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Pac-12 football preseason poll: Arizona Wildcats picked 4th in South

The Arizona Wildcats again enter a season without high expectations.

Christian Petersen

The Arizona Wildcats were picked fourth in the Pac-12 Media Day Preseason Poll, a sign of just how much work is still expected out of Rich Rodriguez despite making a surprise bowl berth his first season in the desert. Things are more sensical this time around.

It's a fair assessment to not give UA the benefit of the doubt. And it could be good news for the Wildcats to come into 2013 with a chip on their shoulders. Rich Rodriguez's rebuilding effort might have been further-along than planned last season, but it's hard to give Arizona credit when it lost Matt Scott, a leader and a talent at that. Rodriguez must now show he'll stay ahead of the curve after fellow Pac-12 defenses got a taste of his up-tempo offense. Respect is still to be earned.

Last year, Utah was expected to be among the best in the South Division, and USC of course held a good amount of clout. This season, UCLA is rightfully expected to win the South following up its own surprise first year under new coach Jim Mora. The ASU Sun Devils are tabbed as a close second place and earned 10 first-place votes to the Bruins' 12.

USC comes in third with the Wildcats in fourth, ahead of the fifth-place Utah Utes and sixth-place Colorado Buffaloes.

Oregon has a slight edge in the North Division, earned 145 points to Stanford's 139. Oregon State, Washington, California and Washington State round out the North in that order.

South

1. UCLA (12) 135

2. Arizona State (10) 130

3. USC (4) 117

4. ARIZONA 76

5. Utah 60

6. Colorado 28

North

1. Oregon (15) 145

2. Stanford (11) 139

3. Oregon State 95

4. Washington 84

5. Cal 47

6. Washington State 33