Marquess Wilson and Host of PAC-12 WR's Dominate KSI Index

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Wide receiver Robert Woods #2 of the USC Trojans carries the ball against the Washington Huskies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. USC won 40-17. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

By Ben Johnson - Special to SBNation.com

Marquess Wilson of Washington State University is the best returning receiver in college football according to the KSI Sabermetrics Index Rating. Fellow conference rivals Robert Woods (3rd) and Marquise Lee (9th) of USC also finished in the Top-10 of the WR Index.

Overall, the PAC-12 Conference had three of the Top-5 and five of the Top-18 receivers in the country based on last seasons statistical performance. Keenan Allen of California was fifth, followed by Markus Wheaton of Oregon State University (18th).

Markus Wheaton is related to former Oregon defensive back Kenny Wheaton who kicked started the Oregon resurgence movement with a 95-yard interception return versus hated rival Washington in 1994, which propelled Oregon onward to the Rose Bowl, which has ultimately propelled Oregon onward to where they are today, a perennial Top-5 program.

USC was the only team to have two wide outs in the Top-10, although West Virginia teammates Stedman Bailey (6th) and Tavon Austin (12th) finished just outside the Top-10 as a tandem. Both teams will be among the front-runners to compete for the national championship.

Other programs that had twin top performers at the wide out position included Clemson (Sammy Watkins-7th and Deandre Hopkins-27th), Wake Forest (Chris Givens-4th and Michael Companaro-30th) and Hawaii (Billy Ray Stutzman-29th and Jeremiah Ostrowski-31st).

You may recall my article last week which named USC QB Matt Barkley as the best returning quarterback in the country and a big reason for his statistical dominance is having twin receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Lee to throw to.

With the top ranked quarterback, two of the Top-10 receivers to throw to and two running backs, Silas Redd (formerly of Penn State) and Curtis McNeal, who both finished 12th and 22nd respectively in the KSI Index for Running Backs (which will be announced in the coming days), the Trojan offense presents opponents with a wide range of targets.

The question becomes who do you stop and where do you focus your defense versus the Trojans? My guess would be Barkley first, but blitzing him often could set up potential big explosion plays when leaving defenders out on an island versus Woods and Lee.

Drop defenders back in coverage and Redd and McNeal could run wild. Yes ladies and gentleman, it will be interesting to see if the pollsters want to see a great PAC-12 offense versus a stout SEC defense, or another 9-6, 21-0 bore-cast between two SEC stalwarts.

The PAC-12 and great national championship games go in tandem if you consider USC vs Oklahoma, USC vs Texas or Oregon vs Auburn, not to mention some of the better BCS games involving Stanford vs Oklahoma State, Oregon vs Ohio State or USC vs Michigan.

You nearly always get a great game between a PAC-12 Champion, SEC Champion or Big-12 Champion when matched up for the BCS national championship game.

The Big-12 Conference (6th, 8th, 12th, 20th, 25th & 28th) had the highest number of top performers (6) found within the Top-30 compared to the PAC-12 with five of the Top-30 performers, although the athletes did not finish as high overall as their "Conference of Champion" brethren (1st, 3rd, 5th, 9th & 18th).

Marquess Wilson, a junior, will be a big target within the Mike Leach wide open spread offensive system at Washington State as the program appears to be on the verge of a bowl game for the first time in 8 years. Wilson finished 2nd in total receiving yards (1,388), 2nd in touchdown receptions (12), 4th in yards per catch (16.93) and 2nd in yards per game (115.67).

With 30 KSI Index Points, he edged out junior Nick Harwell of Miami (OH) who led the field of returners last year with 1,425 yards receiving and 129.55 yards per game. Harwell finished with 31 KSI Index Points.

