SI.com unveiled its Midseason All-America roster Wednesday, a collection of elite that has seven players from the Pac-12, including Washington State senior safety Deone Bucannon and Washington running back Bishop Sankey, among the 22 first-teamers. Bucannon and Sankey are deserving — but somewhat surprising — selections, playing as they do in football’s most remote outposts.
Bucannon, a Fairfield, CA., native, and Sankey, who hails from Spokane (Gonzaga Prep), made the SI team one day after both were also named to CBSSports.com All-America first team.
Bucannon enters the week leading the Pac-12 with 64 tackles and four interceptions. He is tied for fifth in WSU history in career tackles (334) and is fourth in career solo tackles (231). He also owns 14 career double-digit tackle performances, including 14 at Auburn in Washington State’s opener.
Washington has not had an All-America back (full season) since Corey Dillon in 1996. Sankey is the nation’s leading rusher at 149.8 yards per game and is coming off a 167-yard, 2 TD performance against Oregon. Sankey has rushed for 100 or more in nine of his last 11 (his 12 career 100-yard games is tied for fourth with Robin Earl on the all-time list) and has moved into seventh place in career rushing with 2,525 yards, just ahead of Hugh McElhenny (2,499).
At 149.8 per game, Sankey is on track for 1,797 yards, which would break Dillon’s 1996 school record of 1,695 by more than 100 yards. Highest-yards per game average in UW history, minimum of nine games (Sankey shown for comparison purposes):
|2013||Bishop Sankey||6||899||149.8||Nation’s No. 1 rusher|
|1996||Corey Dillon||12||1695||141.3||222 yards vs. San Jose St.|
|1990||Greg Lewis||11||1407||127.9||Doak Walker award winner|
|1994||Napoleon Kaufman||11||1390||126.4||Six seasons with Raiders|
|1993||Napoleon Kaufman||11||1299||118.1||UW career rushing leader|
|1997||Rashaan Shehee||9||1055||117.2||193 yards in Aloha Bowl|
|2011||Chris Polk||13||1488||114.5||Currently with Phil. Eagles|
|1950||Hugh McElhenny||10||1107||110.7||College, pro football HOF|
|2012||Bishop Sankey||13||1439||110.7||Ran for 205 in Las Vegas Bowl|
|2010||Chris Polk||13||1415||108.8||UW record 21 100-yard games|
|1978||Joe Steele||11||1111||101.0||Broke McElhenny’s marks|
Only Kauffman, in 1994, rushed for more yards in a season’s first six games than Sankey has this season, making what we are witnessing now one of the most productive rushing seasons in Washington’s 124 years. Most yards, first six:
|1994||Napoleon Kaufman||1,104||4 200-yard games; 254 vs. San Jose State|
|2013||Bishop Sankey||899||Career-high 208 vs. Illinois Sept. 14|
|1990||Greg Lewis||813||Had a high of 159 against Arizona State|
|2011||Chris Polk||728||Best game of 189 yards vs. Utah|
|1997||Rashaan Shehee||677||Opened season with 171 yards vs. BYU|
|1993||Napoleon Kaufman||656||195 yards in season opener vs. Stanford|
|1996||Corey Dillon||648||Ended with a school record 1,695 yards|
|1989||Greg Lewis||620||Ran for 165 yards against Purdue|
|1950||Hugh McElhenny||603||Opened with 177 yards against Kansas St.|
|1976||Ron Rowland||592||Ran for 183 yards, 2 TDs vs. Virginia|
Bucannon and the Cougars are listed as 38-point underdogs to Oregon Saturday in Eugene. The Huskies are six-point underdogs at Arizona State.