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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

July 21, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Look for all this to happen at Pac-12 media days . . .

Saw a headline the other day on a website, something like “Advancing ACC media days.”

It’s come to this. We “advance” conference football media days, which, of course, advance the college season, which we’re still, oh, about 5 1/2 weeks in advance of.

That said, I guess we need to advance Pac-12 media days, which are Wednesday and Thursday at the Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Some things you can count on:

Coaches will use the word “excited” about the same number of times as Washington State will throw the ball in 2014. They’ll also say they had more guys stay around to work out this summer than ever before, and they believe their team is in the best shape it’s ever been in, which, of course, means that it wasn’t in very good shape all those previous years when they talked about what great shape it was in.

Somebody, more than one coach, will say this league doesn’t have to take a back seat to anybody.

Somebody, more than one coach, will talk about having had to change the culture. Who knew football was such a cultural experience?

Todd Graham, the Arizona State coach, speaking like he’s had five cups of coffee that morning, will say he doesn’t think it’s dire for his defense, which lost nine starters. Mike Leach of Washington State will talk about a lot of things, and might also mention (in passing, naturally) his football team. Steve Sarkisian will be “excited” to be back at USC. Kyle Whittingham of Utah will tell us about his latest offensive coordinator. David Shaw of Stanford will lob a grenade or two at the SEC. Sonny Dykes of Cal will say he thinks he has a lot better football team than a year ago, which he’d better.

Somebody will say no other league has better quarterbacks than the Pac-12 (which is true). And everybody will be excited.

As we’ve mentioned, this is the first two-day Pac-12 football media event. We’ll assume you know the coaches, so here’s the roster of players that will appear with them:

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.

For the record, that means eight schools are bringing quarterbacks. The only schools not are Arizona, Colorado, Washington and Utah. Nobody is bringing a running back, and I can’t remember when that last happened.

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