The trend continues – go to a BCS national title game, enter the next season as the all-the-marbles favorite to win the Pacific-12 Conference.
Oregon, led by two-time conference coach of the year Chip Kelly received the most first-place votes of any team in either the North or South Division – 29 – in the annual preseason media poll.
With 239 points, the Ducks edged Stanford (13 first-place votes) with 220 in the North Division.
Last year, Washington received a first-place vote – and went all the way to a Holiday Bowl triumph over Nebraska. The Huskies are third – with no first-place votes in 2011.
In the South Division, Southern California (24 first-place votes) was the pick with 230 votes, followed by Arizona State (207) and newcomer Utah (170), which garnered four first-place votes.
Oregon was the consensus pick to win the inaugural conference championship game Dec. 2.
Editor’s note: We are at Pac-12 media day at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Press conferences are set to go off at 9 a.m. – with UW coach Steve Sarkisian set for 10:05 a.m., along with tailback Chris Polk.
I’ll be tweeting updates throughout the day. You can follow me on Twitter @manyhatsmilles.