UO edges rival UW in preseason media poll, Utah is overall favorite
LOS ANGELES — The highlight of Mario Cristobal’s first season as Oregon’s coach was the team’s dramatic 30-27 overtime victory over eventual Pac-12 champion Washington.
Nine months later, the gap between the two rivals is even closer, at least in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.
The Ducks were narrowly picked to finish first in the North Division with 17 first-place votes and 190 points in the poll. The Huskies also received 17 first-place votes but are second in the pecking order with 189 points.
Utah was voted to repeat as South Division champions and received 12 votes to win the Pac-12 championship game. Oregon (11), Washington (9), USC (2) and Washington State (1) also received votes to win the conference title.
Four Oregon seniors — quarterback Justin Herbert, offensive linemen Calvin Throckmorton and Shane Lemieux and linebacker Troy Dye — were selected to the Pac-12 preseason all-conference first team.
Herbert, a projected NFL first-round pick, was on 31 of the 33 ballots for the first team. Stanford’s K.J. Costello is the second-team quarterback.
A third Oregon offensive lineman, sophomore Penei Sewell, junior cornerback Thomas Graham and junior nose tackle Jordon Scott are on the second team.
Running back CJ Verdell, tight end Jacob Breeland, offensive lineman Jake Hanson, offensive lineman Dallas Warmack, safety Jevon Holland and all-purpose player Brenden Schooler received honorable mention.
Stanford was picked third in the North ahead of Washington State, California and Oregon State. The Beavers received the fewest votes (38) in the poll.
USC was tabbed second in the South with two first-place votes. Arizona State and UCLA were tied for third with Arizona fifth and Colorado last in the division.
Stay tuned at DuckSports.com for complete coverage of Wednesday’s Pac-12 media day in Hollywood.