By Rock Mayock 11:00 p.m. | The mood around the FOOTBALLPHDS’ office has been festive because today the Pac-12 held its media day at Universal Studios’ Gibson Amphitheatre. Think of media day as the football equivalent of a new teaser trailer for a blockbuster movie. It is designed to whet the appetite of already ravenous college football fans.
The day started with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott providing the state of the union speech about the health of the conference and the status of the soon to be launched Pac-12 Network. Of course the FOOTBALLPHDS were already well versed in the network’s status because we illuminated our wonderful readers about it back in June.
After Commission Scott’s brief address each team marched out its head coach and a small contingency of featured players (typically one from offense and one from defense) to mingle with the media and provide an exceedingly optimistic outlook for the upcoming season. You can peruse the complete list of coaches/players in attendance in our Pac-12 media day primer.
The 2012 installment of media day brought an added dimension of intrigue as four coaches made their Pac-12 debut. In no particular orders the new coaches include Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez, Washington State’s Mike Leach, UCLA’s Jim Mora Jr., and Arizona State’s Todd Graham. The recurring message stressed by all four coaches was the change of culture the have instilled within their new programs. Time will tell if this was simply more optimistic rhetoric or a portent of things to come.
The day was capped off by the media casting their votes for who they believe will win each division and the conference as a whole. For some inexplicable reason the FOOTBALLPHDS were not invited to participate in this vote however we fully expect this matter to be rectified next year. Nonetheless, this is how the media predicted the Pac-12 North and South will pan out:
USC was also anointed at the projected conference champion by a staggering 102 of the media voters. Not to let the preseason ego fluffing go to his head, an unusually subdued Lane Kiffin downplayed the accolades and instead focused his attention to USC’s September 1, 2012, season opener against Hawaii at the Coliseum. Perhaps this a glimpse of the older and wiser Lane.
With media day completed, the FOOTBALLPHDS will once again take our conference tour to provide a team by team overview and projected finish for the 2012-2013 season. Perhaps Rochelle should investigate the hiring of a travel agent to make this process easier…
Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP