After spending a few years in the doldrums of the media, Cal football is back. Kind of.
The Golden Bears were predicted to finish 3rd by the national media, right ahead of the Washington Huskies and solidly behind the Stanford Cardinal.
Most of the poll was pretty predicatable aside from the Pac-12 South logjam. In the North, Oregon is the presumptive favorite to repeat, with Stanford lodged in the two spot. Washington State and Oregon State are in 5th and 6th respectively.
The USC Trojans are expected to win the South for the first time since 2012 by a surprisingly fair margin. Colorado is expected to finish last. It's a mess in between, with UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah all receiving their fair share of respect. The Pac-12 South is expected to be at least the most difficult conference in college football for the second straight year--it wouldn't surprise many of us to see five different winners of that division come December.
Here is the final poll.
Pac-12 North standings
1. Oregon Ducks (37 first place votes): 262
2. Stanford Cardinal (8): 231
3. California Golden Bears: 174
4. Washington Huskies: 129
5. Washington St. Cougars: 89
6. Oregon St. Beavers: 60
Pac-12 South standings
1. USC Trojans (32): 254
2. Arizona St. Sun Devils (7): 200
3. UCLA Bruins (6): 180
4. Arizona Wildcats: 155
5. Utah Utes: 105
6. Colorado Buffaloes: 46