USC picked over Washington in Pac-12 preseason poll

Unsurprisingly, teams with returning quarterbacks are at the top of the Pac-12’s preseason poll.

The annual preseason media poll was released Wednesday with USC as the South division champion and Washington as the North division winner. The Trojans, who have Heisman favorite QB Sam Darnold, were picked to be the overall conference champions as well.

Since the conference instituted a conference title game in 2011, USC has only made one title game appearance, a 2015 loss to Stanford. A USC title would not only be the first since the conference’s expansion to 12 teams but also the first for the South in that span. North division teams Oregon, Stanford and Washington have won the Pac-12 every year since 2011.

The Huskies, who return QB Jake Browning, beat Colorado for the 2016 Pac-12 title.

Here’s how the voting lined up by division. There aren’t too many surprises here, though we are a tad surprised that Utah snuck ahead of UCLA for second in the South. With Josh Rosen returning at UCLA, we figured the Bruins would be preseason darlings despite all the talent coach Jim Mora must need to replenish.

Points via the voting are in parentheses.

1. Washington (309)
2. Stanford (247)
3. Washington State (206)
4. Oregon (163)
5. Oregon State (101)
6. Cal (64)

1. USC (309)
2. Utah (220)
3. UCLA (209)
4. Colorado (182)
5. Arizona State (109)
6. Arizona (61)

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!