Pac-12 Media Day Live Blog

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA: Hear what the Pac-12 coaches and players are saying from Pac-12 Media Day at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios in Los Angeles...

OREGON:  HC Chip Kelly, RB Kenjon Barner and LB Michael Clay representing the Ducks.

Kelly said the team is excited, that the Rose Bowl win was a springboard for them into the offseason.

Kelly said he's proud of Barner and Clay, both have already graduated and will play their senior season as grad students.

With LaMichael James' departure, Kelly said that Barner and DeAnthony Thomas' role will obviously increase.

Barner said he does sometime wonder what other teams are trying to do with their uniforms.

Barner on the potential for always having new uniforms: "Who knows what to expect. It's Oregon."

Kelly said he didn't think about Penn State sanctions, he thought about the heinous crimes committed against the kids.

Kenjon Barner on pressure of replacing LMJ: "Pressure's what you feel when you don't know what you're doing."

Kelly on if DeAnthony is a RB or WR: "I don't know what DeAnthony is. I know he's a special talent. You just get the ball in his hands."


STANFORD:  HC David Shaw RB Stepfan Taylor and OLB Chase Thomas representing the Cardinal.

Shaw passes on an opening statement and first question was about Shayne Skov and NOT about Andrew Luck.

Shaw feels that Stepfan Taylor, a back-to-back, 1000-yard rusher, is the most underrated RB in the country.

Shaw thinks Zach Ertz/Levine Toilolo are the best tight end combo in the country after losing the most explosive TE in country.

Shaw said that freshman Luke Kaumatule has moved from DE to TE already and Jemari Roberts has moved to TE from WR.

Thomas said he thinks the front seven is as good as any front seven in the nation, with all their LBs returning plus Shayne Skov.

Shaw said he told the QBs to not try to be Andrew Luck


WASHINGTON:  HC Steve Sarkisian, QB Keith Price and CB Desmond Trufant representing the Huskies.

Sark said they're embracing the opportunity to play their home games at CenturyLink Field.

Sark said that hiring Lupoi wasn't to steal another school's recruits but to better Washington's program and he thinks they've done that.

Sark said that Jamora looks great and looks beautiful and is just under 260 pounds as he recovers from knee.

Sark said he's gotta get Shaq Thompson on campus. Said people were ripping Shaq for being 0-39 with 38 Ks,but that Sark would have had 39 Ks.

Sark said there will be moments they'll use Thompson on the offensive side of the ball, but ultimately he's on the defensive side of the ball.

Sark said that the arrival of Justin Wilcox as the DC could have the same effect that DeWayne Walker's did at UCLA in 2006.


CALIFORNIA:  HC Jeff Tedford, WR Keenan Allen and DB Josh Hill representing the Bears.

Tedford said the players and fans are fired up to return to Memorial Stadium.

Tedford thought AT&T Park did a great job of hosting them, but the sense was that the players wanted to be back and the excitement of getting back home and their practice facility was the key factor.

Tedford said Dominic Galas will be having surgery on his pec/shoulder, today, and likely return would be the October range.

Tedford said the bar has been high and the team has high expectations.  Said the team is very motivated to reach the standards of where they think they should be and thats in the conference race.

Tedford said he thinks Cal fans would rather play in the Rose Bowl than in the national championship game...


OREGON STATE:  HC Mike Riley, WR Markus Wheaton and CB Jordan Poyer representing the Beavers.

Riley said Sean Mannion is his starter, but he's really pleased by the improvement of Cody Vaz from the spring.

Wheaton said the 3-9 record hurt them and they look back on it and it fuels them greatly. 

Poyer said the taste in their mouth hurts, and they don't want to feel that again.

Riley said he wants 1,800 yards mixed in in the running game when asked about RB by committee or just one featured back.

Riley said that Stan Hasiak is working and in the final stages of what he's got to do to finish school.

Riley said he's not been surprised by what Scott Crichton has done for the Beavers.

Obum Gwachum is earning kudos from Mike Riley and Markus Wheaton.


WASHINGTON STATE:  HC Mike Leach, QB Jeff Tuel and DE Travis Long representing the Cougars

Leach said he doesn't think the dust has settled on realignment.

Leach has been referred to as Coach Price (tip of the cap to Mike Price).

"A lot of places think they're college towns, but Pullman truly is." -Leach

"No one expects anything out of us more than what we expect out of ourselves." -Leach

Its easy to remember Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree's last couple of games instead of where they started.

Tuel said it was surprisingly easy to get a grasp of the offense, and the play book wasn't the hard part, it's learning what to do with the football and when.

Leach not a fan of the "month and a half" break from the end of the regular season to the BCS championship game.


USC:  HC Lane Kiffin, QB Matt Barkley and DB T.J. McDonald representing the Trojans.

