Your Pac-12 Media Day Primer

THE ANNUAL gathering of coaches and star players in Los Angeles for Pac-12 Media Day is set for Tuesday with a 9:15 a.m. kickoff at Universal Studios. Cougar coach Mike Leach, who will be accompanied by Jeff Tuel and Travis Long, should be a welcome addition to what often amounts to a cliché-fest. The Pirate's knack for good commentary on a range of topics could make him a headliner by day's end.

After the first question (Your offense figures to score a ton of points but can your defense stop anyone?), all bets are off.

Bear hunting, Geronimo's leadership secrets, the pros and cons of square-toed cowboy boots ... It's all on the table.

In fact, Mike's sometimes unpredictable sound bites might be the only unpredictable thing to happen on Tuesday.

Here's the unofficial LIST OF 4 STORY LINES that we guarantee will be coming out of Tuesday's gathering ...

  • Matt Barkley oughta be in movies.
    Prepare yourself now, because it's going to be sugary, sappy, wall-to-wall Barkley like last year was with Andrew Luck. Only worse. Bark's got more than a winning resume and great supporting cast. He has Hollywood, Heisman hype, a looker for a girlfriend, and a perma-smile tailor-made for center stage. The fact he bypassed a chance to leave early for the NFL even offers up a sort of heroic aura. That, coupled with the recent Dan Patrick interview in which he opined that he might have been drafted ahead of Robert Griffin III this year, makes him a hotter commodity entering Media Day than Luck was a year ago.

  • The predictions will be predictable.
    USC will be unanimously pegged to win the south and Oregon will be tabbed with equally overwhelming support to win the north. The Trojans then will be given a decided edge for the overall crown. Stanford will be dubbed the third-best team in the league, fueled by a stout defense but Luckless at QB with Brett Nottingham and Josh Nunes. WSU will be picked to finish fifth or sixth in the north; however, the low forecast will carry a proviso that the Cougs could be dangerous. Washington, as usual, will be overvalued as the excellence of their QB masks the suspect offensive line and rebuilding defense.

  • The phrase "unfinished business" will be spoken or written 2,389 times.
    What, USC was banned from the post-season the last two seasons and now is fully eligible? This is news only to those who've been domiciled underground all off season, but our comrades in the media – and maybe even Lane Kiffin himself – will no doubt still drag out this trusty cliche to characterize the fire burning in the Trojans' souls for post-season glory.

  • Chip Kelly will be breathing easy.
    A year ago, all eyes were on the Chipster as he fielded questions about Willie Lyles being paid to usher recruits to Oregon. Six of the first nine queries he handled last year were about that situation. This time around, the guess is that he'll get a question or two about the nifty hot tub Phil Knight is installing for him in the Ducks' new training complex, and another one or two about replacing LaMichael James and Darron Thomas. Outside of USC, much of the rest of the day's attention will be directed at Jim Mora (Do you realize you've never been a college coach before?), Rich Rodriquez (Are you bitter about being sacked so quickly by Michigan?), Todd Graham (Are rumors true that you're down to three finalists for your next coaching stop?), and Leach (Did Craig James really kill five hookers at SMU?)


  • The entire Media Day will be streamed live, for free, HERE, and the hope in the peanut gallery is that it goes a helluva lot smoother than last year's stream.

  • Leach, Tuel and Long will take their turn behind the mic Tuesday at 11:25 a.m. PT. If you'd like to ask them a question (or any player or coach from any team, for that matter), head to THIS PAGE on the Pac-12 Wesbite and click one of the #TweetAsk buttons.

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