WSU football: Pac-12 media day notebook

ARIZONA WILL hold the home field advantage over Washington State when they meet up on Oct. 24. But the Cougars may hold an advantage of their own.

WSU's game at Arizona could come right around the time the Wildcat players could really use a break. In a 2015 scheduling quirk, Arizona does not have a bye week this entire season. (Technically, they have a bye in Week 13 on Nov. 28, after having playing 12 straight weeks). Commissioner Larry Scott said during the Pac-12 Networks telecast on Thursday any number of things go into scheduling and that's just the way it turned out this season for 'Zona.

Arizona hosts WSU in Week 8 on Oct. 24. Washington State's bye comes in Week 4, the week before the Cougs open Pac-12 play at Cal.

Some additional Pac-12 media day notes from Thursday:

Worst media day idea ever: Having players attack a piñata bearing their school's emblem. Really? You really want Pac-12 players representing their institution on live TV bashing the living hell out of their school’s symbol with a baseball bat?

Honorable mention: Just because the event was held at Warner Bros. studios doesn't mean you should dress the players up in cheesy cowboy gear and strike a pose. When was the last time Hollywood made a cowboy movie anyway?

Number of times the head coach used the word “excited” in remarks from the podium on Thursday:

Stanford's David Shaw (13)
UCLA’s Jim Mora (7)
UW’s Chris Petersen (6)
ASU’s Todd Graham (5)
OSU’s Gary Andersen (5)
Note: Transcripts of Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre was not available at press time.

ASU’s Graham said that being from Texas, he wears boots every day. "So I've got one of our supporters and a great friend, Jack, is the owner of Lucchese Boots, so he hooks me up with alligator and a fork on the front, and Sparky on the back. It's pretty cool," said Graham.

Andersen, who left Wisconsin for Oregon State, said the biggest difference between the Pac-12 and the Big 10 is the speed in the Pac-12.

UCLA will go into fall camp with the quarterback position up for grabs. "I think we're a team that has potential. I think we have a gigantic unanswered question at a prominent position, quarterback," said Mora. Washington State plays UCLA for the first time since 2012 this season. The matchup is scheduled for on Nov. 15 in Pasadena.

Petersen said the Huskies' opener at Boise State will be "awkward" for him because of the relationships he has to the program and coaching staff.

What Shaw says to those who doubt the Cardinal defense in '15 will be as formidable as in recent years with just three returning starters (per Pac-12 release): "I say thank you. I say thank you. It's great. I like when people doubt us as opposed to getting pats on the back," said Shaw.

As part of Scott's promise to provide greater transparency when it comes to officiating, Scott said officials will be on the Pac-12 Networks to discuss calls. He did not say if that would be immediately after the game or later in the week.

Of the 22 most penalized teams last year, the Pac-12 had eight of them (Oregon, USC, OSU, Cal, UCLA, UW, Washington State, Arizona). Scott said he doesn’t think Pac12 officiating is “overzealous” and that the conference officiating gets overly criticized and not recognized enough for the things they do well.

In a Pac-12 Networks fan poll, Washington State was picked to finish last in the Pac-12 North. The fans voted Oregon to win the division, followed by Stanford, Cal, UW, Oregon State and WSU. Washington State had the third-most first place votes (281) behind Oregon (1,884) and Stanford (532). The fans picked ASU to win the South, followed by USC, UCLA, Utah, Arizona and Colorado.

Adidas is now a major partner with the Pac-12 and will support some of the programming on the Pac-12 Networks through advertising, Scott said.

In case you missed our earlier article on Thursday's media day, click on the link below.

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