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Pac-12 media days primer

Post by Christian Caple on July 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm with No Comments »
July 22, 2014 7:03 pm

FROM BURBANK, Calif. — We landed a few minutes ago in lovely Burbank, Calif., approximately 12.7 miles from the Paramount Studios in Hollywood, site of Pac-12 media days on Wednesday and Thursday.

The schedule is a little different this season. Instead of having each team contingent roll through a stage and field a handful of inane questions for about eight minutes, there will be 40-minute interview opportunities for each team in a designated interview room throughout the day. Six teams will go on Wednesday (Washington State and USC among them), and six teams will go on Thursday (Washington’s turn).

Here’s the schedule of events, with a look at what to expect from each interview session.

(Oh, and a quick note for members of the Twitter community who seem continually unimpressed by the caliber of question asked during the podium sessions: so are most of us. The better interview opportunities come later in the afternoon, off-camera, when players and coaches are available in a more relaxed, 1-on-1 setting. Keep that in mind.)

Wednesday, July 23

Main Interview Session – Paramount Theater Lobby

9 a.m. - Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott

WHAT TO EXPECT: DirecTV? Nope!

9:30 a.m. - ARIZONA – Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, Austin Hill (WR), Jared Tevis (S)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Arizona’s quarterback situation is unresolved, so Rodriguez will surely be asked a question or two about the four guys competing for that spot. Hill missed last season with a knee injury, so expect a question about his recovery and overcoming adversity and all that.

10:10 a.m. - CALIFORNIA – Head Coach Sonny Dykes, Jared Goff (QB), Stefan McClure (CB)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Questions about differences between year one and year two of the Dykes regime, and answers that include the words “night and day.”

10:50 a.m. - USC – Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, Cody Kessler (QB), Leonard Williams (DE)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Standard-issue questions about first-year coach Sarkisian “changing the culture” or whatever the preferred cliche is this season.

11:30 a.m. - OREGON – Head Coach Mark Helfrich, Marcus Mariota (QB), Derrick Malone (LB)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Questions about Mariota’s Heisman candidacy, and deferential responses that cite a team-over-self attitude.

12:10 p.m. - WASHINGTON STATE – Head Coach Mike Leach, Connor Halliday (QB), Darryl Monroe (LB)

WHAT TO EXPECT: A few questions to Leach about his Geronimo book, and about his offseason hunting escapades, and about which kind of bear he’d like to have as Halliday’s backup quarterback, or something, all intended to get Leach to say something silly because gosh darn it, he sure is quirky.

12:50 p.m. - UTAH – Head Coach Kyle Whittingham, Dres Anderson (WR), Nate Orchard (DE)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Folks will want to know, and rightfully so, whether this is the year the Utes take the next step toward Pac-12 relevancy.

1:30 p.m. – College Football Playoff Q&A – Gina Lehe, Senior Director of Communications

WHAT TO EXPECT: “OK, so after we slot the top two SEC teams … ”

Thursday, July 24

Main Interview Session – Paramount Theater Lobby

9 a.m. – Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans

9:30 a.m. - ARIZONA STATE – Head Coach Todd Graham, Taylor Kelly (QB), Jamil Douglas (OL)

WHAT TO EXPECT: ASU has a lot of defensive talent to replace this season, so expect questions about newcomers and last season’s backups who have a chance to play bigger roles in 2014.

10:10 a.m. - OREGON STATE – Head Coach Mike Riley, Sean Mannion (QB), Michael Doctor (LB)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Brandin Cooks was pretty good last year. Brandin Cooks isn’t on the team this year. Do you miss Brandin Cooks?

10:50 a.m. - UCLA – Head Coach Jim Mora, Brett Hundley (QB), Eric Kendricks (LB)

WHAT TO EXPECT: The Bruins are seen as a bit of a darkhorse College Football Playoff contender, and will almost certainly be picked my media to win the South division title, so Mora will have a fun time deflecting questions about whether he values such preseason praise. (Hint: he likely doesn’t.)

11:30 a.m. - WASHINGTON – Head Coach Chris Petersen, Ben Riva (OT), Hau’oli Kikaha (OLB)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Standard-issue first-year-coach questions, and likely some talk of the offseason turmoil surrounding departed receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow and quarterback Cyler Miles.

12:10 p.m. - STANFORD – Head Coach David Shaw, Kevin Hogan (QB), Jordan Richards (DB)

WHAT TO EXPECT: At least one reference from Shaw about “the Stanford way,” or “Stanford men.”

12:50 p.m. - COLORADO – Head Coach Mike MacIntyre, Nelson Spruce (WR), Juda Parker (DT)

WHAT TO EXPECT: Some variation of “night and day” and “toughest offseason we’ve ever had” from the players.

And here’s the programming schedule for the Pac-12 Networks, which will broadcast both days live.

Wednesday, July 23

Pac-12 Networks/Pac-12 Digital – Paramount Fountain

9:35 a.m. - UTAH

10:12 a.m. - ARIZONA

10:52 a.m. - CALIFORNIA

11:17 a.m. – Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott

11:31 a.m. - USC

12:12 p.m. - OREGON

12:50 p.m. - WASHINGTON STATE 

Thursday, July 24

Pac-12 Networks/Pac-12 Digital – Paramount Fountain

9:38 a.m. - COLORADO

10:16 a.m. - ARIZONA STATE

10:54 a.m. - OREGON STATE

11:32 a.m.  – UCLA

12:11 p.m. - WASHINGTON

1:04 p.m. - STANFORD

Christian Caple can be reached at christian.caple@thenewstribune.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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