The 2012 men's water polo season gets underway next weekend with various tournaments, but before play begins there are the various preseason polls that try to project where teams will finish this year.
The MPSF projections recently came out and it is no surprise that the USC Trojans were projected to be the league champions by the coaches this season. USC won the NCAA title last year -- making it four in a row -- and should be the favorite to repeat there is well.
They return first-team All-MPSF juniors Jeremy Davie and Nikola Vavic, and they will be the leaders of this USC team looking to win a historic fifth straight NCAA title.
The were not a unanimous choice as the UCLA Bruins snagged two of the nine first place votes, and then it was Cal and Stanford who are neck and neck for that third and fourth preseason spot.
One tidbit from the press release is that on Sept. 22 when USC hosts UCLA that game will be broadcast on ESPNU, and with that game on television it puts the number of men's game on television nearing double-digits as ESPNU is also airing Cal at Princeton. The other games will be shown on the various Pac-12 Networks.
2012 projected standings, records and notes refer to the teams 2011 finish:
1. USC 63 (7) 24-3 Overall; 8-0 MPSF #1/NCAA Champion
2. UCLA 56 (2) 24-5 Overall; 6-2 MPSF #3/MPSF Champion
3. California 48 22-4 Overall; 7-1 MPSF #2/MPSF Semifinal
4. Stanford 47 19-7 Overall; 5-3 MPSF #4/MPSF Semifinal
5. UC Santa Barbara 31 16-12 Overall; 3-5 MPSF #5/MPSF Quarterfinal
6. UC Irvine 25 17-12 Overall; 2-6 MPSF #6T/MPSF Quarterfinal
7. Pepperdine 23 12-14 Overall; 2-6 MPSF #6T/MPSF Quarterfinal
8. Long Beach State 16 16-10 Overall; 1-7 MPSF #9
9. Pacific 15 13-13 Overall; 2-6 MPSF #6T/MPSF Quarterfinal