Pac-12 Championship: Stanford, Christian McCaffrey Rip USC

    Pac-12 Championship: Stanford wins the title behind a huge night from Christian McCaffrey

    December 6, 2015

    E-mail Rich Cirminiello  Follow me … @RichCirminiello

    Thank you, Christian McCaffrey, for creating some much-needed Heisman intrigue this week.

    The College Football Playoff selection process will be a dud on Sunday afternoon. Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Michigan State are in. Zero intrigue. The Heisman debate, though, will rage on until Saturday night, because Stanford’s McCaffrey has forced his way into the discussion alongside Bama RB Derrick Henry.

    McCaffrey was his usual spectacular self in Santa Clara. And he couldn’t have chosen a better time to amass well over 400 all-purpose yards, while smashing Barry Sanders’ single-season record at the same time.

    For voters this week, it’s going to come down to a matter of taste. Henry is the workhorse, who has put the Tide on his shoulders this season. McCaffrey does a little bit of everything, and he does everything well. Tonight in the Pac-12-sealing win over USC? A touchdown catch, a touchdown run, a touchdown throw, over 200 yards on the ground and contributions in the return game. He’s the total package in a playmaker, with the shiftiness, toughness and change-of-direction to overwhelm defenders.

    You want Earl Campbell or Reggie Bush as your 2015 Heisman winner? Voters will have a distinct choice when they fill out their ballots this week. And that’s a really good thing, because the game’s other huge topic, the playoff picture, has been robbed of a lot of the mystery and suspense this weekend.

    E-mail Phil Harrison Follow me … @PhilHarrisonCFB

    America finally realizes how good this guy is

    If Christian McCaffrey didn’t play on the West Coast and do all his damage when many of the Heisman voters are seeing visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads, he would definitely be going to New York. If he didn’t play for Stanford, he might just be carrying off a bronze statue. The combination of the two will probably barely get him there as a token representative.

    Seriously. How can a guy leading the nation in all-purpose yards not be getting more publicity? McCaffrey was a man-child tonight and literally took his team to a Pac-12 title by running through, around, and in-between some talented and athletic players on the USC squad. He’s the main reason why the Cardinal has improved to where it is on the eve of the College Football Playoff selections.

    Put him on Alabama, one of a myriad of gimmicky offensive clubs, or any one of a dozen SEC teams and he’s a shoo-in as a top two candidate for the Hesiman. Because of his efforts, Stanford is a Pac-12 champ and now it must wait to see where it ends up around the New Year’s holiday. It’s feeling like a Rose Bowl where we just might get a pretty juicy matchup against one of the top three dogs out of the Big Ten.

    Whoever makes it there would be well-advised to game plan against No. 5.

    MORE: The latest bowl and coaching updates


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