Not surprisingly, Cal was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 North in the media poll released Friday at media day at Sony Pictures Studios.
“I’m not surprised,” linebacker Nick Forbes said. “We lost a couple key guys and we were 3-9 so we’re going to get dumped. We’ve been working tremendously hard in the offseason and we’re coming together as a team.
“Nobody expects or dreams to be bottom of the Pac. We’re doing the things it’s going to take for us to be successful.”
Oregon was tabbed first in the North, earning 14 first-place votes and 139 total votes. The Ducks edged defending Rose Bowl champion Stanford, which was picked second in the North with 11 first-place votes and 134 total points.
The Ducks also were projected to win the Pac-12 title game.
UCLA won a close vote for the South title over Arizona State. The Bruins earned 12 first-place votes and 130 total points, with ASU securing nine first-place ballots and 124 points.
Here’s the poll:
Pac-12 Football Media Poll
NORTH: 1. Oregon (14) 139 points; 2. Stanford (11) 134; 3. Oregon State 91; 4. Washington 81; 5. Cal 45; 6. Washington State (32).
SOUTH: 1. UCLA (12) 130; 2. Arizona State (9) 124; 3. USC (4) 113; 4. Arizona 73; 5. Utah 58; 6. Colorado 27.
Swimmer Tom Shields and basketball star Layshia Clarendon are Cal’s recipients of the 2012-13 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal winners for achievement by a senior athlete in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
Shields led the Golden Bears to a victory at the Pac-12 championships, where they snapped Stanford’s 31-year hold on the conference title. Shields was named Swimmer of the Meet after winning five events and finishing second in a sixth.
At the NCAA championships, he won the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard fly, tying Michael Phelps’ national record in the longer event. Shields and the Bears finished second in the team competition, with Shields pushing his career total to 11 NCAA titles.
Clarendon led the Cal women to their first Final Four, averaging 21.4 points in five NCAA tournament games. The first-team all-Pac-12 guard averaged 16.4 points for the season, spearheading the Bears’ charge to a record-setting 32-4 season.
The NCAA hit Oregon with three years probation Wednesday, and took away one scholarship for infractions that stemmed from paying a Houston-based scouting service $25,000.
Former Ducks coach Chip Kelley was given an 18-month “show cause” order, meaning that another school cannot easily hire the man now working as head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
What the NCAA did not do was slap the Ducks with a bowl ban, despite determining that Kelly and the university failed to properly monitor the program.
Inside the offices of the Oregon athletic department this morning, there is no doubt quiet celebration. This couldn’t have gone much better for the Ducks.
Here’s more on the story.
Oregon State guard Ahmad Starks is transferring to Illinois, and will request a waiver to become immediately eligible. The Chicago native said one of the reasons he is transferring back closer to home is to be near his grandmother.
Starks averaged 10.4 points as a junior this past season.
The No. 2-ranked Cal women’s rowing team won its sixth straight Pac-12 title on Sunday, with victories in the varsity four and second varsity at Lake Natoma.
The Bears totaled 39 points to edge second-place and top-ranked USC (37.5) and third-place and fourth-ranked Washington (36.5) in the team standings.
Cal, which has won nine of the past 10 conference titles, awaits Tuesday’s seeding for the NCAA championships, to be held May 31 through June 2 at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.
Senior Ray Stewart, sidelined all last season by a knee injury, won the 110-meter hurdles at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships on Sunday at USC.
Stewart, a James Logan HS product, won the title in 2011, then missed the 2012 campaign. He ran a lifetime-best mark of 13.43 seconds on Sunday, to beat defending champ Johnathan Carbral of Oregon.
Stewart remains No. 2 on Cal’s career list, behind only Larry Cowling’s 1982 mark of 13.39. By becoming the first Cal hurdler to win the event twice at the Pac-10 meet, Stewart also moved to No. 10 on the all-time confererence list.
Meanwhile, Hammed Suleman finished second in the triple jump with a wind-aided mark of 50 feet, 6 inches, barely missing a sweep of the long jump/triple jump events.
Charnell Price was third in the 100 meters (11.60), fifth in the 200 (23.55) and helped the Cal women to a fourth-place finish in the 4×100 relay (45.24).
Forward Mike Moser, who grew up in Portland, Ore., began his college career at UCLA, and spent the past two seasons at UNLV, apparently will play his senior campaign next year at Oregon.
Moser told the Oregonian he plans to transfer to Oregon, and will be eligible to play immediately if he completes one online class to finish his undergraduate degree.
This is a huge boost for the Ducks. Moser averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds as a sophomore in 2011-12, then struggled with elbow and hip injuries this season.
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This ended the only way it could have, with Ed Rush offering his resignation as Pac-12 coordinator of basketball officials.
Whether he was “encouraged” by his bosses to resign or simply came to the decision on his own, Rush could not remain in the position after offering a bounty to game officials if they hit Arizona coach Sean Miller with a technical foul or ejected him.
Rush said he made the comments in jest, and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott believed him.
It’s not the point. Perception is everything when it comes to the credibility of game officials, and the Pac-12 was not easily going to put this matter in the rear view mirror as long as Rush remained at his post.
Here’s the story.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is backing Ed Rush, the league’s director of officials for men’s basketball, despite Rush offering incentives to game officials for giving Arizona coach Sean Miller a technical foul during the Pac-12 tournament.
Rush has said he was joking and Scott on Tuesday told Andy Katz of ESPN.com that Rush won’t be fired.
Here’s the story.