After an eventful opening round of Pac-12 media days, the action will continue on Day 2 in Los Angeles.
Wednesday's interviews included commissioner Larry Scott as well as coaches and players from Arizona, California, USC, Oregon, Washington State and Utah. Scott started the day off by explaining why everyone should be excited for the upcoming year of football:
Larry Scott: “Put simply, our conference has never been stronger or deeper.” It’s 2-year run of unprecedented depth from a preseason view.— Ted Miller (@TedMillerRK) July 23, 2014
The rest of the head coaches each made their case for being title contenders, although there is a long time before that is decided.
Meanwhile, the other half of the conference will get its chance in the spotlight on Thursday as Colorado, Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Stanford take part in the media sessions.
Here is a breakdown of the schedule with what fans should be most looking forward to on Day 2.
When: Thursday, July 24
Where: Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, California
TV: Pac-12 Network
Live Stream: Pac-12 Networks Live
Mobile: Pac-12 Now
|Time (ET)||Team||Head Coach||Players|
|12:38 p.m.||Colorado||Mike MacIntyre||Nelson Spruce, Juda Parker|
|1:16 p.m.||Arizona State||Todd Graham||Taylor Kelly, Jamil Douglas|
|1:54 p.m.||Oregon State||Mike Riley||Sean Mannion, Michael Doctor|
|2:32 p.m.||UCLA||Jim Mora||Brett Hundley, Eric Kendricks|
|3:11 p.m.||Washington||Chris Petersen||Ben Riva, Hau'oli Kikaha|
|4:04 p.m.||Stanford||David Shaw||Kevin Hogan, Jordan Richards|
Top Participants to Watch
Chris Petersen, Head Coach, Washington
Over the last few years, it seemed like Chris Petersen could have taken any major job in the country. However, he remained loyal to Boise State after building the program into a national power.
This is why it was so interesting that the coach decided to leave this offseason to go to Washington. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports explained part of the reason he chose the Huskies compared to some bigger schools:
Found Chris Petersen to be a fascinating guy. Can be very engaging and thoughtful and self-effacing. Just not a guy who likes attn/spotlight— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 6, 2013
While the Washington job might not come with the pressure of Texas or Alabama, he will certainly receive more attention in the Pac-12 than he did at Boise State. This will begin at the media day, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the spotlight.
The good news is that few are questioning his ability to coach. Bryan Fischer of NFL.com lists him as the second best in the nation behind only Nick Saban. Even former coach Steve Sarkisian thought this was a great hire for the school:
Sarkisian said he's happy for UW and thinks they made good hire in Chris Petersen. Said he'll root for them.— Christian Caple (@ChristianCaple) July 23, 2014
Petersen might need a few years to truly get the most out of his team, but he appears to be the right man for the job.
Kevin Hogan, Quarterback, Stanford
Although Kevin Hogan's name does not always come up when thinking about the best quarterbacks in the country, he has been one of the most successful.
ESPN Stats and Info breaks down how he has been able to beat good teams throughout his career:
84 days to start of CFB season- Kevin Hogan won 84% of his games as Stanford's starting QB, including a 10-1 mark vs AP-Top 25 teams— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 6, 2014
He has shown his ability to be a leader, even when he is not asked to produce on the field. In the upset win over Oregon last season, he only threw 13 passes but still came through when needed.
Things will not be as easy this time around. With Tyler Gaffney gone, Stanford will be forced to throw the ball more, and that means Hogan will have to be more productive through the air.
The good news is ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. considers the quarterback to be one of the most talented in the country at the position:
Mel Kiper’s Top 5 Underclassmen QBs: 1. Jameis Winston 2. Marcus Mariota 3. Brett Hundley 4. Connor Cook 5a. Kevin Hogan 5b. Jacob Coker— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) June 11, 2014
If Hogan can use his natural dual-threat ability, he can become a true star for the Cardinal.
Brett Hundley, Quarterback, UCLA
As one of the most talented quarterbacks in the nation, Brett Hundley is on many lists as a potential Heisman favorite, as pointed out by Max Meyer of USA Today:
The 2 Pac-12 players w/ highest Heisman odds should be obvious (Mariota 11/2 & Hundley 16/1). Third highest? #UCLA's Myles Jack (!) at 33/1.— Max Meyer (@TheMaxMeyer) July 22, 2014
The UCLA passer had fewer yards and touchdowns in 2013 than the year before, but he greatly improved his efficiency. Hundley doubled his rushing yards on the same number of attempts and ranked fourth in the nation in adjusted QBR.
He had a chance to go to the NFL after last year but decided to wait on the draft and return to school. This was apparently the right decision for Hundley, as he explained to ESPN's Ivan Maisel:
I'm so happy I made the decision to come back. I really am. Just to get another year to grow with this team, and to grow as a quarterback, it's a special thing. And college is a special thing. It's not something you should rush past.
However, he now has to make sure he takes the necessary steps to improve. His squad is already expected to win the Pac-12 South, according to the recent media poll. Hundley can help the team get to this level if he avoids mistakes and continues to play at his ability.
Of course, he can also take a step toward Heisman contention by promoting himself at media day.
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