Roundup: Reflecting on media day
2013 Pac-12 Football Media Day was Friday on the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Culver City, Calif., and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott shot from the hip at the NCAA and DirecTV, calling for NCAA reform and Pac-12 fans with DirecTV to get a new service provider. The other big story lines from media day were that the Pac-12 is limiting full-contact practices to twice a week and Oregon was picked by the media to win the Pac-12, edging out Stanford for top spot in the North, while UCLA garnered just enough first place votes to beat out Arizona State and USC for the preseason No. 1 projection out of the South.
Yeah, that Pac-12 South is gonna be pretty intriguing this year, and Doug Haller opines that Brett Hundley and Taylor Kelly could decide who's king of the Pac-12 South.
As juicy as that quarterback battle could be when the Forks and Bruins meet up Nov. 23 in Pasadena, many eyes are on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes. The linebacker was also a pretty good quote Friday.
Prior to media day, USC athletics posted a YouTube video featuring AD Pat Haden saying he is behind Lane Kiffin 100 percent and isn't putting Kiffin on the hot seat.
Cody Vaz or Sean Mannion (how many times have I written that phrase)? With no starter selected as of yet, it's no surprise that the Oregon State quarterback controversy trailed the Beavers through Pac-12 Media Day. No specific timetable set to name a starter, but Mike Riley acknowledged that it would be best to name one relatively early on in fall camp.
'Twas the first Pac-12 Media Day as a head coach for the new Cal boss, and Sonny Dykes likes the brighter spotlight. How 'bout this quote from Dykes regarding media day? "I went to WAC media day last year and I interviewed myself. I asked some hard-hitting questions of myself." Ha! So yeah, you could say Dykes enjoyed his first Pac-12 Football Media Day.
Speaking of first Pac-12 Media Days, the new guy in Colorado is starting from the bottom, but Pac-12 peers say Mike MacIntyre will win with the Buffaloes. David Shaw can attest to that, as his Card was pushed to the brink by San Jose State (MacIntyre's former stomping grounds) in the 2012 season opener.
Oregon's Marcus Mariota isn't the type to seek out praise or bask in his own glory, but he was speechless upon hearing David Shaw call Mariota "the most complete quarterback in the nation.''
How do you replace the program's all-time leading rusher? By committee: Stanford has five tailbacks vying for playing time (Anthony Wilkerson, Tyler Gaffney, Ricky Seale, Remound Wright, Kelsey Young, Jackson Cummings and maybe Barry Sanders a little bit, so I guess that's seven, actually). In some non-football news, Stanford women's basketball guard Toni Kokenis took a medical retirement but will remain with the team in a non-playing capacity for her senior year. Tough blow for Tara VanDerveer -- Kokenis was one of the quickest and best play-making perimeter players on the team.
After posting three consecutive 7-6 seasons, the Huskies say they expect to be better this season. Keith Price sounds like a determined man this year -- watch out for these Dawgs.
Their rivals also expect to be better this year after going 3-9 in year 1 of the Mike Leach era, and the Cougars are quietly building a winning attitude, although Leach's time at the podium was anything but quiet. From saying books are more binding than marriages to claiming Jadaveon Clowney's hit on Michigan's Vincent Smith was why they invented football, Leach had plenty of quotable moments.
Here are five important Arizona football tidbits to come out of media day, one of them being that quarterback B.J. Denker will start out fall camp working with the first team as RichRod looks for a replacement for Matt Scott. Daniel Berk, good dude.
Can't say Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune didn't cover his bases with this headline, writing that Utah football will dominate the Pac-12 -- or not -- in 2013. Good Ute info in here, as Kyle Whittingham was more than willing to speak to reporters about his frustrations from the 2012 season.