The Pac-12 media has released its annual preseason poll on Tuesday to kick off the media day events, and there are no surprises (well, a few, but more on that later). Unsurprisingly, the Oregon Ducks have been picked to win the North with 117 first-place votes, while the USC Trojans are picked to win the South also earning 117 votes, and with 102 votes the Trojans overwhelmingly were chosen to win the Pac-12 Championship game. The breakdown of the divisions is as follows (points 6-5-4-3-2-1, first-place votes in parentheses):
- Oregon (117), 732
- Stanford (5), 533
- Washington, 502
- California (1), 382
- Washington State, 228
- Oregon State, 205
- USC (117), 729
- Utah (1), 514
- UCLA (2), 435
- Arizona, 385
- Arizona State (3), 353
- Colorado, 164
Pac-12 Title Game Champion: USC (102 votes), Oregon (18), Arizona State (3)
As you would imagine, Oregon and USC ran away with their respective divisions. Stanford was able to snag a few votes in the North, the media confident that the loss of Andrew Luck isn’t going to cause too much of a drop-off for the Cardinal. Washington finishes a close third behind them with Cal coming in fourth, snagging a single first-place vote likely from a very loyal Golden Bear beat writer. Washington State was voted fifth, finishing a ways back of Cal. Apparently the optimism of the Mike Leach hire hasn’t spread to the media. Finishing last in the North is Oregon State, who is expected to continue their rebuilding process.
In the South, Utah is picked to finish behind USC, taking one first-place vote. In third, UCLA, who won the South last season (by default), is picked third with a pair of first-place votes followed by Arizona who narrowly edged out Arizona State. The Sun Devils somehow snagged a trio of first-place votes (who knew Todd Graham was allowed multiple votes), but still couldn’t climb higher than fifth in the division. Coming in last is Colorado, who will have a mountain of youth and inexperience to overcome this season, something that the Pac-12 media doesn’t seem confident they can do.
All time, the Pac-12 media preseason poll has been pretty accurate, correctly predicting the conference champion 28 of 51 times. In recent history, they’ve been even better, predicting 11 of the last 12. USC has been picked 31 times in the preseason poll to win the conference, proving the pundits correct 18 times.
So did the Pac-12 media get it right? Who’s too high? Who’s too low? Who in their right mind thinks the Sun Devils will win the Pac-12 Championship Game?
You can follow me on Twitter @Teeblerone and Rant Sports @RantSports