If this looks familiar, that's because it is. The Arizona Wildcats were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 South last year and once again find themselves behind UCLA, USC and ASU in the 2014 preseason media poll. Surprising? Not really.
It's pretty clear that Arizona will once again have to prove itself with the departure of an offensive star. Matt Scott left in 2012, leaving B.J. Denker at the helm and Ka'Deem Carey having to prove he could succeed with defenses edging closer to the line of scrimmage. Now that Carey's gone, it's on Austin Hill to lead a wide receiving group on offense while the running back and quarterback situations work themselves out.
Defense is where the Wildcats could possibly surprise. And it's probably why Arizona really isn't too unfavorably compared to USC in its first year under Steve Sarkisian and an Arizona State squad that lost so many players from its own defense.
UCLA is the obvious favorite to win the Pac-12 South while Oregon again enters the season as the heavy favorite in the North -- and again that lends to Stanford and David Shaw entering the season with a chip on their shoulders.
|North Division||South Division|
|1. Oregon (37)||232||1. UCLA (37)||231|
|2. Stanford (2)||192||2. USC (1)||181|
|3. Washington||142||3. Arizona State (1)||163|
|4. Oregon State||125||4. Arizona||119|
|5. Washington State||87||5. Utah||82|
|6. California||41||6. Colorado||43