The college football media days circuit moved out west on Wednesday for day one of PAC-12 Media Days. The six schools that took part were Oregon, Arizona, USC, Washington State, Utah and California. The press conferences were uneventful in comparison to the SEC Media Days where Steve Spurrier and Les Miles stole the show last week. However, as the day went along there were some notable moments. Thus, here are the winners and losers from day one of PAC-12 Media Days.
Winners: Rich Rodriguez and Mike Leach Rodriguez set the tone right away with his opening remarks about how he would be lying if he said he was happy to be at media day. These events are a necessary evil and I respect the blunt honesty shown by Rodriguez at the start of his press conference.
Moreover, Rodriguez also had a great response when asked about no-huddle offenses causing more injuries: “I call it a farce. That’s just my opinion. …It would be hard to find any hard data that shows the pace of play contributes more to injury, but that’s my opinion.” Rodriguez is right on this issue until there is hard data proving that the fast paced offenses cause more injuries then why change things. It is up to defensive minded head coaches like Nick Saban to adjust with the times.
Mike Leach was interesting as usual during his media session. Leach, after his pitching his book about Geronimo did throw in some football talk when he praised his quarterback Connor Halliday.“So clearly he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the entire nation… You might be rooting for your guy, and I don’t care what you think, he’s better than your guy is.” The direct and blunt nature of Rodriguez and Leach is a nice change of pace to the politically correct mindset of most college football coaches at these media days.
Losers: Steve Sarkisian and the PAC-12 Photo Booth shoot For Sarkisian, the comment where he compared leaving Washington to breaking up with a girlfriend did not make a lot of sense. The process of changing a job as a college football coach is not as easy as dumping a girlfriend and moving forward.
The USC Sports Information Department should have set Sarkisian up with a more scripted neutral response to that question. Sarkisian definitely came across as disingenuous with his response that is for sure.
The PAC-12 Photo Booth shoot with coaches and players putting on wigs and stuff was over the top. If the PAC-12 wants to be taken more seriously they don’t need that type of stuff at its media days. The quality of the players and coaches is high enough to speak for itself at the end of the day.