The Pac-12 Media Day concluded today in Los Angeles. It was announced that USC was picked to win the Conference Title this season. They received 117 of 123 first-place votes and 102 voters picked them to beat Oregon in the championship game on November 30th.
The South division was picked to have USC come in first followed by Utah, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State and Colorado. The North division has Oregon winning followed by Stanford, Washington, California, Washington State and Oregon State.
Colorado was the first school to speak at media day and they were represented by Coach Jon Embree, offensive tackle David Bakhtiari and safety Ray Polk. The big news coming out of their camp is that Texas transfer Connor Wood currently sits at the top of the quarterback depth chart.
The Wildcats of Arizona met the media led by new Coach Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez is the former coach at Michigan and West Virginia. Fifth-year quarterback Matt Scott will be the starter going into the season. Arizona’s offense should play much faster in Rodriguez’s system.
Arizona State Coach Todd Graham announced the team will have training camp at Camp Tontozona next month. They will be at the camp from August 14th to the 18th. The team has not been to Tontozona since 2007. Graham is going into his first season as the Sun Devils coach after leaving Pittsburgh.
Utah enters their second season in the Pac-12 looking to create more offense. Former quarterback Brian Johnson is the new offensive coordinator as mentioned by Coach Kyle Whittingham. Johnson is the youngest offensive coordinator in the country at age 25.
The UCLA Bruins have a new coach in Jim Mora. Mora was previously coaching in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. The team has not yet announced a starting quarterback as that decision will be held until later in the summer. Coach Mora also said some Penn State players have reached out to the school.
Lane Kiffin, Matt Barkley and T.J. McDonald met the media as the representatives for USC. USC goes into the 2012 season off probation. Barkley decided to come back to school to try and win a championship. He is also entering the season as a Heisman candidate.
Washington State is another Pac-12 school entering the season with a new coach. The school hired former Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leech to lead the program. Leech mentioned Utah coach Kyle Whittingham as the best hunting and fishing partner in the Pac-12.
Mike Riley of Oregon State announced that his starting quarterback would be Sean Mannion going into the year. He does feel he has two really good quarterbacks in Mannion and Cody Vaz. He also mentioned that defensive backs should be the strength of the defense including corner back Jordan Poyer.
The California Bears will be back at Memorial Stadium this season after playing their home games at AT&T last season. The team reports for practice on August 3rd having to replace Pac-12 defensive player of the year, Mychal Kendricks. Kendricks was a second-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Steve Sarkisian of Washington will be looking to replace former 1,000 yard running back Chris Polk who is currently in NFL camp with the Eagles. Sarkisian is looking for Jesse Callier and Bishop Sankey to step up and put up similar numbers. Quarterback Keith Price and defensive back Desmond Trufant joined Sarkisian at the media session.
David Shaw of Stanford might have the toughest job trying to replace Andrew Luck. Luck was the first pick of the NFL Draft by the Colts. The Cardinals are going to rely heavily on running back Stepfan Taylor who is coming off two consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.
You can read all about the press conference here.
Tags: Andrew Luck Arizona Arizona State Atlanta Falcons Bishop Sankey Brian Johnson California Chris Polk Cody Vaz Colorado Connor Wood David Bakhtiari David Shaw Desmond Trufant Feature Jesse Callier Jim Mora Jon Embree Jordan Poyer Keith Price Kyle Whittingham Lane Kiffin Matt Barkley Matt Scott Mike Leech Mike Riley Mychal Kendricks Oregon Oregon State Pac-12 Penn State Philadelphia Eagles Ray Polk Rich Rodriguez Sean Mannion Seattle Seahawks Stanford Stepfan Taylor Steve Sarkisian T.J. McDonald Todd Graham UCLA USC Trojans Utah Washington Washington State