A record six teams from the Pac-12 conference were picked in the newly-released Associated Press top 25 preseason poll. The highest team ranked out of the six was the Oregon Ducks at No. 3, followed by No. 7 UCLA Bruins, No. 11 Stanford Cardinal, No. 15 USC Trojans, No. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils and No. 25 Washington Huskies.
This is the fourth year in a row Oregon has started the season with a top-five ranking in the poll. The Ducks are led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, who is a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy. Oregon looks to be geared up this season for a possible BCS playoff run.
The No. 7 ranking for UCLA is the highest since 1998, when the Bruins were ranked sixth overall. Quarterback Brett Hundley made the decision to return for his Junior season with the Bruins, who were picked as a preseason favorite to play the Ducks in the Pac-12 Championship on Dec. 5. Stanford, the defending Pac-12 Champions, plays all five of the other conference teams ranked in the poll this season. The only home game for the Cardinal is against USC on Sept. 6.
The biggest sleepers on the poll this season is No. 15 ranked USC. Head Coach Steve Sarkisian‘s first season with the Trojans looks promising behind QB Cody Kessler and RB Javorius Allen. USC has the talent to be an upset team if they can avoid the injuries. The No. 19 ranked Sun Devils won the Pac-12 South last season and they’re led on offense by QB Taylor Kelly, RB DJ Foster and WR Jaelen Strong. This is the first time since 2008 the Sun Devils were ranked in the poll.
Washington finished out at No. 25 and was its the first time in 11 years the Huskies were ranked in the poll. New Head Coach Chris Peterson takes over for the Huskies this season after leaving the Boise State Broncos.