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Marcus Mariota's return, Steve Sarkisian's move south among top topics for Pac-12 football

  • Pac-12 Media Days Football-1.jpg

    Oregon linebacker Derrick Malone, left, and quarterback Marcus Mariota pose for a photo at the Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • Pac-12 Media Days Football-2.jpg

    Southern California quarterback Cody Kessler, left, and defensive end Leonard Williams pose for photos at the Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • d3476bb0be14bb1c5a0f6a7067004912.jpg

    Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott delivers the opening remarks of the 2014 Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • 37da86b8be67bc1c5a0f6a706700bd7b.jpg

    Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich takes questions at the Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

  • 0fd06c2ebe67bc1c5a0f6a7067003290.jpg

    Souther California head coach Steve Sarkisian takes questions at the Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott both used the league's opening media day to praise Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota for staying in school.

The rest of the Pac-12 isn't quite as excited about Mariota's return, but he's just one reason why the Ducks are favored to win their highly competitive league again.

Mariota and Oregon were picked to win the Pac-12 title Wednesday in the preseason media poll, topping that chart for the fourth time in five years.

Mariota says he returned to enjoy the college experience. Since he's only taking golf and yoga this fall to finish up his degree, he'll have plenty of time.

Southern California coach Steve Sarkisian thinks his Trojans also can challenge for the league title in his first season back home.