Oregon is replacing star quarterback Justin Herbert and its entire offensive line, but the Ducks are retaining lofty expectations. The league released the results of its preseason media poll on Wednesday, and Oregon edged USC as the favorite to win the league title by earning 21 of 38 votes.
The Ducks have never repeated as league champions in the nine-year existence of the Pac-12 Championship Game. Doing so this year will require a quick adjustment to an overhauled offense. Last year's offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo is now the head coach at UNLV, and former Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead takes over the role under fourth-year head coach Mario Cristobal.
But the personnel Moorhead will be coaching will look vastly different from what Oregon fans watched last season when the Ducks finished 16th nationally in scoring offense with 35.4 points per game. Herbert is now starting for the Los Angeles Chargers, and the offensive line will be entirely new after star left tackle Penei Sewell announced last month that he is opting out of his junior season to prepare for the NFL Draft.
The Pac-12 is playing a seven-game, league-only schedule beginning Nov. 7 and running through the Pac-12 Championship Game on Dec. 18. Here are the full results of the media poll.
|North Division||Pts.||South Division||Pts.|
|1. Oregon (35)||222||1. USC (32)||220|
|2. California (3)||176||2. Arizona State (2)||181|
|3. Washington||161||3. Utah (4)||168|
|4. Stanford||105||4. UCLA||109|
|5. Oregon State||76||5. Colorado||63|
|6. Washington State||58||6. Arizona||57|
Pac-12 Championship Game Winner: Oregon (21 votes)
Others receiving votes: USC (15), Arizona State (1), Utah (1)