The results are in from the Pac-12 media poll, and even without Chip Kelly in Eugene, Oregon is favored to win the conference.
Stanford finished a close second in Pac-12 North voting, garnering 139 points and 11 out of 26 first-place votes. But the Ducks edged the Cardinal with 145 points and 15 first-place votes, also receiving 14 votes to win the Pac-12 Conference at large.
UCLA was favored to win the Pac-12 South, with Arizona State close on its heels and USC not far behind. Of the 12 voters who predicted the Bruins to win the division, three also had them beating Oregon or Stanford in the title game.
Here is the entire list of predictions:
|Oregon||145 (15)||UCLA||135 (12)||Oregon (14)|
|Stanford||139 (11)||Arizona St.||130 (10)||Stanford (8)|
|Oregon St.||95||USC||117 (4)||UCLA (3)|
Over the years, in diametric contrast to the SEC's version, the Pac-12 media poll has been deadly accurate at predicting conference champions. In the past 13 seasons, 11 of the projected winners have been correct, including all three times it was Oregon.
Part of that might have had to do with USC's long, predictable dominance—it was projected to win, and went on to win, in six straight seasons from 2003 to 2008—but an 11-2 record is impressive nonetheless.
USC was projected to win last year, but Stanford went on to claim the conference after the Trojans' disappointing 5-4 mark in Pac-12 play. It was USC's first projected championship since 2009, when it broke its six-year conference title streak and finished fifth in the then-Pac-10.
No other school has been projected to win the conference and then lost since Arizona in 1999. That seems to bode well for Oregon coach Mark Helfrich in his first year at the helm.