Greetings from a very sunny and warm Pasadena, right dab in the middle of field at The Rose Bowl for the Pacific-10 Conference preseason football media day.
In terms of where I’m sitting, I could hit a 40-yard field goal through the south end goalposts if I got good foot into it.
Coaches are milling around, talking to television personalities, to other sports-information staff and old friends.
So here is the biggest news so far – Oregon has supplanted Southern California as the preseason Pac-10 favorite among the media.
The defending conference champion Ducks took a league-high 15 first-place votes, and with their 314 points, narrowly edged USC (311) for the top spot. Oregon broke the Trojans’ seven-year reign atop the preseason poll. It is the Ducks’ first honor of the sorts since 2001.
For the record, I voted Oregon No. 1, followed by Washington, which was a surprising sixth (209 points). The Huskies received one first-place vote, and it did not come from the slate of in-state reporters.
Seven schools received first-place votes, which is a record. Tells you how wide open this race really is.
1, OREGON (15) … 314
2, USC (12) … 311
3, OREGON STATE (3) … 262
4, STANFORD (1) … 233
5, ARIZONA (2) … 222
6, WASHINGTON (1) … 209
7, CALIFORNIA … 175
8, UCLA (1) … 134
9, ARIZONA STATE … 81
10, WASHINGTON STATE … 39