Pac-12 Media Day at Universal Studios was a whirlwind. Not only was it the baptism of four high profile new coaches, but it also featured ties to the past, a brotherly love and reporters forgetting to ask Desmond Trufant a question.
Of the four new faces in the conference, without a doubt, Mike Leach stole the show. He dabbled in Civil War history, was adamant that Kyle Whittingham would be the best sportsman in the conference and in general, solidified his spot as the conference’s most entertaining head coach.
Rich Rodriguez and Todd Graham escaped tough questions in the presser about their past employers, although Jim Mora had to face a USC question, from ESPN’s Greg Katz. Overall, the questions across the board were sort of disappointing, as only Leach was baited by the media, and that was done in a fun, playful way.
Having said that, George Alfano of Salt Lake City’s Deseret News inadvertently referred to Leach as Mike Price, or ‘Coach Price’, creating an awkward yet classic moment that saw WSU quarterback Jeff Tuel play along and feed the question to his head coach, ‘Coach Price’.
Another interesting tidbit from Media Day was the attendance of T.J. McDonald and Tevin McDonald, who formed the first pair of brothers to ever attend in the same year. While T.J. anchors the USC defense and is going into his senior season, Tevin was an interesting selection by Jim Mora to attend Media Day, despite being just a true sophomore. The brothers are the sons of Tim McDonald, who was coached by Mora with the San Francisco 49ers, proving that the world is small.
On the whole, Pac-12 Media Day found a niche that really succeeded, as compared to years past. There weren’t any bad sound bites or difficult questions to overcome. The location was perfect and the other than ASU getting three first place votes, the media poll was fair. Larry Scott can smile today, he’s earned it.