USC football picked to finish second in South Division in Pac-12 media poll

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Pac-12 media picked USC football to finish second in the Pac-12 South in 2019 media poll, reflecting doubts over the Trojans’ future.

BEST OF USC. Top Non-All-American Trojans

Figuring out what will become of USC football in 2019 is a unique challenge. How do you balance pessimism over the team’s failures last year and skepticism over head coach Clay Helton’s abilities with the clear talent advantage the Trojans still boast in the Pac-12 South.

On Wednesday, Pac-12 media attempted to do just that, predicting a second-place finish for the Trojans in the Pac-12 South Division.

CHECK OUT: Ranking USC’s opponents in 2019 by threat level

Utah unseated USC as the favorite to win the division, which is no surprise considering how the Utes were the class of the South in 2018. Kyle Whittingham’s squad went 6-3 in conference and 9-5 overall en route to their first ever division title and appearance in the Pac-12 title game. They lost to Washington in that contest for the conference crown.

Pac-12 media voted USC in second place behind the Utes. picking up two first place votes to Utah’s 33, with Arizona State and UCLA tied in third and Arizona in fifth. Colorado was picked to finish last in the division.

2019 Pac-12 South Media Poll

The Pac-12 North should feature a tough competition to be named kings in the north, and media appear uncertain of who will win that battle. Oregon was picked as a narrow favorite.

MORE: Who develops talent best—USC, UW or Oregon?

Washington has represented the North in the Pac-12 title game in two of the last three tilts, winning the conference in 2016 and 2018, but they placed second.

Stanford is the third favorite to challenge, while Washington State should also keep things interesting in fourth place.

Realistically, any of those four teams could come away with the division title in the end, but each will have to answer major questions. Washington and Washington State will each be breaking in a new quarterback while Stanford lost running back Bryce Love and Oregon has a difficult schedule to overcome.

SEASON PREVIEWS: USC running backs hope less is more in 2019

Cal and Oregon State are expected to be bottom dwellers again in 2019.

2017 Pac-12 North Media Poll

This year’s Pac-12 slate will kick off in Week 2. While USC and Stanford battle in their annual early-season rivalry game, Cal and Washington will also begin their conference schedules on September 7.

The conference will once again be faced with questions over national contention. released their preseason Top 25 earlier this week with Utah ranking No. 15 and Washington only slightly ahead at No. 14. With Oregon at No. 12, no Pac-12 team appeared in the Top 10 and only those three were represented at all.

COUNTDOWN: The past, present and future of every USC jersey number

Teams like USC could help the conference’s perception greatly by exceeding expectations in 2019.