Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
The Pac-12 announced its all-conference honorees today, with safety Deone Bucannon and kicker Andrew Furney leading the way for WSU with second team achievements. Travis Long, the team's best defender, is left with an honorable mention, while Marquess Wilson is nowhere to be found.
Bucannon, a junior, led the team with 106 tackles, a stunning total for a safety. As we all know, that's both a blessing and a curse, but I'd rather have a steady tackler on the back end than not. And Bucannon most certainly was that this year. He finished with 26 more tackles than the next closest player, freshman Darryl Monroe, who was named an honorable mention.
Furney, meanwhile, finished the year 14 of 20 on field goal attempts, highlighted by two memorable kicks: The 60-yarder against Eastern Washington and the game winner on Friday against Washington. The junior finished behind Cal's Vince D'Amato.
No WSU Cougar was named to the all-conference first team, which isn't much of a shock for a squad that didn't win its first conference game until the final game of the season. It's also unsurprising that Wilson isn't anywhere on this, whether because he was ineligible as a player who quit his team or because coaches wouldn't vote for a player who quit his team.
What seems a bit surprising (at first) is that Long was left completely off the first two teams. But when you note that Long was classified as a linebacker, and then you look at the six guys picked for the top two teams -- Anthony Barr (UCLA), Trent Murphy (Stanford), Chase Thomas (Stanford), Kiko Alonso (Oregon), Michael Clay (Oregon) and Brandon Magee (Arizona State) -- and it's hard to make a case for Long to pass any of them. Really, it was a great year for defense in the conference, and the honest truth is that Long would have probably made one of the top two teams if he had still been called a defensive lineman.
If you need a reason to smile, consider that of those 10 players, eight will return and five are freshmen or sophomores.