Greetings from a very sunny and warm Pasadena, right dab in the middle of field at The Rose Bowl for the Pacific-10 Conference preseason football media day.
In terms of where I'm sitting, I could hit a 40-yard field goal through the south end goalposts if I got good foot into it.
Coaches are milling around, talking to television personalities, to other sports-information staff and old friends.
So here is the biggest news so far – Oregon has supplanted Southern California as the preseason Pac-10 favorite among the media.
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The defending conference champion Ducks took a league-high 15 first-place votes, and with their 314 points, narrowly edged USC (311) for the top spot. Oregon broke the Trojans' seven-year reign atop the preseason poll. It is the Ducks' first honor of the sorts since 2001.
For the record, I voted Oregon No. 1, followed by Washington, which was a surprising sixth (209 points). The Huskies received one first-place vote, and it did not come from the slate of in-state reporters.
Seven schools received first-place votes, which is a record. Tells you how wide open this race really is.
1, OREGON (15) ... 3142, USC (12) ... 3113, OREGON STATE (3) ... 2624, STANFORD (1) ... 2335, ARIZONA (2) ... 2226, WASHINGTON (1) ... 2097, CALIFORNIA ... 1758, UCLA (1) ... 1349, ARIZONA STATE ... 8110, WASHINGTON STATE ... 39