Even though Cal was No. 3 in the Lindy's magazine preseason women's basketball rankings -- two spots ahead of Stanford -- the Cardinal was an overwhelming pick by the Pac-12 coaches to win the conference title for the 14th consecutive year.
The Cardinal was an unanimous pick by the coaches, getting all 11 first-place votes it was entitled to. Coaches cannot vote for their own team, so Tara VanDerveer was prevented from voting for the Cardinal. Her first-place vote went to Cal, which is picked to finish second with 111 points in the voting.
It's the 14th straight year the Cardinal has been picked to win the conference title, and the picks have panned out in the past as Stanford has won or shared the regular-season conference title each of the past 13 years.
Colorado was third in the coaches voting with 91 points, with Washington (85 points), UCLA (80) and USC (77) rounding out the top half of the poll. Utah (59), Oregon State (51), Washington State (50), Arizona State (29), Arizona (21) and Oregon (17) made up the rest of the poll.
The last time Stanford was not the preseason favorite was 1999-2000, when UCLA was the preseason choice.
Stanford will have its hands full trying to get a 14th straight title, though. Although Stanford has four returning starters, including All-American Chiney Ogwuimke, Cal returns three starters from a team that shared the regular-season crown with Stanford last season and got to the Final Four last April. Stanford was upset in the round of 16 by Georgia. Stanford also will be without Toni Kokenis, who had to retire from basketball because of concussion issues.
VanDerveer is beginning her 28th season as the Cardinal's head coach.