The same team that hoisted the Pac-12 Championship trophy in 2021 is expected to do the same in Las Vegas this upcoming season, according to the 2022 preseason Pac-12 media football poll.
Utah was chosen by most of the media to win the 2022 Pac-12 Conference Championship, in the poll released Thursday afternoon. The Utes, the defending Pac-12 champions, received 26 of the 33 first-place votes.
Oregon, who lost to Utah in the 2021 championship game, received two first-place votes and the second most overall points as it edged out USC, despite the Trojans having more first-place votes (five). Oregon State was picked to finish fifth with 246 total points.
The media has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 32 of 61 previous preseason polls. Last year, Oregon and USC were picked to play in the Pac-12 Championship, with the Ducks predicted to win.
This is the first season that the Pac-12 Football Championship Game will be played between the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage. This change comes after the NCAA Division I Council's decision in May to change the rule to allow individual conferences to choose conference championship participants without having divisions. It was based on a motion brought by the Pac-12 and unanimously supported by all FBS conferences.
The divisions will remain for scheduling purposes for the 2022 season.
2022 Pac-12 Football Media Day will be held in Los Angeles on Friday.
Contact Register-Guard sportswriter Antwan Staley at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.
Results of Pac-12 media football poll of who will be the champion
Utah (26), 384 points
Oregon (2), 345
USC (5), 341
Oregon State, 246
Washington State, 177
Arizona State, 123
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Utah, Oregon top Pac-12 preseason media football poll