Player

School

Yr

G

C

YDS

TD’s

Rec P/GM

Yds P/C

Yds P/GM

KSI Score

1. Marquess Wilson

WSU

JR

12

82

10

1388

2

12

2

6.83

10

16.93

4

115.67

2

30

2. Nick Harwell

Miami (OH)

JR

11

97

6

1425

1

9

5

8.82

4

14.69

14

129.55

1

31

3. Robert Woods

USC

JR

12

111

3

1292

5

15

1

9.25

2

11.64

25

107.67

3

39

4. Chris Givens

Wake Forest

SR

13

83

9

1330

4

9

5

6.38

12

16.02

8

102.31

5

43

5. Keenan Allen

CAL

JR

13

98

5

1343

3

6

8

7.54

6

13.70

18

103.31

4

44

6. Stedman Bailey

W. Virginia

SR

13

72

14

1279

6

12

2

5.54

19

17.76

2

98.38

6

49

7. Sammy Watkins

Clemson

SO

13

82

10

1219

7

12

2

6.31

13

14.87

13

93.77

8

53

8. Ryan Swope

Texas A&M

SR

13

89

7

1207

8

11

3

6.85

9

13.56

20

92.85

9

56

9. Marquise Lee

USC

SO

12

73

13

1143

13

11

3

6.08

14

15.66

9

95.25

7

59

10. Mohamed Sanu

Rutgers

SR

13

115

2

1206

9

7

7

8.85

3

10.49

28

92.77

10

59

11. Quinton Patton

LA-Tech

SR

13

79

11

1202

10

11

3

6.08

14

15.22

12

92.46

11

61

12. Tavon Austin

W. Virginia

SR

13

101

4

1186

11

8

6

7.77

5

11.74

23

91.23

12

61

13. Eric Page

Toledo

SR

13

125

1

1182

12

10

4

9.62

1

9.46

31

90.92

13

62

14. Darius Johnson

SMU

SR

13

79

11

1118

14

8

6

6.08

14

14.15

16

86.00

15

76

15. Da’Rick Rogers

Tennessee

JR

12

67

15

1040

16

9

5

5.58

17

15.52

10

86.67

14

77

16. Jalen Saunders

Fresno St

JR

13

50

21

1065

15

12

2

3.85

25

21.30

1

81.92

17

81

17. Josh Boyce

TCU

JR

13

61

18

998

17

9

5

4.69

22

16.26

6

76.77

21

89

18. Markus Wheaton

Oregon St

SR

12

73

13

986

18

1

12

6.08

15

13.51

21

82.17

16

95

19. Collin Lockett

SDSU

JR

13

58

20

970

20

8

6

4.46

24

16.72

5

74.62

22

97

20. Terrance Williams

Baylor

SR

13

59

19

957

21

11

3

4.54

23

16.22

7

73.62

24

97

21. Noel Grigsby

SJSU

JR

12

89

7

886

24

2

11

7.42

7

9.96

29

73.83

23

101

22. Deon Long

N. Mexico

SO

10

47

22

809

29

4

10

4.70

21

17.21

3

80.90

18

103

23. Willie Carter*2010

Tulsa

SR

11

61

18

868

26

7

7

5.55

18

14.23

15

78.91

19

103

24. Cody Hoffman

BYU

JR

13

61

18

943

22

10

4

4.69

22

15.46

11

72.54

26

103

25. Kenny Stills

Oklahoma

JR

11

61

17

849

27

8

6

5.55

18

13.92

17

77.18

20

105

26. Eric Thomas

Troy

JR

12

67

15

875

25

9

5

5.58

17

13.06

22

72.92

25

109

27. DeAndre Hopkins

Clemson

JR

14

72

14

978

19

5

9

5.14

20

13.58

19

69.86

28

109

28. Eric Ward

Texas Tech

JR

12

84

8

800

30

11

3

7.00

8

9.52

30

66.67

31

110

29. Billy Ray Stutzmann

Hawaii

JR

13

78

12

910

23

4

10

6.00

16

11.67

24

70.00

27

112

30. Michael Companaro

Wake Forest

JR

12

73

13

833

28

2

11

6.08

15

11.41

26

69.42

29

122

31. Jeremiah Ostrowski

Hawaii

SR

10

65

16

687

31

5

9

6.50

11

10.57

27

68.70

30

124

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