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Pacific Takes preseason Pac-12 power rankings: Oregon and UCLA hold down top spots

Pac-12 fans agree with the media when ranking Pac-12 teams going into the 2014 season.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

It's finally here, the 2014 college football season is just about upon us and to usher it in, here are our last-minute preseason Pac-12 power rankings based on voting by our readers, Pac-12 fans.

North

1. Oregon - The Ducks are the healthy favorite to win the North and likely the Pac-12. An opening game against South Dakota shouldn't tell us much about if they are going to fully maintain their ultra-lofty expectations, but if they are the same old Ducks, I would expect them to test the 80-point mark.

2. Stanford - The Cardinal aren't as close to the Ducks going into the season as they have been in other recent seasons, but they still have a healthy lock on the second slot in the North. The Cardinal play UCDavis in their opener so keep an eye on how easily they beat their FCS opponent to get a gauge on how well their new starters are acclimating.

3. Washington - The Huskies seem to kind of be stuck in this spot, but that isn't a bad thing considering how back most of the past 10 years have been for them. The Huskies have some serious stars to replace on offense, so it will be interesting to see how many points they score at Hawaii in their opener.

4. Oregon State - The Beavers are losing some ground in power to the Cougars, but held onto the fourth spot going into the season. The Beavers get a warm-up game of sorts against Portland State to open up, but keep in mind their track record of struggling against FCS opponents. If they struggle and WSU downs Rutgers, watch for the Cougars to move up.

5. Washington State - Expectations are rising for the Cougars as many have them creeping into the middle of the North, but they are going to have to do a little more before they jump the Beavers. The Cougars get a chance to make a statement in their opener against Rutgers in Seattle and if they impress, watch them to creep up on Oregon State.

6. Cal - Unfortunately for the Bears, they are cemented in the basement of the North until proven otherwise. Luckily, the Bears can do just that in week one if they can win at Northwestern.

South

1. UCLA - The Bruins comfortably have the top spot in their most-anticipated season in ages, but remember that they were unanimously in the top spot in the South going into last season as well and failed to win the division. The Bruins have a sneaky minor test in their opener, playing at a Virginia team that is far from fearsome, but still an ACC program playing at home.

2. USC - The Trojans barely beat out Arizona State for the second spot, by one point actually and are quite a bit below their crosstown rivals going into the season. If the Trojans can smack Fresno State for the second-straight game in their opener, it should show that they are legit contenders for the South title this season.

3. Arizona State - The Sun Devils have a little more clout with Pac-12 fans than the media going into the season as they nearly took the second spot in the South and got a few first place votes. Like many, the Sun Devils don't have much of a chance to make a move in week one as they open with an FBS opponent.

4. Arizona - The Wildcats are drifting towards the bottom of the conference since they have to replace their quarterback and running back and have a questionable defense, but that will all change if they can keep their up-tempo offense humming once the season gets going. The Wildcats can start doing that by downing UNLV in their opener.

5. Utah - The Utes have been stuck in this spot for a long time, but the gaps between them an Arizona and them and Colorado are tightening a bit going into 2014. An opener against putrid Idaho State probably won't swing them either way.

6. Colorado - The Buffs look much improved going into 2014, but that doesn't mean they are out of the South basement though. They need to beat Colorado State in their opener to show that they are going to continue to improve in 2014.