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2017 Pacific Takes Pac-12 football awards: Who is the least-valuable player of the year?

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Handing out awards at the end of the Pac-12 regular season.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Championship-Southern California vs Stanford Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Least-Valuable Player - Larry Scott - Let’s take this time to honor those who truly deserve it. Wait, never, let’s instead call out those who are not helping the conference, at least football wise. 2017 was a banner year for the man whose scheduling policy looks out for money more than helping teams in his conference and who doesn’t stand up for his programs on national TV.

Runner up: Whoever keeps renewing Land Clark’s contract 3rd: Marc Jones (ESPN)

Offensive Player of the Year - Bryce Love RB Stanford - Any question here? Another Stanford star that can get snubbed by the Heisman. The scariest offensive player to play in the Pac-12 maybe in my lifetime.

Runner up: Khalil Tate QB Arizona 3rd: Sam Darnold QB USC

Defensive Player of the Year - Harrison Phillips DT Stanford - One of the most-active defensive lineman ever seen in the Pac-12. He put up All-American linebacker numbers as an interior lineman and was unblockable with less than two offensive linemen all season.

Runner up: Vita Vea DT Washington 3rd: Hercules Mata’afa DT Washington State

Special Teams Player of the Year - Dante Pettis R Washington - Pettis broke the career national record for punt return touchdowns, took back four throughout the season and regularly forced teams to punt out of bounds and away from him all season.

Runner up: Mitch Wishnowsky P Utah 3rd: Jake Bailey P Stanford

Freshman of the Year - K.J. Costello QB Stanford - Stanford lists him as a sophomore, but he is a redshirt freshman. He looks to be the quarterback of the future Stanford has been searching for the past two seasons and was big in their late-season wins against Washington and Notre Dame and in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Runner up: Walker Little T Stanford 3rd: Chase Lucas CB Arizona State

Coach of the Year - Clay Helton USC - Very tough call this year as there are a lot of good, but not great candidates - Helton, David Shaw, Mike Leach, Willie Taggart, Justin Wilcox, Rich Rodriguez - so I’ll just go with who won the conference.

Runner up: Justin Wilcox 3rd: David Shaw Stanford

Coordinator of the Year - Jim Leavitt Oregon - Oregon’s defensive renaissance was even better than I think anyone could have thought it could be given how bad the unit was in 2015 and 2016. Getting Leavitt in Eugene was a huge score for Taggart and the Ducks.

Runner up: Mike Bloomgren OC Stanford 3rd: Pete Kwiatkowski DC Washington

Transfer of the Year - Darren Carrington WR Utah - Carrington finally ran out of Get Out of Jail Free cards in Eugene and landed in Salt Lake City where he was arguably the best receiver in the conference and a much-needed receiving threat for the Utes all season.

Runner up: None, not a big year for transfers making huge impacts in the conference...darn!

Most-Improved Player - Khalil Tate QB Arizona - Tate averaged 4.8 yards per-carry in 2016. He averaged more than 10 yards per-carry in 2017. He also upped his completion percentage from 40 to 61 percent and his average yards per-pass from 5.4 to 8.4.

Runner up: Bryce Love RB Stanford 3rd: K.J. Costello QB Stanford

Game of the Year - Pac-12 Championship Game - We got a rare great Pac-12 Championship Game. Two really good teams, trading blows and playing well with big plays and major stars that came down to the final play of the game.

Runner up: USC at Washington State 3rd: Stanford at Washington State

Biggest Surprise - Bryce Love being unstoppable - I thought Love would be a very good running back going in for Stanford, I never thought he would be like a player you created on NCAA Football 2004 with 99 speed and 99 quickness who no one could stop, even when injured.

Runner up: Washington State beating USC and Stanford 3rd: Khalil Tate also being a video game player

Biggest Disappointment - No Playoff Competitors - The Pac-12 finished without a Playoff team for the second time in the four years of the Playoffs. Worse yet, there wasn’t even a team in true contention based on where USC landed in the final rankings.

Runner up: Friday night game losses 3rd: Colorado