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Cougs picked to finish eighth in Pac-10 media poll

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I don't place much stock in these things, given that they're trying to predict how a conference season that doesn't start for two months is going to play out after a team plays ~10 nonconference games. But it is kind of interesting to assess perceptions from the media side, and I know you guys like to talk about it, so here you go.

I actually did a way-too-early power ranking after the NBA Draft, and my opinion has changed very little -- the lone exception being I will move Stanford down below USC at this point, because the Cardinal are basically the basketball version of WSU football right now. But I still feel pretty good about the rest of it, which, incidentally, makes me exactly like the media on the first five. I went ahead and put how I would have voted next to the results and offered a little bit of commentary. I hope you like.

Oh, and I'm sure there will be a report about what Ken Bone and Nik Koprivica had to say at today's media day in Los Angeles at some point, so we'll pass that along when we see it. EDIT: Here's Grippi's story.

Rank (Points) Team (1st Place Votes) Me Comments
1 (350) California (25) 1 No brainer here. Least amount of question marks, and might just have the two best players in the conference. Sounds like a winning recipe.
2 (330) Washington (7) 2 Again, seems like a no brainer. Lots of returning talent -- with some new talent -- but just enough question marks to keep them out of the top.
3 (302) UCLA (5) 3 Those first place votes? Those are votes for Howland -- not the Bruins. Because I don't know how else anyone could project these guys as the first place team.
4 (221) Arizona 4 As expected, a large drop off after the top three. I'll bet they wouldn't be ranked this high if Kevin O'Neill -- and not Sean Miller -- was still coaching there.
5 (218) Oregon State 5 As you see, the media pretty clearly sees this as a four-tier conference, with Arizona and OSU being in the second tier.
6 (175) Oregon 8 This one actually shocks me a bit. The gap from OSU to Oregon is about the same as from Oregon to ASU. Does the media know something I don't know about a team that was 2-16 in conference last year? Did Kent suddenly learn to coach?
7 (144) Arizona State 6 Seems about right to me after losing Harden, although I could see them going higher.
8 (123) Washington State 7 Still trying to figure out how so many members of the media are so certain Oregon is going to be better than the Cougs. Maybe they think we're underestimating the loss of Tony Bennett?
9 (109) USC 9 Welcome to the fruits of Tim Floyd's labor. The Trojans will be a pain if they buy into O'Neill, but after seeing how well the Wildcats bought into him, he sure seems like a coach who needs his own guys.
10 (63) Stanford 10 Welcome to our world, Cardinal fans. Welcome to our world.