Kiffin said there has been a lot of negativity in college football this week.

Kiffin said the pick to win the Pac-12 is exciting, especially after probation and being told that USC will be five years way from being relevant again.

Kiffin said there will be a lot of opportunity for their running back to make plays with their returning QB and WRs.

On Bill O'Brien facing sanctions at Penn State: "You realize how hard it is of a situation. You recruit high school players, now you have to recruit your own."

Kiffin on Silas Redd- "We can't speak on any kids on their roster, they're just like HS kids, we can't say anything about it."

Kiffin said that Nelson Agholor will start out at running back.

McDonald said that Marqise Lee isn't just developing as a football player, but off the field too.  Being able to run track and play football at the same time, and has become a leader on the team.

McDonald said that he was really impressed with his brother Tevin's play last year and that they pick each other's brains.  Said he was down after Stanford game, but Tevin's 3-pick game against Cal picked him up.

Barkley said there is a lot of talent at the QB position in the Pac-12 still, and hung out with Bryan Bennett, Keith Price and Matt Scott.  And talked about his playing against Matt Scott in HS.

Kiffin on Penn State's sanctions to USC's: "Theres no way you could compare what happened at USC to what happened at Penn State"

Barkley said right after they played UCLA, was on an emotional high, and said he thought for sure he was going to go to the NFL.

Kiffin: "I didn't recruit Matt to stay. Matt was completely ready for the NFL. Totally ready to go in and be the face of a franchise. But he wanted to do something special and maybe go down as something special in Trojan history."


UCLA:  HC Jim Mora, RB Johnathan Franklin and DB Tevin McDonald representing the Bruins.

Mora said they came out of the spring with a firm belief in what they're doing on offense, on defense and overall.

Mora said the biggest difference is how you're able to be more involved in the daily lives of the student-athletes.

Franklin said it's been tough with the way the season ended but they're taking the right steps to bring UCLA football back.

McDonald said they were lacking accountability in previous years and that Mora has made that a priority with the team and being able to be counted on every Saturday.

Mora said his concern isn't what they had or didn't have in the past, it's what they have moving forward.  That they're looking into the future, not the past.  Being accountable to their fan base, to the student body, when they step on the field  and when they are out in the community.

Mora said he's excited about the QB situation.  Initial thought was to have a quarterback after spring practice, but no one emerged from the pack, but also said the pack elevated.  Said decision will come two weeks into fall practice, and they won't move from that.

Mora said that Tim McDonald Sr was the smartest football player he ever coached and that Tevin is a lot like him.

McDonald said he doesn't compare stats with his brother T.J., and just being able to call him his brother, being able to learn from him, is a blessing.

Mora said he when he goes through camp, he'll find the best way to assess using Ellis McCarthy, their top incoming recruit.

Mora said you keep your focus on the game you're getting ready to play, the practice you're preparing for, and when they get to the game they play Southern Cal, they'll worry about Southern Cal.

Mora said Noel Mazzone is very bright, doesn't have an ego and is very creative.


UTAH:  HC Kyle Whittingham, RB John White and DT Star Lotulelei representing the Utes.

Whittingham said they're looking forward to their second go-around in the Pac-12, and nothing last year caught them off guard.

Whittingham said the QB position has gone from being lean to one of the strong suits of the football team.

Whittingham said he thinks Star Lotulelei is the best interior DL in the country.

If the team wants to win the Pac-12 South, then they have to be more productive on offense than last year.

Lotulelei said coming back was the best thing for him and didn't feel he was ready to make the next step yet.

"Brian Johnson is the best man for the job and what we needed at the time.  I know he hasn't called a game yet, a lot of things will transpire that he's never been through, but the way he called the scrimmages and the spring, it was all very positive," said Whittingham on new OC Brian Johnson.

Whittingham said he backs AD Chris Hill 100% and the decisions moving forward with their rivalry with BYU. Said its on schedule this year.  Said something had to give and the scheduling didn't work out.

White said he's hoping the younger running backs learn from him and he wants to teach them.  Said you have to show out at practice as an example, that he's not a leader by voice, but a leader by action.

Whittingham said the new name that will be a household name this year for Utah will be Chase Hansen and Travis Wilson, his young quarterbacks.


ARIZONA STATE:  HC Todd Graham, RB Cameron Marshall and LB Brandon Magee representing the Sun Devils.

Graham pays homage to Frank Kush and what he first built at Arizona State.

Graham said the goal is the restoration of the program and the goal is winning championships.

Magee said being drafted by the Red Sox will not make him conservative at all on the football field.  Also said he had a great time working at a radio station and after his sports career, wants to be involved in radio or television.

Marshall said he feels great, is running around and doing all the drills and the best he's felt in a year and a half and the best his ankle has felt in a while.

