By the power of journalistic persuasion, seven-time defending Pacific-10 Conference champion Southern California should have an easy time making it eight in a row in 2009.
The Trojans (316 points) were the overwhelming choice by beat reporters up and down the West Coast, garnering 28 of the 32 votes in the preseason poll Thursday, released hours before the start of media day.
USC becomes the first school to top the poll seven consecutive years since it went 18 in a row (1965-82).
California was second with 277 points, and received three first-place votes. Oregon, under new coach Chip Kelly, collected the other vote, and was third with 250 points.
Washington (74) was selected ninth, and Washington State (35) was last.
The preseason poll has correctly selected the champion 26 out of 48 times, including the past nine in a row.