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Arizona Wildcats picked fourth in Pac-12 preseason media poll

The Arizona Wildcats finished fourth in the Pac-12 South in each of the past two seasons, and now the conference’s media members voted them to finish in the same spot in 2014.

Arizona has its question marks in 2014, such as how to replace running back Ka’Deem Carey, who had 2,058 yards of total offense and scored 20 touchdowns last season and who their starting quarterback will be.

The optimism comes at wide receiver. Nate Phillips led the team with 696 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions as a freshman last season. Austin Hill had 1,364 receiving yards and 11 scores in 2012 and returns after missing 2013 with an ACL tear. The wide receiver corps also includes a pair of former four-star recruits in DaVonte’ Neal and Cayleb Jones, both of who transferred to Arizona and are now eligible after sitting out in 2013.

The Wildcats lost to UCLA, USC and ASU last season and trailed them in the preseason poll. They beat Utah and Colorado and were picked ahead of them.

UCLA and Oregon received 37 out of 39 possible first-place votes to win their respective divisions. Neither won their division last season despite being picked to do so by the Pac-12 media. Arizona defeated Oregon 42-16 last season in Tucson, giving the Ducks their most lopsided defeat since 2008.

Pac-12 South

Place Team (First place votes) Points
1. UCLA Bruins (37) 231
2. USC Trojans (1) 181
3. Arizona State Sun Devils (1) 163
4. Arizona Wildcats 119
5. Utah Utes 82
6. Colorado Buffaloes 43

Pac-12 North

Place Team (First place votes) Points
1. Oregon Ducks (37) 232
2. Stanford Cardinal (2) 192
3. Washington Huskies 142
4. Oregon State Beavers 125
5. Washington State Cougars 87
6. California Golden Bears 41