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The Chase for The Pettibone 10/9: Pac-12 refs lead the way for new Pac-12 award

Announcing the race for a new Pac-12 award, The Pettibone.

Victor Decolongon

Who gives a s*** about the Heisman anymore? It frequently doesn't actually go to the "best" player in college football each year, has a bunch of unrelated nonsense that goes into it and a non-USC Pac-12 player hasn't won the thing since 1970 as long as we aren't counting Rashaan Salaam when he played in the Big 12 (which we aren't). On top of that, this year, the Pac-12's only legitimate candidates in Brett Hundley and Marcus Mariota might already be out of the running.

To fill that void, I am doing my own version of the Heisman this year, The Pettibone. My award is kind of like the Heisman in that it is a lot of nonsense, but kind of not in that it doesn't necessarily have to go to a player and doesn't have to directly do with football. I am going to hand out the award after the Pac-12 Championship Game, but each week I am going to be ranking my Top 10 candidates mid-week.

Why The Pettibone? Like the award, the name couldn't be more random. One of my first great memories of Pac-12 football was weekly watching what I think was called The Jerry Pettibone show or something when then Oregon State head football coach Jerry Pettibone broke down Oregon State's game from the week before. This was back in the early-to-mid-90s when the Beavers would be lucky to win a single Pac-12 game in a season and Pettibone was running a wishbone attack in the Pac-12 with a straight face. I loved the show, because it was basically 30 minutes of Pettibone saying "You know, if Shawn Walters doesn't make that tackle, we are only down by two going into the fourth quarter," until the end of the show he had explained away every good play by the other team. I don't know why I loved it and why it has stuck with me, but it has.

All due respect to Pettibone though, I would be elated if I ever accomplish something as legit as coaching a Pac-12 program, and this award being named after him is more of an honor than anything.

With that said, let's get started...

1. The return of Foundation For a Better Life "Pass It On" Commercials

It has been a while, but I think I finally saw some new editions of my favorite commercial series of all-time pop up on one of those late games on the dreaded CBS Sports Network. If you aren't familiar with the Pass It On series, it is basically if the world's worst website,, was put through a filter of 90s after-school specials, McGee and Me and The Buttercream Gang and it is the best thing ever. None of the new ones have really stuck with me, but you might be familiar with this gem or this one.

2. The Hail Mary

We aren't even halfway through the season and already two crucial games have been on successful Hail Marys.

3. Pac-12 refs

These guys have already made a bigger impact than a lot of the guys who came into the season as projected All-Pac-12 players.

4. Stanford's defense

The Cardinal defense is still nasty. So nasty that they might be able to carry Stanford's never-progressing quarterback situation, parade of highly-touted high school backs who have never panned out, rebuilding not reloading offensive line and collection of 220-pound plus receivers on its back to a Pac-12 championship.


You kind of got your wish bro. Hope you are happy. Next up -

6. Guys who always wanted their teams to air it out more

You got your wish man.

7. Connor Halliday

Ridiculous the way this guy is filling it up and not throwing nearly as many head-scratching interceptions anymore.

8. Rich Rodriguez (Original no-huddle gangster)

RichRod has certainly showed Mark Helfrich that he was the original no-huddle, read-option guy, now hasn't he?

9. Pick plays

These are quietly becoming all the rage in the Pac-12 and for the good reason that they are really hard to stop and almost never called.

10. Marcus Mariota

Despite how many times ESPN mentioned it, he might not be the best player in college football. Still, he is pretty damn good.