SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to pick the preseason favorite in the men’s Pac-12:
Question: Who should be the preseason favorite to win the 2021 Men’s Pac-12 title?
- Cal – 83.4%
- Stanford – 10.0%
- Someone else – 3.7%
- Arizona – 3.0%
It’s a runaway in the men’s Pac-12, where a late transfer probably only expanded a massive Cal lead in votes for the preseason favorite.
Cal returns 112.5 more individual Pac-12 points than any other program. They also return the conference’s top individual scorer (three-event winner Ryan Hoffer) and three other 50+ point-scorers from 2020: Daniel Carr, Trenton Julian and Reece Whitley.
Our poll was open for most of the week before the breaking news that star miler Zach Yeadon would be transferring in from Notre Dame. That doesn’t do much to the Pac-12 rankings – except to make Cal the even bigger favorites – but it does make the NCAA battle between Cal and Texas much more interesting.
There’s a lot of optimism about Stanford’s freshman class, which we named #2 in the nation behind Texas. Stanford already returns 362.5 individual points from 2020 Pac-12s (less than Cal but more than any other Pac-12 program). 46-point scorer Brennan Pastorek returns, along with redshirt senior Grant Shoults. Stanford adds Russian butterfly star Andrei Minakov along with an elite freshman class.
Arizona (309 returning individual points) was the next-best in returning points. Brooks Fail scored 52 last year as Arizona finished second overall, besting Stanford by 4.5. The rest of the field includes Utah and USC, with Arizona State announcing it would redshirt its entire roster for the 2020-2021 season amid the pandemic.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks voters what states should do with fall season high school sports amid the pandemic:
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner