SAVE THE BEST for first. That's what the Pac-12 looked to be thinking as they scheduled WSU head man and quote-machine Mike Leach, along with Cougar players Deone Bucannon and Elliot Bosch, first up on the stage at Pac-12 Media Day. And any day where Leach calls himself the head zombie/head empty corpse is a day reporters are reaching for their notebooks.
has a great opening statement.
"Alright, any questions," Mike Leach quipped.
On the targeting rule:
"I'm not the only one against this rule." He said if he were to have Elliott Bosch
and Deone Bucannon
line up across the room and run full speed at each other and make contact, and then ask anyone watching live which one lowered their head first, "I'll be you can't do it."
On his quotes about empty corpses and zombies last year:
"People this day and age ask questions but they don't always want honest answers," said Leach. He also said, "I'm the head zombie, head corpse," meaning that he's responsible for the performance of his team. "If you don't like the way your players are playing, that's about as well as you're coaching." Leach added that the Cougs have had a fantastic offseason.
On what he's been reading this summer:
"Mostly I'm reading that book we're writing (Geronimo)." He likened the book to a marriage, saying once it was out there, there's no divorcing it.
Bucannon was asked how he'll approach the new targeting rule and said it will be hard at full-speed but said he'll make the proper adjustments.
Leach said if the Cougs were to play today, Connor Halliday
would be the starting QB. Leach said he was impressed at how Halliday enhanced the skills of the players around him. He said Austin Apodaca
has also had a good offseason.
Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner, said the Pac-12 offered a deal to DirecTV "fundamentally the same" as the one they have with 50-plus other distributors, but that they remain as far apart as they were last year -- and he said it was clear there would be no deal with DirecTV this season. He urged DirecTV subscribers to switch if they want to get the Pac-12 Networks -- "I urge our fans to drop Direct TV," said Scott.
For anyone who will be switching to DISH in order to get the Pac-12 Networks: Check with your friends and family who have Dish and have them give you a referral -- both you and they will receive an extra $50 discount, in addition to all the other discounts/deals for new customers. (And if you don't know anyone who has Dish, shoot us an email either on the CF.C forums through your Inbox in the upper right of the page, or by clicking here, and we'll get you someone who does so you and they can save the extra $50.)
The Pac-12 announced the final 2014 bowl tie-ins, with the Las Vegas Bowl and Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl joining the already announced Rose, Alamo, Holiday, Fight Hunger and Sun Bowls with Pac-12 tie-ins.
Scott said the new safety initiative as it pertains to limitations on practice contact would be released later today.
The Pac-12 announced they will limit full-contact practices to two days per week during the regular season. Pac-12 schools will also be limited to two full-contact workouts per week during spring practice. Contact is also being limited during two-a-days in fall camp, with only one of the sessions can feature full contact.
The Pac-12 defines full contact as "any live tackling, live tackling drills, scrimmages or other activities where players are generally taken to the ground. Full contact shall not include thud sessions or drills that involve "wrapping up" where players are not taken to the ground and contact is not aggressive in nature.
Leach has said he expects no changes or impact since he has always had lesser amounts of full contact and shorter regular season practices than most schools.
Scott said that confidence in the NCAA enforcement process "is at an all-time low," and said a summit to be held down the road to discuss change in the NCAA, in January, will be key.
Washington State was picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12 North, UW was picked to finish fourth and USC, despite four first place votes, was tabbed third in the Pac-12 South.
New Cal coach Sonny Dykes, who worked under Leach at Texas Tech, said he "stole" the Thursday Night Lights concept from Leach and implemented it at Cal. Leach during the season has the youth, redshirts and scout team players take center stage on Thursdays, giving them a chance to shine and for coaches to continually and better evaluate the younger players.
CF.C will have much more from Pac-12 Media Day, we have two people at the event, we'll have video and more, so check back throughout the day...