The preseason USA Today Coaches Poll was revealed earlier today and five Pac-12 teams made the cut with three more receiving some votes and ending up in the honorable mention.
Rankings are as follows:
This seems about right for the Ducks. The Ducks lose Chip Kelly, but return so much talent on their team that it shouldn't matter and they should remain right in the national title hunt all season yet again. Until proven otherwise, the Ducks should be considered the best overall team in the Pac-12.
Makes sense as I think most would toss a coin right now to choose between Oregon and Stanford as the top Pac-12 team going into 2013. The Cardinal lost a little bit more than the Ducks from 2012, but have such a good system in place that, and like the Ducks, they should be able to bounce back well and stay in the Top 5.
The Bruins get the top spot out of the UCLA/USC/Oregon State/Arizona State pack in which it seems like each team is of similar strength going into the season. The Bruins have a lot of holes to fill, but the appeal of stars Brett Hundley and Anthony Barr teamed with Jim Mora probably rightfully give them the edge of the rest and just outside of the Top 20.
The Trojans are a mess right now, but I think the voters got it right in that they simply have too much talent right now to not be ranked in the preseason Top 25, but only barely.
25. Oregon State
The Beavers always struggle to get respect, and I think with the talent and experience they have coming back, they could easily be in the Top 20 so I think they are a little underrated, but at least the voters still ranked them.
Also receiving votes:
Arizona State 51
I thought that the Sun Devils would be ranked, or at least closer to being ranked. They have far fewer question marks than any of the three Pac-12 teams ranked directly above them and a proven quarterback.
The Wildcats' pure returning talent and experience wouldn't suggest that they should be considered to be ranked, but I agree with voters that their offensive system and Ka'Deem Carey make them dangerous enough to be on the edge of being ranked.
I thought that the Huskies would get more votes than this, but voters are likely pessimistic about the Huskies chances in a loaded Pac-12 with a still unproven offensive line and a damaged Keith Price at quarterback.