Pac-12 media predict USC will win the conference football title and that Washington and Washington State will finish fourth and fifth, respectively, in the North.
Pac-12 writers and broadcasters have selected USC to win the the conference football title this fall in a close vote over the University of Oregon. In the annual preseason poll released Thursday, the Trojans received 21 first-place votes to 17 for the Ducks. No other school received more than three (Arizona State), and Washington and Washington State didn’t collect any.
Coach Steve Sarkisian’s Trojans tallied 254 points for the top spot in the South Division with 32 of 45 first-place votes. Arizona State finished second with 200 points. Defending Pac-12 champion Oregon picked up 262 to lead the Pac-12 North. Stanford received 231.
The 45 media members picked Washington to finish fourth in the North (129 points) behind California (174) and ahead of Washington State (89). This is how the the writers/broadcasters see the divisional races:
1. Oregon (37 first-place votes, 262 points); 2. Stanford (8, 231); 3. California (174); 4. Washington (129); 5. Washington State (89); 6. Oregon State (60).
1. USC (32, 254); 2. Arizona State (7, 200); 3. UCLA (6, 180); 4. Arizona (155); 5. Utah (105); 6. Colorado (46).
Pac-12 championship voting: 1. USC (21); 2. Oregon (17); 3. Arizona State (3); 4. UCLA (2); 5. Stanford (1).
Last year, six conference schools won nine or more games (most of any Power 5 conference), all six made the AP’s final Top 25, and eight Pac-12 teams qualified for bowl games, including Washington (30-22 loss to Oklahoma State in the Cactus Bowl).
The media poll correctly selected the conference champion in 29 of 54 previous polls, including 12 of the past 15. USC is picked to win for the first time since 2012.
Washington, 8-6 last year, opens Friday, Sept. 4 at Boise State, where head coach Chris Petersen oversaw the Broncos program for eight seasons. Washington State, 3-9 last year, will host Portland in Pullman, Saturday, Sept. 5.
The 2015 Pac-12 championship game will be held Saturday, Dec. 5 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.