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Pac-12 head coaches voted on postseason awards and all-conference teams following the conference championship game, with the results scheduled for release on Tuesday.
The Hotline prefers to call our shots ahead of the official announcement so fans will know where the coaches got it wrong.
We're joking, mostly.
There have been instances in the past of politics intervening, with the coaches basing their votes on personal relationships or the impact results can have on recruiting — and not on performance.
(The best example: Oregon's egregious lack of representation in 2019.)
The Hotline's selections below are free of politics or bias. As with everything else, we call 'em like we see 'em.
Generally speaking, there was a slew of qualified candidates for the individual honors, reflecting the high quality of play on the field.
The best regular season in at least five years was built on first-rate coaching and quarterback play.
Coach of the Year: Washington's Kalen DeBoer.
Had USC won the championship, Lincoln Riley would have been the pick. And he deserves serious consideration anyhow — as do Utah's Kyle Whittingham, who steered the Utes to a repeat, and Oregon State's Jonathan Smith, who built a nine-game winner in Corvallis. We opted for DeBoer, a first-year coach who changed the culture on Montlake and maxed out the potential of a team that was 4-8 last season. To be clear: Any of the four are worthy.
Offensive Player of the Year: USC quarterback Caleb Williams.
Public sentiment might shift against Williams for major awards because of USC's loss in the title game. We see exactly the opposite: Williams was phenomenal on one leg Friday night and capped a season in which he took the art of total quarterbacking to a level not seen in the Pac-12 since Marcus Mariota. Any other year, Washington's Michael Penix Jr. would have been a deserving winner. And we should make special mention of UCLA's Zach Charbonnet, the most complete tailback to set foot on Pac-12 turf since Christian McCaffrey.
Defensive Player of the Year: USC defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu
In contrast to the categories above, this was an easy call. We have immense regard for Clark Phillips III, Utah's shutdown cornerback, but Tulipulotu was simply more impactful on a weekly basis. The third-year sophomore, who played all over the line of scrimmage, leads the nation in sacks (12.5) and tops the Power Five in tackles-for-loss (21). In the latter category, nobody in the conference is close.
Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Oregon State tailback Damien Martinez
The three-star recruit from Lewisville, Texas, who had a handful of second-tier scholarship offers from Power Five programs, played a massive role in OSU's breakthrough season. He wasn't the primary ballcarrier early but grew into the role and finished with six consecutive 100-yard games. We considered Cal tailback Jaydn Ott and Arizona receiver Tetairoa McMillan, as well.
Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Cal cornerback Jeremiah Earby
A three-star recruit from the Bay Area, Earby played to the standard set by Cal's secondary in recent years with 11 pass breakups and one interception. (He'll be a first-team all-conference pick next year.) A strong case could be made for either of two rookie linebackers, Utah's Lander Barton and Arizona's Jacob Manu, but we picked Earby because of the degree of difficulty attached to playing cornerback at a high level.
QB: USC's Caleb Williams RB: UCLA's Zach Charbonnet RB: Oregon State's Damien Martinez WR: Washington's Rome Odunze WR: USC's Jordan Addison WR: Arizona's Jacob Cowing TE: Utah's Dalton Kincaid OL: Oregon's T.J. Bass OL: Utah's Keaton Bills OL: Oregon's Alex Forsyth OL: USC's Andrew Vorhees OL: Washington's Jaxson Kirkland AP: UCLA's Kazmeir Allen
DL: USC's Tuli Tuipulotu DL: Oregon's Brandon Dorlus DL: UCLA's Grayson Murphy Edge: Washington's Jeremiah Martin LB: ASU's Kyle Soelle LB: Oregon State's Omar Speights LB: WSU's Daiyan Henley CB: Utah's Clark Phillips III CB: Oregon's Christian Gonzalez S: Utah's Cole Bishop S: Oregon State's Kitan Oladapo
K: Stanford's Joshua Karty P: ASU's Eddie Czaplicki RS: Oregon State's Anthony Gould
QB: Washington's Michael Penix Jr. RB: USC's Travis Dye RB: ASU's Xazavian Valladay WR: Arizona's Dorian Singer WR: Washington's Jalen McMillan WR: UCLA's Jake Bobo TE: ASU's Jalin Conyers OL: Washington's Troy Fautanu OL: UCLA's Jon Gaines II OL: Utah's Braeden Daniels OL: Oregon's Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu OL: Oregon State's Jake Levengood AP: Cal's Jeremiah Hunter
DL: Utah's Van Fillinger DL: Arizona's Hunter Echols DL: UCLA's Laiatu Latu Edge: WSU's Brennan Jackson LB: Oregon's Noah Sewell LB: Cal's Jackson Simon LB: USC's Eric Gentry LB: Utah's Karene Reid CB: Oregon State's Rejzohn Wright CB: WSU's Chau Smith-Wade S: USC's Calen Bullock S: OSU's Jaydon Grant
K: Washington's Peyton Henry P: Cal's Jamieson Sheahan RS: WSU's Robert Ferrel