Led by No. 7 Utah, 3 Pac-12 football teams ranked in preseason AP Top 25
With the start of the college football season less than one month away, the Associated Press released its first Top 25 poll of the season. Three Pac-12 teams — Utah, Oregon and USC — made the cut, while UCLA received votes.
Utah leads the way at No. 7
After claiming their first-ever Pac-12 Championship to qualify for their first Rose Bowl Game appearance in program history, the Utes have earned their highest-ever ranking in the preseason poll and the highest preseason ranking for a Pac-12 team since Washington was No. 6 in 2018.
With a star-studded backfield of quarterback Cam Rising and running back Tavion Thomas, Pac-12 Networks' Yogi Roth believes the Utes are actually a top-five team.
"There is no weakness in Cam Rising right now," Kyle Whittingham says. But here's what the Utah coach needs from his quarterback if the Utes are to take the next step: https://t.co/5FoOYDpuNf
— Salt Lake Tribune Sports (@sltribsports) August 4, 2022
Oregon not far behind at No. 11
The Ducks are ranked in the top 11 for the fourth straight year. They have reached the Pac-12 Championship Game in each of the past three seasons and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them again this December.
New head coach Dan Lanning, who led a historically great Georgia defense to a national championship last season, takes over a talented roster that was ranked as high as No. 3 last year. Lanning doesn’t lack confidence, saying at Pac-12 Football Media Day that the Ducks' goal this season “is to win every single game.”
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) July 31, 2022
Auburn transfer Bo Nix will take over the reins at quarterback, bringing three years and 34 career games of experience to Eugene.
USC reintroduces itself at No. 14
Thanks to their headline-grabbing additions this season, the Trojans find themselves in the top 15 despite finishing 4-8 last season. It's their highest preseason ranking since 2017 when they were No. 4.
It also marks the 61st time USC has been ranked in the AP preseason poll, the third-most in all of college football.
After superb stints in Oklahoma, head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Caleb Williams have made the Los Angeles Coliseum their new football home. No one doubts that Riley is building a football powerhouse; the question is how long before the Trojan fans start seeing results.
If 247Sports’ Brad Crawford is correct, they might not have to wait long.
“USC signed college football's most impressive transfer class, anchored by five-star quarterback Caleb Williams and Biletnikoff winner Jordan Addison at receiver, and plugged holes defensively with several instant-playmaker types within the front seven,” wrote Crawford.
The preseason @AP_Top25 poll is here! 🤩
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) August 15, 2022