LOS ANGELES — Southern California is eligible to win championships again, and the Pac-12 media expects the Trojans to reclaim their spot atop the league.
USC has been picked to win the Pac-12 in the annual preseason poll, the league announced Tuesday.
Utah received 514 points and one first-place vote, and was picked second in the South Divison.
The Trojans were picked to win the South Division on 117 of the 123 ballots, while Oregon was picked to win the North Division by the same overwhelming margin. USC was picked to win the league championship game by 102 of the voters.
USC has enjoyed an outstanding offseason after finishing 10-2 and No. 6 in the final AP poll last season despite bowl ineligibility. Along with Matt Barkley’s decision to return for his senior year, the Trojans have landed a spectacular recruiting class, and they’re moving into their new training complex this summer.
The media poll has correctly selected the conference champion in 28 of 51 previous polls, including 11 of the last 12.
The 2012 Pac-12 championship game will take place Friday, November 30 at 6 p.m. and telecasted to a national audience on FOX. The championship game will match the winners of the two divisions. The game will be played on the campus of the division winner with the best overall conference record. The winner of the Pac-12 Championship will earn the league’s automatic BCS berth.