Washinton State Tabbed to Win Pac-10 in Pre-season Media Poll

July 31, 2002

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - WASHINGTON STATE has been picked to win the 2002 Pacific-10 Conferencefootball title in a pre-season poll of West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. It marks the first time ever that the Cougars have been selected to win the league title in the pre-season poll, which began in 1961. You might want to make your plans for the Apple Cup as Washington State edged out rival WASHINGTON in the media voting. Washington State garnered 17 of 34 first-place votes, with Washington getting 12. USC (3), OREGON (1) and OREGON STATE (1) also picked upfirst-place support. Washington State tied for second in the Pac-10 with a 6-2 league mark last year.The Cougars finished 10-2 overall, concluding the season with a victory over Purdue in the Wells FargoSun Bowl. Defending Pac-10 champion Oregon is picked to finish third. The media poll has correctlyselected the Conference Champion in 19 of 41 previous polls, including the last two and three of the last four years. Following are the results of the pre-season media poll (points 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, first-place votes in parentheses):

1. Washington State (17) 302
2. Washington (12) 296
3. Oregon (1) 272
4. USC (3) 243
5. Oregon State (1) 207
6. UCLA 178
7. Stanford 131
8. Arizona 107
9. Arizona State 87
10. California 47

POLL NOTES: Pre-season media poll has correctly picked the Conference champion 19 of 41 times, including the last two and three of the last four years. . . . WASHINGTON STATE has never before been selected to win the Conference title in the 41 previous media polls. Since the league expanded to 10 teams in 1978, the highest the Cougars have been picked in the poll is fourth in 1985. In fact, WSU has been picked to finish 10th in the league the last three years. . . . Like Washington State, OREGON was a first-time selection to win the Pac-10 last season and did not disappoint the pronosticators by winning the league title. . . . Also a first since 1978, all four Pacific Northwest teams selected to finish in the upper division of the Conference. . . . Of all the teams, the pollsters seemed to have the most difficulty predicting how USC will fare this season. The Trojans were picked to finish as high as first and as low as eighth. . . . Five different teams have been the pre-season favorite the last five years. And why not? Seven different teams have won the Pac-10 title in the last seven years.

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