Rankings breakdown: BYU bucking MPSF preseason favorite jinx

The expectations of being the preseason favorite has not phased BYU in recent years.

The Cougars enter the season attempting to win their third consecutive MPSF championship after being ranked No. 1 in the conference’s preseason poll.

Despite BYU’s recent success, the No. 1 team in the conference’s preseason poll has only three times won the MPSF regular season championship since 2006. The preseason favorite also has finished the regular season outside the top five of MPSF standings in the last 11 years.

Check out this breakdown of how preseason favorites have fared compared to the conference champions in annual MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll.


2016 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: BYU
Season recap: BYU won the MPSF championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament finals
MPSF regular season champion: BYU
MPSF champion preseason ranking: BYU (No. 1)
MPSF Tournament champion: BYU
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: BYU (No. 1)

2015 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: Pepperdine
Season recap: Pepperdine had a third-place finish in MPSF and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament
MPSF regular season champion: UC Irvine
MPSF champion preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 5)
MPSF Tournament champion: UC Irvine
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 5)

2014 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: BYU and UC Irvine
Season recap: BYU won the MPSF championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament finals. UC Irvine finished tied for fifth place in MPSF and did not qualify for NCAA Tournament.
MPSF regular season champion: BYU and Pepperdine
MPSF champion preseason ranking: BYU (tied for No. 1); Pepperdine (No. 6)
MPSF Tournament champion: BYU
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: BYU (No. 1)

2013 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: UC Irvine
Season recap: UC Irvine finished in second place in the MPSF and won the NCAA championship
MPSF regular season champion: BYU
MPSF champion preseason ranking: BYU (No. 2)
MPSF Tournament champion: BYU
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: BYU (No. 2)

2012 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: BYU
Season recap: BYU finished tied for second place in the MPSF and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament
MPSF regular season champion: USC
MPSF champion preseason ranking: USC (No. 5)
MPSF Tournament champion: UC Irvine
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 2)

2011 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: USC and UC Irvine
Season recap: USC won the MPSF regular season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. UC Irvine finished in fourth place in the MPSF and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
MPSF regular season champion: USC
MPSF champion preseason ranking: USC (No. 1)
MPSF Tournament champion: UC Santa Barbara
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: UC Santa Barbara (No. 8)

2010 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: USC
Season recap: USC finished in seventh place in the MPSF and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament
MPSF regular season champion: Stanford
MPSF champion preseason ranking: Stanford (No. 3)
MPSF Tournament champion: Stanford
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: Stanford (No. 3)

2009 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: Pepperdine and UCLA
Season recap: Pepperdine finished in second place in the MPSF and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament. UCLA finished in eighth place in the MPSF and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
MPSF regular season champion: UC Irvine
MPSF champion preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 5)
MPSF Tournament champion: USC
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: USC (No. 6)

2008 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: Pepperdine
Season recap: Pepperdine after finishing the regular season tied for fourth place in the MPSF won the conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
MPSF regular season champion: Long Beach State and BYU
MPSF champion preseason ranking: Long Beach State (No. 7); BYU (No. 2)
MPSF Tournament champion: Pepperdine
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: Pepperdine (No. 1)

2007 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: UC Irvine
Season recap: UC Irvine after finishing the regular season in third place in the MPSF won the conference tournament and the NCAA championship.
MPSF regular season champion: Pepperdine
MPSF champion preseason ranking: Pepperdine (tied for No. 3)
MPSF Tournament champion: UC Irvine
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 1)

2006 SEASON
MPSF preseason No. 1: BYU
Season recap: BYU finished tied for fourth in the MPSF and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
MPSF regular season champion: UC Irvine
MPSF champion preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 8)
MPSF Tournament champion: UCLA
MPSF Tournament champion preseason ranking: UCLA (No. 2)