Pac-12 football preseason media poll

North Division (first-place votes) Points

Stanford (24) 186

Washington (8) 163

Oregon (1) 132

Washington State 112

California 67

Oregon State 33

South Division

UCLA (19) 180

USC (12) 173

Utah (2) 127

Arizona 87

Arizona State 85

Colorado 63

Title game winner: Stanford (20 votes); Others receiving votes - USC (5), Washington (4), UCLA (3), Utah (1).

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Colorado's football team has yet to finish higher than sixth place in the Pac-12 South division since joining the conference.

Media that covers the conference doesn't think that will change this year.

On Thursday, the conference released the preseason media poll, with CU once again tabbed to finish last in the South division.

Stanford was picked to win the North division, with UCLA picked to win the South. Of the 33 media members who votes, 20 picked Stanford to win the conference title game. USC, Washington, UCLA and Utah were also given votes to win the title game. It's the first time Stanford has ever been picked to win the conference title.

This is the 56th year that the media has done a preseason poll, and 29 times the media has correctly picked the champion. Only twice in the last nine years has the champion been correctly picked, however.


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CU has been picked last in the South each year since joining the conference in 2011, and the Buffs have been unable to climb out of the cellar. They are 5-40 in Pac-12 play, including 3-33 the last four years. CU is 2-25 in Pac-12 games under the direction of head coach Mike MacIntyre, who is entering his fourth season in Boulder.

New look D for 'Cats

Struggles on defense contributed to Arizona slipping to 7-6 last year, and it led to head coach Rich Rodriguez revamping his staff on defense.

Rodriguez fired defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel and said Thursday it was "the most difficult thing I've done in my career." He then hired Marcel Yates as defensive coordinator. Yates came from Boise State and has given the Wildcats a jolt.

"The most encouraging thing I saw from our defense was just the renewed enthusiasm," Rodriguez said. "I don't really know how good we're going to be; I just know we weren't really good last year, and we need to get better."

QB battle at Cal

Cal quarterback Davis Webb, a graduate transfer from Texas Tech, has impressed coaches with his work ethic, but coach Sonny Dykes said he's not ready to name a starter.

Webb, Chase Forrest, Ross Bowers and incoming freshman Victor Viramontes will compete.

"It's a big decision," Dykes said. "It's a decision that you want to let play out, and it's an important decision. Between those four guys, I'm confident that we'll have a good quarterback."

Leach on technology

Washington State head coach Mike Leach is always good for colorful quotes, and he didn't disappoint on Thursday. Leach was asked about the Pokemon Go craze and answered by expressing his distaste for some technology.

"Nobody talks to people anymore," he said. "I mean, there's people who won't even talk face to face. They'll go across the room and text each other. I think it's actually kind of disturbing. I think the days before cell phones, when it was dirt clod wars at construction sites, was a lot more wholesome and productive, to be perfectly honest."

Adding talent

Like CU, Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2011, and coach Kyle Whittingham attributes that move to the Utes increasing their talent level.

"The vast majority of our football team would not be on our football team had we not had the Pac-12 affiliation," he said. "There's no doubt. That's just a fact. I can say that with absolute certainty."

Ducks waiting on Allen

Oregon receiver Devon Allen will miss fall camp as he participates in the Olympics in the 110-meter hurdles. Allen was first at the Olympic trials last week.

"It is the biggest excuse and the longest excuse, the most eventful excuse, to miss fall camp I've ever seen," Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich joked.

Allen caught 41 passes for 684 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014, but a knee injury limited him last year. It's possible Allen does well in Rio, turns pro in track and doesn't return to football.

"His focus and our focus is him winning the gold medal, and we'll figure it out from there," Helfrich said.

Notable

USC head coach Clay Helton said star defensive back/receiver Adoree' Jackson will go into the season focusing on defense, but might see opportunities on offense and special teams. ... Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the conference is no closer to an agreement to have DirecTV carry the Pac-12 Networks. ...For Cox Communications subscribers in Arizona and parts of California, the Pac-12 Network was added to the basic package. ... The Pac-12 Networks reached an agreement to stream more than 150 live events on Twitter during the 2016-17 school year.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.