Arizona Football

Pac-12 preseason media poll data: Arizona Wildcats picked fourth again

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2016
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2015
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2014
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2013
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2012
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Another Pac-12 football media poll (this morning), another fourth-place expectation of the Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-12 South. In all of Rich Rodriguez’s five seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have been projected to finish fourth.

Researching the five preseason polls in the Rodriguez era, the Wildcats have yet to achieve a first-place vote in that span. Colorado is the only other program with that distinction.

The Pac-12 football media days are under way in Hollywood with football coaches and players talking about all the hope surrounding their respective teams. Rodriguez is there with wide receiver Nate Phillips and defensive tackle Sani Fuimaono.

Here are the composite Pac-12 media preseason votes in the last five years with first-place votes in parenthesis (points are generated 6-5-4-3-2-1 depending on placement).

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Factoring actual placement of the teams in relation to their preseason picks, this is the differential:

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What this indicates is USC (166 first-place votes since 2012) has consistently failed to meet expectations overall although the Trojans managed to win the Pac-12 South last year in a tumultuous seonas after being picked to do capture the title. Steve Sarkisian was fired midway through the season.

Arizona and ASU have generally exceeded expectations, although the Sun Devils failed miserably last year finishing fourth after receiving seven first-place votes with the expectation to finish No. 2 behind USC.

Arizona is buoyed by its Pac-12 South title in 2014 after a fourth-place projection in the preseason. ASU’s biggest gain was finishing second in 2012 after being picked to finish fifth. The Sun Devils also won the 2013 title after a projected second-place finish.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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