Media picks USC to lead the Pac
The Pac 12 will have a new look in 2012, with four new coaching additions to the west coast league. And according to a media vote, the conference also gains a new top-dog, believing stability will reign supreme.
102 voters picked USC to win the Pac 12 championship game and end Oregon’s 3-year run as conference king. The Ducks will enter the season without former stars LaMichael James and Darron Thomas, while the Trojans return Matt Barkley and several dynamic players that are no longer restricted by an NCAA postseason ban.
Oregon was the heavy favorite in the north, while USC drew the majority vote in the South.
As Lane Kiffin took the stage at Pac 12 media days, he was bombarded with questions about recent Penn State sanctions and the possibility that his staff is targeting running back Silas Redd for transfer. Kiffin responded like a double-edged sword, first trimming his response to say he can’t comment on Penn State players, and then carving a message for the Nittany Lion star, by continuing to emphasize on his program’s lack of depth in the backfield.
In other words, while others were going through the formality of the media day, Kiffin seized another opportunity (and method) to recruit.
The sanctions imposed on Penn State will allow players to leave and play for another program immediately without penalty, and their scholarship will not count against the current number, allowing programs to exceed the allotted limit.
Without Redd, the media swamis have already made their picks. Now it’s just a matter of watching the season play out to determine accuracy. A year ago, writers also picked Ducks in the north and Trojans in the South, with Oregon emerging as conference champions. That prediction was accurate, with an assist from the NCAA and its postseason ban of USC.