Marshall said that discipline was what they needed the most, especially after they fall apart at the end of the season last year.  "We've been one of the worst teams in the nation at getting penalties, and that's unacceptable and Coach said that's unacceptable."

Graham said he'll whittle his quarterback competition down "quickly" but that there is still some competition left.


ARIZONA:  HC Rich Rodriguez, QB Matt Scott and LB Jake Fischer representing the Wildcats.

Rodriguez said he thinks his offense can fit in anywhere, when asked if it will fit in better in the Pac-12 than it did in the Big Ten.

Rodriguez said he enjoyed being in television but is happy to be back on the sidelines.

Rodriguez's first time in Tucson was the day of his press conference, but he knew what the UofA was about before he took the job.

RichRod on the Penn State sanctions: "It's going to be tough for them to recover, but nothing as tough as what the victims went through."

Scott wasn't happy to redshirt last year, but RichRod thought it was the best decision the UofA coaches made.

Jake Fischer on practicing against the new offense: "every practice felt like we were playing against Oregon."


COLORADO:  HC Jon Embree, OL David Bakhtiari and FS Ray Polk representing the Buffs.

HC Jon Embree said they are excited about their second year in the conference, and happy with the momentum from how they ended the season (beating Utah).

Embree said he's optimistic about Paul Richardson and his recovery from knee surgery and it isn't out of the question if he'll play in 2012.

The biggest hurdle in his first year was just "going through a lot of different things."  Went through five suspensions before they played Stanford, Oregon and USC and it put them behind the 8-ball.  Felt he didn't get to do as much "football" as he thought he'd be able to.

Bakhtiari said that he's happy with the OL coming in.  Also said if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.  Embree talked about the QB situation with Connor Wood and Nick Hirschmann, and Hirschmann's injury is keeping him out for the time being.  Also talked about transfer Jordan Webb and freshman Shane Dillon.

Polk said that Utah will always be a good opponent and a great team, as their new "rival" in the Pac-12.  Like Colorado, they're trying to fit in to the Pac-12.  "But we want to play the best team and make them our rival."

The Buffs will have a new tailback, and have some issues at receiver with Richardson's injury and losing Toney Clemons, and also said the quarterback situation needs to be resolved, but is happy with the other things offensively.

Bakhtiari said the biggest difference between the Pac-12 and the Big 12 is the Big 12 is a little bigger and stronger, and the Pac-12 is faster, but each conference has freaks.

Embree emphasized their desire to recruit in California and the West, as opposed to a focus in Texas when CU was in the Big 12.


Gary Stevenson, President of Pac-12 Enterprises keyed on the Pac-12 Network.

Pac-12 Network will be available where authenticated.

Each Pac-12 school will be featured on the Pac-12 Network in the first four weeks.

There will be Pac-12 preview shows, 30-minute shows on each of the 12 conference schools as well as a 1-hour preview on the conference as a whole.

There will be coverage of Spring Football, NFL Draft Day and National Signing Day.


Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott's opening remarks including a reference to the great musical acts of years past that have played at the Gibson Amphitheatre.

Scott keyed on the nine national championships in 2011-2012 won by Pac-12 schools, bringing the collected total to 451 NCAA titles by Pac-12 programs, most of any country.

There are 239 current or former Pac-12 athletes performing in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Games.  Over 25% of Team USA has Pac-12 ties.

Scott said the addition of the playoffs will give the fans what they want, where the title is won on the field while also preserving the regular season and the bowl tradition.

Beginning this season, Scott said the Pac-12 will receive exposure that will rival all the other conferences.

This fall, 44 Pac-12 football games will be broadcast on FOX and ESPN to 100% of the country, a major improvement and a major change to the exposure nationally the Pac-12 conference will get.

As of today, the conference is 22 days away from launching the Pac-12 Network, starting on August 15th.  One national network and six regional networks, dedicated to all the sports.

Scott said he believes the conference is as strong and deep as its been in many years, and highlighted the four new head coaches brought into the Pac-12.

Last year, the Pac-12 sent seven teams to bowl games, and Scott said the hope is to increase that this season.

Off the field, Scott said the most exciting thing for the Pac-12 in many years was the addition of the Pac-12 Networks.


USC has been picked to win the Pac-12 in 2012.

Here is the preseason media poll:

NORTH DIVISION
1. Oregon (117) 732
2. Stanford (5) 533
3. Washington 502
4. California (1) 382
5. Washington State 228
6. Oregon State 205

SOUTH DIVISION
1. USC (117) 729
2. Utah (1) 514
3. UCLA (2) 435
4. Arizona 385
5. Arizona State (3) 353
6. Colorado 164

PAC-12 TITLE GAME CHAMPION: USC (102 votes)
Others receiving votes: Oregon (18), Arizona State (3)


Scout CFB Top Stories