Utah to repeat?

The Utes were chosen as the favorite to win the 2022 Pac-12 title in a vote of 33 media members who cover the league. The tally of the preseason media poll was announced on Thursday, ahead of the league’s scheduled Media Day on Friday. The defending Pac-12 champion Utes received 26 of the 33 first-place votes.

Oregon, winners of the North last season, received two first-place votes and the second-most overall points to edge out USC for second place in the preseason poll. The Trojans got more first-place votes (five), but finished third just behind the Ducks.

This will be the first season that the Pac-12 title game won’t pit division winners against each other, but will rather feature the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage.  The change was brought about following the NCAA Division I Council’s decision in May to give power back to the individual leagues to determine who qualifies for their title games.  It was based on a motion brought by the Pac-12 and unanimously supported by all FBS conferences.

Here’s the projected order of finish for the league, based on the preseason poll:

  1. Utah (26)
  2. Oregon (2)
  3. USC (5)
  4. UCLA
  5. Oregon State
  6. Washington
  7. Washington State
  8. Stanford
  9. Cal
  10. Arizona State
  11. Arizona
  12. Colorado

The media has correctly selected the conference champ five times since the implementation of the title game 11 years ago.