USC picked to finish second

Updated: October 18, 2005, 9:13 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

STANFORD, Calif. -- For the sixth year in a row, Stanford has been picked to win the Pac-10 title. The five-time defending conference champion Cardinal received nine first-place votes in the Pac-10 preseason coaches' poll.

Last season, Stanford finished with a 32-3 record, including a 17-1 mark in the league. The Cardinal advanced to the Elite Eight for the second straight year, falling to eventual national finalist Michigan State in the Kansas City Regional final. It was the 18th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance for the Cardinal.

Stanford finished atop this season's Pac-10 poll with 81 points and nine first-place votes. USC received the tenth first-place vote, finishing in second place with 70 total points.

Arizona State tallied 62 points to finish third in the balloting, followed by UCLA (40), Oregon (43), Arizona (42), Washington (36), California (30), Washington State (16) and Oregon State (10).

It is the sixth-consecutive time and sixth time overall that Stanford has been favored by the coaches to win the conference title since the poll's inception in 1998-99.