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Pac-12 Media Day Recap: The rest of the Pac edition

But did they say anything about us?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cal finished up its press session yesterday, but six more teams convened in Hollywood this morning to finish up Pac-12 Media Day. Most of what they had to say—no, they won't be announcing their QB starter yet, thanks for asking—was of little interest to Cal fans. There were a few interesting tidbits though, and I've laid them out here for your recapping enjoyment.

Transcripts for each speaker can be found here.

VP of Pac-12 Officiating David Coleman

The morning's first speaker was David Coleman, here to explain a few of this year's NCAA rule changes and to apologize for every time the refs have burned Cal in recent years. Okay, maybe I was just imagining the second part.

This year's rule changes are pretty minor: sliding quarterbacks will now be considered "defenseless players," tripping the ballcarrier is now illegal (which feels like something that should have always been illegal), and officials can now issue targeting fouls upon video review.

Coleman also explained that this year's point of emphasis for officials is offensive pass interference. In the past, crews have been known to litter the field with flags on fouls that occurred away from the intended receiver, but that will be no more. Refs have been directed to avoid making that call when the foul does not have a "material effect" on the play, based on their judgment.

Arizona State

One side effect of the two-division conference system is that teams in the opposite division can sometimes fall off your radar. For me, ASU has been one of those teams. Of course the Bears beat them last season in epic fashion, but I hadn't kept up with their program too much. As it turns out, Todd Graham has been doing some interesting things in Tempe.

Since Cal last played in the desert back in 2011, Graham has engineered something of a culture change. He was quick to mention that the Sun Devils have gone from one of the most penalized teams in the country to one of the least (only Air Force and Navy have committed fewer in three seasons). And aside from having a rough go of it last year, Graham has made ASU a perennial competitor in the difficult Pac-12 South. All the while, they've been working on a $256 million renovation to Sun Devil Stadium, which the Bears will see for the first time when they open conference play in Tempe this September.

Oregon State

I'm a sucker for fun special teams news, so I got maybe a little too excited when I found out that Oregon State had brought punter Nick Porebski as one of their player representatives. I listened to second year head coach Gary Andersen talk about the major changes he's made for year two—new OC, DC, special teams coach, and strength coach after an ugly 2-10 season—then booked it over to the players' table.

Andrew Miller

Porebski picks up the conference's star Australian punter mantle from Utah's Tom Hackett. When asked why so many Aussies are punters, he explained that instead of learning to throw the football, many players there learn to kick at a young age and use that as an entry point into the sport. When I asked him about Cal's game against Hawaii in Sydney, he said he said interest in American football has been growing over there, and that he hoped it would encourage more Australians to come over and join him in the Pac-12.


The spotlight loves Jim Mora, and Jim Mora loves the spotlight. With Media Day in UCLA's backyard, reporters swarmed the stage before Mora could even finish his statement. He was very comfortable up there, telling stories and name-dropping, by my count, seven or eight big-name coaches with whom he consults regularly.

Andrew Miller

The first questions from the throng of reporters surrounded defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and his relationship to the Sandusky investigation. Mora dismissed those gracefully, offering condolences to the victims before saying he stood by Tom and his statement.

Mora was also asked to address the important issue of Josh Rosen's dorm room hot tub, because that's the kind of thing you get asked when you're projected to be a conference title contender.


Finally, some Cal-adjacent news! The story broke this morning that Jeff Tedford will join Chris Petersen's staff as an offensive consultant this season. Here's the full quote from Petersen about what Tedford's role will be:

Yeah, he can't coach any of the players. He can be in all of our meetings. He can look at tape. We can talk to him. He can be in as many conversations in terms of all that type of stuff. What prompted it is he didn't want to coach—he wanted to get back into college football, and there wasn't an opportunity out there for him this year that he—making him a head coach or some other position like that, and he knows a lot of guys on our staff, and really that's what this thing is all about is being around people you want to be around.

So I think both sides wanted to be around each other, and he's obviously a really good coach with a lot of knowledge and has done a lot of things, and so we feel real fortunate to get a guy like that to be able to be with us.

Petersen was also quick to emphasize that Tedford isn't there to seek a long-term job. That's not something they're even thinking about at this stage, he said.

Andrew Miller

Coach Petersen also had one of my favorite quotes on preseason hype, which ties who's going to be your quarterback for dumbest recurring question topics. But Petersen took the media's interest in his team in stride. "We're amused, and that's probably the best word, that we continually get better every single week with doing nothing," he said. "We have as much hype as the new Pokemon game that no one knows anything about but thinks it's really cool, that's us."


Nothing to see here, move along.

Okay, fine. Coach Shaw was there. And Solomon Thomas. And some guy named Christian or something.

Really? You want more? Christian McCaffrey once had a potbellied pig named Terrence who died of obesity. Coach Shaw told the media they have no idea what they're doing for picking Stanford to win the conference title. He really, really likes virtual reality as a coaching tool. There is a real place on Stanford's campus called the Andrew Luck Auditorium. If you want more, here is Shaw's transcript and you should consider getting yourself checked out.


Poor Mike MacIntyre. With a team coming off a 4-9 record and a press session scheduled between the Christian McCaffrey lovefest and lunch, not too many people stuck around to hear him speak. Oh, and his Buffaloes open the season at Michigan. But he took it all in stride, explaining all the work he's put into building Colorado to be a Pac-12 caliber program. They've got new training and academic facilities, a full recruiting staff for the first time, and a set of players that he feels are really invested in the team. Coach MacIntyre put the process of becoming a Pac-12 program thusly:

Well, we were so far down when we got there, and I think the biggest challenge in the Pac-12 has been we have improved, but everybody else was so far ahead of us, and they're still driving 80 miles an hour. We've been trying to drive 120 miles an hour to catch them. I think we've gotten close, and we're at that point.

Whether that will be enough to compete in the South remains to be seen, but the Buffaloes return a lot of players (including one of a very few returning QBs) from a team that played a lot of opponents close last year.

Andrew Miller

And that was that! As a football fan, it was pretty incredible to have access to so many coaches and players (as well as Joe Starkey, whom I spotted a few times throughout the conference). I'll have a post on Monday with a deeper dive into my chat with Sonny Dykes yesterday.