Devils Den Blog

Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll Reaction

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The Pac-12 preseason media poll was released yesterday, and the media selected Oregon to win the Pac-12. According to the media, Oregon, the Pac-12 North favorites, will defeat UCLA, the Pac-12 South favorites, at the Pac-12 Championship game to be played in new Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco. The results of the preseason media poll are as follows with first place votes in parentheses:

North Division

1. Oregon (37)  –  232 points
2. Stanford (2)  –  192 points
3. Washington  –  142 points
4. Oregon State  –  125 points
5. Washington State  –  87 points
6. California  –  41 points

 

South Division

1. UCLA (37)  –  231 points
2. USC (1)  –  181 points
3. Arizona State (1)  –  163 points
4. Arizona  –  119 points
5. Utah  –  82 points
6. Colorado  –  43 points

 

Some instant thoughts and reactions in response to the preseason Media Poll:

  • The media chose Oregon and UCLA for two simple reasons: Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley. The highly regarded quarterbacks are two of the best in the nation and two of the highest quarterbacks on NFL draft boards for 2015. Remember, the West Coast is about glitz and glamor and there is nothing more popular than the Nike Oregon Ducks and their star quarterback along with the current LA hype machine, the legendary UCLA Bruins, with their star quarterback.
  • The two schools who played for the championship last year, Stanford and Arizona State, are both replacing defensive stars which could be a major reason for the media’s apprehension in selecting a repeat winner. The Cardinal must replace Shayne Skov, Trent Murphy, Josh Mauro, Ben Gardner, and Ed Reynolds while the Sun Devils are trying to place Will Sutton, Carl Bradford, Chris Young, Osahon Irabor, Robert Nelson, and Alden Darby.
  • The voting gap between USC and Arizona State is so close that the media views the teams as even. Both teams have five Pac-12 road games in even numbered years, and since the Sun Devils play at the Trojans, media probably used that as the separator. Even though USC has only 65 scholarship players for the 2014 season, the media believes in their strong 2013 second half. The Trojans Leonard Williams may be the front runner for the Defensive Player of the Year in the conference.
  • An interesting battle will be brewing in the North and it isn’t just Oregon vs Stanford. The two schools in the second tier of the North, Washington and Oregon State, will have an interesting battle this season between two highly regarded head coaches. The Beavers have a difficult time living in the shadow of the giant Nike Ducks, and head coach Mike Riley must be on the hot seat with a 32-31 record over the past five seasons. Washington was able to lure Chris Petersen away from Boise State, but can he take the Huskies to the next level with the talent that Sarkisian collected? Will Petersen thrive in his move to a power conference or will he falter like Dirk Koetter with Arizona State and Dan Hawkins with Colorado?
  • While ASU and USC do play 5 road games this year, there is a nice scheduling advantage for them if the teams end up tied for the Pac-12 South title. Both the Sun Devils and the Trojans miss Oregon this year while the Bruins miss the Oregon State and the Washington State. So UCLA must play both Stanford and Oregon, the best teams in the North, while ASU and USC do not. This could be a way for one of ASU or UCLA to back into the championship game.
  • What happens to Kyle Whittingham if Utah cannot jump into the top tier of Pac-12 South teams? Does the school finally make a change after Whittingham has gone through six offensive coordinators in six years?

All of these thoughts and more as Rob and Don will go even further during the next episode of the Devils Den podcast!

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