated to the Pac-12 publicists that if I could vote for Mariota, that would be my choice. He was marvelous in Oregon’s narrow escape at Washington State, completing 21 of 25 passes for 329 yards and five touchdowns, and with a key fourth-and-10 run for a first down that set up a score.
But if my vote for Mariota couldn’t count, I opted for WSU’s Connor Halliday, who also was terrific with 43 completions in 63 throws and no interceptions.
There was a third-and-12 throw Halliday made on a seam route to River Cracraft for 24 yards late in the third quarter that opened eyes. The next play, he came back with another 24-yard gain on the right sideline to Cracraft (I think it was an “out” route) that might have been even a better throw.
All things being equal, the awards ought to go to players on winning teams. But there are exceptions. I didn’t see Jones’ game, and he was obviously very good, but in this case, the award probably should have been Halliday’s, absent Mariota’s nomination.