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Cougs picked to finish last; Oregon first

PASADENA, Calif. — Oregon has been picked to win the Pac-10 in the preseason media poll, edging longtime favorite Southern California by three points.

A year after the Ducks ended the Trojans’ run of seven straight conference titles, the media chose coach Chip Kelly’s team over USC to win it all again in the second-closest voting since the poll began in 1961.

Oregon beat USC 314-311, with 15 first-place votes to 12 for the Trojans from 35 participating members. Oregon State was picked third with 262 points, with Stanford fourth, Arizona fifth, Washington sixth, Cal seventh, UCLA eight, Arizona State ninth and Washington State last.

A record seven teams received at least one first-place vote in a conference widely perceived as wide-open with the NCAA sanctions leveled against the Trojans. Oregon also dismissed star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli in the offseason.

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