The preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll was released Thursday. NCAA defending champion UConn was the unanimous No. 1 overall selection. It’s the 10th time that UConn has been the top team in the preseason. Six of those years they went on to win the title, including last season.
The Pac-12 had four teams represented in the poll. Stanford, which was picked to win the conference by its coaches, is ranked sixth in the preseason AP poll. No. 15 Cal, the media pick to win the Pac-12, No. 20 Oregon State and No. 23 UCLA rounded out the conference teams getting an early nod for a successful season.
Oregon (5) and Arizona State (1) received votes. And of the locals, Gonzaga (28) was among the teams just missing the cut.
Oregon State is back in the Top 25 for the first time since the final poll of 1996. The Beavers have all five starters from last season’s team that reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.
”It’s great to get some national recognition,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck told the Associated Press. ”We are coming off a great year and we got to do something we’ve never done before. I know the kids will see the ranking plastered everywhere but I know we’ll be grounded. It will just give us a little bigger target on us this year.”
I’m part of the panel of 35 nationwide voters. Below is my first ballot of the 2014-15 season. It’s all based on who’s returning and who’s injured with a little wishful thinking sprinkled on top. In other words, expected it to change drastically.
Jayda’s AP Ballot — Preseason
2. South Carolina
3. Notre Dame
4. Texas A&M
12. West Virgina
19. Oregon State
22. Michigan State