The Associated Press released its preseason Top 25 poll on Monday, naming five Pac-12 programs in its initial ranking. The UCLA Bruins were not one of them.
The Oregon Ducks, following a 9-4 finish in 2018, landed just outside the top ten at No. 11. Oregon is trailed closely by the Washington Huskies at No. 13 and the Utah Utes at No. 14. The Washington State Cougars and the Stanford Cardinal appear at the tail end of the poll, at No. 23 and No. 25, respectively.
Despite UCLA’s absence, the release of this year’s AP Top 25 marks a one-team improvement in the overall strength of the Pac-12. In last year’s preseason poll, four programs—Washington (No. 6), Stanford (No. 13), Southern Cal (No. 15), and Oregon (No. 24)—were ranked. The last time that UCLA appeared in the preseason AP Top 25 was in 2016, when they were ranked No. 16.
After Washington’s brief stint as a title contender in 2017, it remains to be seen whether any of these teams will take firm control of the Pac-12 and leap back into the national spotlight.
The Cincinnati Bearcats, the Bruins’ first opponent, received 16 votes. So, a UCLA victory on the road could help get the Bruins some votes.
This is the first Preseason AP Top 25 without UCLA or Southern Cal in it since 1964.
Here’s the preseason AP Top 25 poll in its entirety:
2019 AP Preseason Top 25 Poll
Others receiving votes: Missouri 117, Army 94, Mississippi State 87, Miami (FL) 70, Northwestern 63, TCU 57, Virginia 44, Boise State 38, Cincinnati 16, South Carolina 15, Virginia Tech 12, Fresno State 8, Utah State 8, Minnesota 7, Memphis 6, Appalachian State 5, West Virginia 3, Oklahoma State 3, Arizona State 3, Arizona 1, Southern Cal 1.