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Pac-12 Preseason Rankings Released: Fans React

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 03: A general view of the PAC-12 logo at midfield before the PAC-12 Football Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 03, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 03: A general view of the PAC-12 logo at midfield before the PAC-12 Football Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 03, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

A media poll tabs Utah as the preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 title.

Among 33 participating voters, 26 selected the Utes to successfully defend their conference crown in 2022. Oregon narrowly slots ahead of USC in second despite receiving fewer first-place votes.

No other team drew any first-place consideration, but UCLA, Oregon State, and Washington follow on the poll's leaderboard.

Onlookers particularly focused on USC positioning third in the preseason poll. As noted by Action Network's William Boor, the Trojans are betting favorites to win the conference in Lincoln Riley's first season as head coach.

However, former NFL offensive lineman and Oregon alum Geoff Schwartz believes UCLA could leapfrog its California rival. 

Third place would still represent a major jump for the Trojans, who went 4-8 last season. Expectations are nevertheless high with quarterback Caleb Williams following Riley from Oklahoma.

The Bruins made a similar leap last year, going 8-4 after five consecutive losing seasons. 

Yet the Utes remain the team to beat by the voters' estimation. Utah went 10-4 last year with a 9-1 record in conference play and handily defeated Oregon, 38-10, in the Pac-12 title bout.

Will Dan Lanning lead Utah to another conference championship in his first season as head coach?