|Oregon RB Kenjon Barner is CBSSports.com's Pac-12 offensive player of the year. (US Presswire)|
If you watched the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on Tuesday and tried to figure out who the best looking model was, you now have an idea of hard it is to pick the Pac-12's Offensive Player of the Year.
There's a lot of really good looking candidates and we had the unenviable task of narrowing it down to one player -- and we eventually did. However, before we get to our winner, we'd like to extend sincere heartfelt apologies to everyone we passed over.
Second, an apology to Southern Cal WR Marqise Lee: Marqise you set the Pac-12 single-season record for receptions (112) and yardage (1,680), but when you played well, the team seemed to struggle. The Trojans went 3-3 in games where you went over 150 receiving yards and we needed an offensive player of the year who's brilliant performances won games for his team. Also, because this is an offensive player of the year award, we didn't take into account your conference leading 28.6 yards per kickoff return. That was impressive, and you're probably the best all-around player in the conference, but for the offensive award, we decided to go another route.
Finally, an apology to UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin: Johnathan, after crunching a few numbers, we felt like Ka'Deem had a slightly better season than you. And since we didn't name him offensive player of the year, we couldn't name you. You had six common opponents with Ka'Deem and Arizona and in those six games, Ka'Deem averaged 184.7 yards per game, while you averaged 110.7. However, we should mention that your 194 rushing yards against the Stanford defense in the Pac-12 title game was one of the most impressive offensive performances of the year.
Barner was second in the Pac-12 and fifth nationally in rushing yards per game despite the fact coach Chip Kelly routinely had Barner on the bench in the fourth quarter of blowout games. And because this is Oregon we're talking about, there were a lot of blowout games.
For instance, instead of racking up more yards Barner was on the bench for the fourth quarter of the Ducks 49-0 win over Arizona in September.
The biggest and most impressive game of Barner's season came in Oregon's early November showdown with USC. In that game, Barner ran for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns (all five of Barner's touchdowns are in the video above).
It wasn't just the USC game though. Barner also put up big numbers in the Civil War. The senior running back ran for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the Ducks' 48-24 win over Oregon State.
Barner's 6.55 yards per rush was the third highest average in the country for any running back that had more than 150 carries.
If you haven't got a chance to see Barner play this season, make sure to mark your calendar for Jan. 3. That's when the Ducks take on No. 7 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.