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Pac-12 Media Poll: Utah Picked Second in Pac-12 South

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 Conference Football Media Days started today, and with it comes the release of the media poll. Not surprisingly, Washington and USC were runaway favorites in the North and South respectively. One surprising thing to come out though was that the Utah Utes were tabbed as second in the South and garnered a single first-place vote to win the South and one to win the Pac-12 Conference. Below you can find the complete rankings for each division as well as where Utah was ranked and where they finished for each year in the Pac-12.

Pac_12 Preseason Media Poll.csv

North Division Points South Division Points
North Division Points South Division Points
1. Washington (49) 309 1. USC (49) 309
2. Stanford (1) 247 2. Utah (1) 220
3. Washington State (1) 206 3. UCLA (1) 209
4. Oregon (1) 163 4. Colorado (1) 182
5. Oregon State  101 5. Arizona State  109
6. California 64 6. Arizona  61
Utah in the Pac-12 Standings
Year Preseason Finish
2011 3 3 (T)
2012 2 5
2013 5 5
2014 5 5
2015 5 1 (T)
2016 3 3
2017 2

This is tied for the highest Utah has been ranked in the preseason media poll. They were previously picked second in 2012. With 17 players from the 2016 team on NFL rosters, it is a little surprising to see Utah receive such high praise from the media. I fully expected UCLA to finish second because they are an LA school returning a highly touted quarterback in junior Josh Rosen. USC was the obvious choice at the top of the Pac-12 South. They return Heisman hopefully quarterback Sam Darnold and finished 2016 as the hottest team in the nation. Their schedule also sets up very favorably to win the South, as they host Utah and UCLA, the two biggest competitors in the South and miss Washington from the North. The Arizona schools both struggled last year, so it is not surprising to see them at the bottom. Colorado had a great season last year, but they had a lot of senior leadership, especially on defense, that is gone, so they are likely to fall back down the Pac-12 pecking order.

Where would you rank Utah in the preseason poll? Sound off below in the comments!