The Pac-12 media days begin Wednesday morning at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, and Bud Withers and I will be there representing The Times. The formal press conference for Washington’s representatives — Chris Petersen, Ben Riva and Hau’oli Kikaha — is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
The conference preseason media poll should be released Wednesday. Here’s the ballot I submitted to the Pac-12:
4. Washington State
5. Oregon State
3. Arizona State
Pac-12 Football Championship Game winner: Oregon
So my ballot doesn’t look all that different from others out there. The ESPN.com bloggers all have similar projections, and all have Oregon winning the conference title. Yes, I have the Huskies second in the North, ahead of Stanford. I guess I’m a bit more bullish on them than others, in large part because of the talent the Huskies return on defense and, perhaps even larger, because of Chris Petersen, football coach. Having Stanford at home helps the Huskies’ cause — as does the Huskies’ victory over the Cardinal in Seattle in 2012 — and Stanford’s tough road schedule (with games at UW, Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA) factored in my thinking, too. The uncertainty at quarterback is a significant hurdle for the Huskies, but the soft nonconference schedule should give the young quarterback, presumably Cyler Miles, time to get settled before conference play begins.
Bud and I will be writing and blogging throughout the event, and I’ll host a live chat on both Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at 3 o’clock, after the press conferences and interviews wrap up. So please join in. Should be a lot to chat about.
The Pac-12 Networks will be broadcasting live from Paramount Studios, and they’ll offer a live feed online here.
Your humble Huskies beat writer is scheduled to join the Pac-12 Networks set at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday (but I won’t be offended if you hit the mute button).
After stepping off the main stage, Petersen, Riva and Kikaha are scheduled to join the Networks’ set at 12:11 p.m. Thursday.
For those wondering, no, there’s nothing new to report on the Networks’ talks with DirecTV. I don’t imagine there’s been much movement there, but that’s certainly something Larry Scott will address during his press conference Wednesday morning.
Here’s the press conference schedule for the Pac-12 media days:
Arizona, 9:30 a.m. — WR Austin Hill and S Jared Tevis.
California, 10:10 a.m. — QB Jared Goff and CB Stefan McClure.
USC, 10:50 a.m. — QB Cody Kessler and DE Leonard Williams.
Oregon, 11:30 a.m. — QB Marcus Mariota and LB Derrick Malone.
Washington State, 12:10 p.m. — QB Connor Halliday and LB Darryl Monroe.
Utah, 12:50 p.m., WR Dres Anderson and DE Nate Orchard.
Arizona State, 9:30 a.m., QB Taylor Kelly and OL Jamil Douglas.
Oregon State, 10:10 a.m., QB Sean Mannion and LB Michael Doctor.
UCLA, 10:50 a.m., QB Brett Hundley and LB Eric Kendricks.
Washington, 11:30 a.m. OT Ben Riva and OLB Hau’oli Kikaha.
Stanford, 12:10 p.m., QB Kevin Hogan and DB Jordan Richards.
Colorado, 12:50 p.m., WR Nelson Spruce and DT Juda Parker.