Thursday, July 26, 2012
Poll: Who will win the Pac-12?
By Kevin Gemmell
We've had our say.
The media that covers the Pac-12 has overwhelmingly decided that USC is going to win the conference championship. And the media's track record is pretty good of late, having correctly picked the winner 11 of the past 12 years.
But it's time to put it to you. Your question today is as basic as it comes: Who is going to win the Pac-12?
USC: The overwhelming favorite with 102 out of 123 first-place votes, the Trojans are loaded on both sides of the ball with Matt Barkley throwing to the best wide receiver duo in the country and a defensive backfield that rivals any school in the nation.
Oregon: Three-time defending champs, doesn't that count for anything? Chip Kelly wins, and he's got the most dynamic player in the conference (country?) in De'Anthony Thomas and the best defense of his regime. The Ducks received 18 first-place votes.
Arizona State: Not one, not two, but three voters picked the Sun Devils to shock the conference and win it all. That's a lot of faith in first-year head coach Todd Graham and a bold prediction considering the still-uncertain state of ASU's quarterback competition. But Cameron Marshall is a stud running back. Can he carry the Sun Devils all the way?
Stanford: Five voters seem to think the Cardinal will take the top spot in the North (and before the snarky comments start, I was not one of them. I voted for Oregon, thank you very much). How much of the Cardinal's success over the past few years was Andrew Luck vs. a power run game and physical defense philosophy?
Other: The consensus is that Utah -- with its fierce defense and solid running game -- is the only team that can upend USC in the South. Oct. 4 is Judgment Day for Utah and a chance for the once non-AQ, BCS-busters to get a seat at the big boy table. Is this the year the Huskies get Oregon off their back behind their own Heisman hopeful quarterback in Keith Price? Cal picked up a vote to win the North -- with an outstanding defense and one of the top wide receivers in the country in Keenan Allen. Will someone other than the four above claim the title?