USC, Oregon top choices in Pac-12 preseason poll

USC is the media's pick to win the Pac-12 title, edging defending champion Oregon in a vote released Thursday morning.

USC picked up 21 of 45 votes to win the Pac-12 title game, while the Ducks received 17. Arizona State (3), UCLA (2) and Stanford (1) also received votes.

The Trojans also were picked to win the South Division by 32 media members. Others cast ballots for Arizona State (7 ) and UCLA (6). Defending division champion Arizona was selected to finish fourth, followed by Utah and Colorado.

Oregon was a runaway pick in the North, receiving 37 first-place votes to eight for second-place Stanford. California, Washington, Washington State and Oregon State. Since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2011, the Ducks have been the media's pick to win the North each year.

"It's a tremendously competitive division. But as a whole, the Pac-12 is incredibly competitive," UCLA coach Jim Mora said Thursday. "It's hard for me to anoint the Pac-12 South. We haven't even won the Pac-12 championship in years. But I can tell you whoever comes out representing the South will have earned it week in and week out because it's going to be as challenging as it gets."

USC was last picked to win the Pac-12 in 2012. It was the preseason choice every year from 2003 to '09.