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The Pac-12 honored its top performers Monday, naming its top players and all-conference teams.

That's easy stuff. Here's a look at our superlative awards for this season:

• Hit of the Year: Of Matt Barkley, by blitzing UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. Not because it changed the game - USC was down 10 with 2:25 left - but for its remarkable symbolism.

Once the presumptive Heisman Trophy favorite, Barkley will leave USC without having been named a first-team all-conference quarterback. USC, once a presumed national title contender, went 7-5.

• Miss of the Year: Oregon's Alejandro Maldonado missed a 41-yard field goal attempt in overtime, hitting the crossbar in the Ducks' Nov. 17 loss to Stanford. It was his second miss of the game.

The loss knocked UO out of the national title picture and gave Stanford inside position to win the Pac-12 North. The Cardinal hosts UCLA for the league title Friday night.

We're not picking on the junior, though. Oregon's two kickers made only 5 of 12 field goal attempts, none longer than 41 yards, all season.

• Trend of the Year: First-time quarterbacks. Oregon and UCLA started redshirt freshmen - Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley, respectively - every game this season. They combined to go 20-4.

Redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan inherited the Stanford starting QB job three games ago and simply beat No. 13 Oregon State, No. 1 Oregon and No. 17 UCLA.

Eighteen-year-old freshman Travis Wilson went 3-4 in his seven starts at Utah.

And Taylor Kelly, who had only four career pass attempts before this season, led ASU to a 7-5 season.

• Food of the Year: Double-Doubles. Three times, Oregon State celebrated a road win by a trip to In-N-Out, ordering 250 double-decker sandwiches.

• Quote of the Year: "Marqise Lee is the best college receiver that I've seen since I scouted Randy Moss." - Stanford coach David Shaw, about the USC wideout

• Explosion of the Year (individual): Oregon running back Kenjon Barner's five-touchdown, 321-yard showing at No. 18 USC on Nov. 3.

The strength of opponent gave him the edge over Ka'Deem Carey's 366 rushing yards for Arizona against Colorado and Lee's 345 receiving yards against the UA.

• Number of the Year: 21. Colorado scored 21 points in the final 7:06 at Washington State on Sept. 22 to rally from a 17-point deficit and win 35-34.

How impressive was the outburst for the 1-11 team?

The Buffs failed to score 21 points - combined - in three straight losses to USC, Oregon and Stanford.

• Hire of the Year: Jim Mora took UCLA from 6-8 to 9-3. His team averaged 13 more points per game than in 2011.

• Fire of the Year (and not in a good way): Colorado stunned onlookers by canning graduate Jon Embree after only two years.

He thought his job was safe Friday. He told the Boulder Daily Camera he didn't know what changed between Friday and when he was fired Sunday.

"I know, Saturday, Utah didn't get an extra touchdown," he quipped.

Pac-12 championship

• What: No. 17 UCLA at No. 8 Stanford

• When: 6 p.m. Friday

• TV: Ch 11

Pac-12 standings

Pac-12 Overall


UCLA 6 3 9 3

USC 5 4 7 5

Arizona State 5 4 7 5

Arizona 4 5 7 5

Utah 3 6 5 7

Colorado 1 8 1 11


Stanford 8 1 10 2

Oregon 8 1 11 1

Oregon State 6 3 8 3

Washington 5 4 7 5

California 2 7 3 9

Washington State 1 8 3 9


Pac-12 title: UCLA at Stanford, 6 p.m.


Nicholls St. at Oregon St., 12:30 p.m.