The Pac-12 Media Days kick off on Friday at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif.
The Pac-12 sports two programs in Oregon and Stanford who are arguably among the top five programs in the country headed into the 2013-14 season.
Oregon went 12-1 (8-1 Pac-12) last season, only falling to Stanford en route to the Fiesta Bowl. The Ducks beat Arizona, Washington and USC before defeating Oregon State in the Civil War and No. 5 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Stanford went 12-2 (8-1 Pac-12) last season. The Cardinal defeated UCLA twice (including in the Pac-12 championship game), while also beating USC, Oregon State and Oregon. Stanford would go on to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
Here's a look at the schedule for the 2013 Pac-12 Media Days, complete with a breakdown of the projected top teams in the conference for 2013-14.
Where: Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, CA
When: Friday, July 26
Live Stream: Pac-12.com (9 a.m PT)
|9 a.m.||N/A||Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott|
|9:15 a.m.||Washington State||Coach Mike Leach|
|Athletes Elliott Bosch, Deone Bucannon|
|9:30 a.m.||California||Coach Sonny Dykes|
|Athletes Bryce Treggs, Nick Forbes|
|9:45 a.m.||Washington||Coach Steve Sarkisian|
|Athletes Keith Price, Sean Parker|
|10 a.m.||Oregon State||Coach Mike Riley|
|Athletes Brandin Cooks, Rashaad Reynolds|
|10:15 a.m.||Oregon||Coach Mark Helfrich|
|Athletes Marcus Mariota, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu|
|10:30 a.m.||Stanford||Coach David Shaw|
|Athletes David Yankey, Shayne Skov|
|11 a.m.||N/A||Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans|
|11:05 a.m.||Colorado||Coach Mike MacIntyre|
|Athletes Paul Richardson, Chidera Uzo-Diribe|
|11:20 a.m.||Utah||Coach Kyle Whittingham|
|Athletes Jake Murphy, Trevor Reilly|
|11:35 a.m.||Arizona||Coach Rich Rodriguez|
|Athletes Terrence Miller, Jake Fischer|
|11:50 a.m.||USC||Coach Lane Kiffin|
|Athletes Marqise Lee, Hayes Pullard|
|12:05 p.m.||Arizona State||Coach Todd Graham|
|Athletes Taylor Kelly, Will Sutton|
|12:20 p.m.||UCLA||Coach Jim Mora|
|Athletes Xavier Su'a-Filo, Anthony Barr|
While UCLA lost four games in the regular season in 2012, two of those losses came at the hands of Stanford, and one came against Oregon State. The Bruins beat Nebraska, Arizona and USC along the way.
What was surprising was that UCLA got blown out by Baylor in the Holiday Bowl, 49-26.
Big things are expected out of head coach Jim Mora in his second year with the program. Last season was generally seen as a revitalizing campaign for UCLA. Now, the Bruins return 13 starters, including quarterback Brett Hundley, lead receiver Shaquelle Evans and three of their top four defensive players in 2012.
The loss of running back Jonathan Franklin may hurt, and the secondary needs to show it's capable of limiting big plays.
But it also helps to bring in the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation, according to 247Sports.com.
Stanford figures to be one of the top teams in the nation this season.
The Cardinal allowed 17.2 points per game last season (11th in the nation) and could be even better this year, with defensive end Ben Gardner and linebackers Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov all returning for their senior seasons.
Top rusher Stepfan Taylor is gone, but the Cardinal do have the depth and coaching to make up for it. The development of quarterback Kevin Hogan will be key.
After replacing Josh Nunes against Colorado last season, Hogan went on to toss eight touchdowns to three interceptions in six games. The Cardinal won all six games, despite playing Oregon State, Oregon, UCLA (twice) and Wisconsin down the stretch.
While Oregon did lose some top talent in the offseason—including star running back Kenjon Barner, defensive end Dion Jordan and linebackers Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay—there is still plenty of talent throughout the roster.
The Ducks still have dual-threat quarterback Marcus Mariota and electric running back De'Anthony Thomas, as well as an underrated defensive coordinator in Nick Aliotti, who is more than capable of shifting players around and scheming to make up for the losses on the defensive side of the ball.
As a freshman last season, Mariota ranked 25th in the nation in yards per pass attempt (8.0) while tossing 32 touchdowns to six interceptions. He also completed 68.5 percent of his passes, tied for sixth in the nation. On top of that, he ran for 752 yards and five touchdowns.
Even bigger things are expected out of Mariota and the Ducks this season. An appearance in the BCS National Championship Game is not out of the question.
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