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Cougs picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12

Conference realignment overshadowed just about everything else during Pac-12 Media Day.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of Friday’s Pac-12 Media Day, the conference released its media poll showing WSU finishing seventh. Utah was the runaway winner with 26 first place votes. Oregon is picked second and got two first place votes, while USC was picked third while picking up five first place votes.

Not too surprising given what we know about each team, though USC definitely has the talent to win the conference. Here’s the full media poll, and remember: the conference is doing away with divisions this season, at least when it comes to picking its championship game participants:

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

My first initial thought on this poll is welcome back, Oregon State. The Beavs made it to a bowl game last year and perhaps Johnathan Smith finally has that team on the right track. Also, Stanford seems a little high, though 8-12 is kind of a tossup, I suppose.

Meanwhile, the highlight of an otherwise dull Pac-12 Media Day was George Kliavkoff’s comments on the future of his conference. This quote in particular got lots of attention, and deservedly so:

“As for the Big 12 being open for business, I appreciate that,” he said in front of a sizable gathering of reporters at The Novo Theater. “We haven’t decided if we’re going shopping there or not yet.”


Kliavkoff also said the relationships among the P5 commissioners had soured recently and he hopes for some better relationships going forward. That’s going to be difficult with comments like those and others, but Kliavkoff really had no other choice but to defend his conference and try his best to go on offense with other comments. There are still two years before UCLA and USC leave the Pac-12, and while fans and media want to know immediately what the college football world will look like in two years, it’s going to be a slow burn, I think.

Other than that, there weren’t a lot of major headlines coming from Pac-12 Media Day. You can decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Preseason camp begins next Wednesday. Get your affairs in order.


'We've got a team that's hungry': Washington State football strikes upbeat tone at Pac-12 media day | The Spokesman-Review
LOS ANGELES – At this time a year ago, the mood surrounding Washington State’s football program was much less upbeat.

Kliavkoff airs frustrations: Pac-12 commissioner talks USC, UCLA departure, NIL and TV deals at conference media day | The Spokesman-Review
LOS ANGELES – Speaking publicly for the first time since USC and UCLA defected, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff acknowledged that relationships between opposing power-conference leaders have soured over the past month.

Notebook: Washington State football picked seventh in Pac-12 media poll | The Spokesman-Review
Pac-12 media members figure Washington State will end up somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Canzano: Pac-12 Media Day turns into a car wash
My column on media day.

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With the Pac-12 reeling in the wake of conference realignment, it was hard to keep storylines on the field.