There's nothing like a three-hour long forum to get you syked for a new season of Pac-12 Football. We have Cody Ulm and Ben Haber on the scene for live updates of all the Q&A action:
Washington State Cougars
9:35am PT: Head coach Mike Leach just said: "The Clowney hit is why they invented football." Preach.
9:40 PT: Leach just said that QB Connor Halliday would be under center for the Cougars if the season started today. Coach said Halliday emerged in spring ball this season and he brings some solid leadership to the Cougs. The redshirt junior threw for 1878 yards, 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a 52.2 completion percentage last season. He's better than his numbers show but Halliday being the starter is music to Sun Devils ears. Halliday went 13-for-33 for 173 yards, one TD and one INT against ASU in November last season.
9:42 PT: And Leach and company finish their forum with a grand total of four questions asked. Perhaps he shouldn't have gotten so cute with that "Any questions?" opening statement.
Cal Golden Bears
#Cal's new head coach, Sonny Dykes, believes "traditional smash mouth football" may be more dangerous than utilizing spread offenses.— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
Sonny Dykes believes the team posses three quality quarterback options, and their level of play will dictate how far #Cal goes.— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
9:50 PT: "From the outside, Cal football doesn't look too good." I hate to break it to you Sonny but I think Cal looks that way from literally every angle imaginable.
9:53 PT: Can't exactly hate on Dykes for putting so much emphasis on the Stanford game. But I don't have to watch the game either.
9:59 PT: Senior QB Keith Price just dropped an "I will be better than 2011." Oh snap! The Media day bombs are dropping. As crazy as it might sound, Saturday, Oct. 19 will actually be the first time the Sun Devils will meet Price on the field, assuming he's healthy.
Sarkisian said Washington will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after a disappointing 7-6 season.— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
10:03 PT: Sarkisian was quick to defend Austin Serefian-Jenkins' character. Said they're handling the matter internally.
Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, "It's an honor to follow Chip Kelly." Helfrich doesn't see any major changes. Expect some minor tweaks.— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
10:11 PT: Helfrich wants to keep De'Anthony Thomas versatile. Don't fix it if ain't broken. Still, Helfrich admits that that leaves Oregon looking for that feature back they've been fortunate to have on a year-to-year basis.
10:15 PT: Corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu didn't seem to amused with the "what's the worst way you've heard your name pronounced" question. I wonder if he uses an alias when ordering at Starbucks...
Oregon State Beavers
10:22 PT: Head coach Mike Riley is reinforcing the theme of the day: the Pac-12 is paving the way for player safety. On a side note, does anyone else miss the XFL besides me?
10:25 PT: The Beavers gave the Cougars a run for their money for least questions asked. Shame too. A real Pac-12 North darkhorse in my opinion.
#OregonState Mike Riley biggest concern: "We've got to find those replacements, and look at the interior of our defense."— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
10:26 PT: David Shaw just pulled a "Leach" on the opening remarks option. Is that a thing yet?
10:27 PT: Shaw just said that college football "needs" the targeting rule. Cool, good to know he definitely won't be freaking out when it arbitrarily doesn't go his way down the road.
10:30 PT: Shaw got the Gatorade bath question from a fan. I kind of wished a cooler of lemon-lime dropped on him from the rafters Double Dare-style after the completion of his answer. Now that's my type of Media Day.
10:32 PT: Shaw anticipates using as many as five ball carriers per game if needed to replace Stepfan Taylor. Don't think they should have too much trouble accomplishing that feat. Anytime you got the offspring of Barry Sanders on your squad, you're probably set.
10:34 PT: Shaw called Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly "an exciting young kid." And don't you forget it!
Now on to the South...
...But not before a Pac-12 Networks plug
11:02 PT: Pac-12 Networks president Lydia Murphy-Stephans just said she's going to share some appetizers with us. Ooo, I hope she means mozzarella sticks.
11:04 PT: So I guess this is the part of the day where they remind us Direct TV owners what we're missing out on. Radical.
Okay, on to the South...for realsies this time...
11:10 PT: Nice to see WR Paul Richardson on the stage for the Buffs. Missed all of 2012 with a knee injury. New head coach Mike MacIntyre was quick to praise his star's work ethic and drive though.
11:12 PT: MacIntyre just said it wasn't too long ago that Colorado was a top-15 program. I don't know about you guys, but two decades ago is a long time for me.
11:16 PT: MacIntyre learned "a lot from Bill Parcells." MacIntyre and his robust turnaround resume should be dropping mics, not names. That would make quite the impression.
11:19 PT: Wittingham legitimately just said "we brought on Dennis Erickson to jump start of offense." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Whittingham and the players were very disappointed about missing a bowl game for first time in "10-12 years." #Utah— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
11:23 PT: Wittingham believes that 3/4ths of the players from their recent recruiting conferences have came to the program because of Utah's Pac-12 affiliation. And still we get no respect...
Whittingham most worried about cornerbacks, all three key starters departed. In addition, the special teams needs to be addressed. #Utes— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
11:27 PT: To began, Rich-Rod addressed the audience by shouting instead of using the mic. HARD EDGE.
11:30 PT: A "feisty ASU fan" named Chad Smith asked the three Wildcat representatives "how much does last year's Territorial Cup weight down on you guys?" Rich-Rod took turns passing the mic around so everyone could say emphatically say "none" but that doesn't make that question any less baller. You go Chad Smith.
11:33 PT: Someone finally forced Rich-Rod to address the whole "Hard Edge" campaign. NOW IT'S TIME TO PAY FOR YOUR SINS.
Rich-Rod just said that there will "probably" be a "Hard Edge 3." Is it too early to start camping out in my cowboy gear for the premier?— Cody Ulm (@CodyUlm) July 26, 2013
11:34 PT: Rich-Rod emphasized how difficult it will be to replace QB Matt Scott but believes in the quarterbacks on the roster. Yes Richard, it will be difficult to find someone who can turn the ball over that many times in a rivalry game. PEOPLE DON'T FORGET.
WR Terrence Miller feels the responsibility to step up after the injury of Austin Hill. #Arizona— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
Lane Kiffin thinks the top-notch recruiting class will need to contribute immediately. #USC— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
11:41 PT: WR Nelson Algholor was a player that both Marqise Lee and Kiffin focused in on when discussing both breakout candidates and potential Robert Woods replacements.
Marqise Lee thinks the quarterbacks have all played well in summer workouts, and remains anxious on who will win the job. #USC— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
11:46 PT: Kiffin just shared that he will be calling plays for the Trojans once again this season. Just for fun, he should give Daniel Tosh a headset and see if anyone can tell the difference.
11:49 PT: Kiffin in damage control mode: "I don't think the hype had anything to do with our performance last year."
11:52 PT: Kiffin says all three quarterbacks are going to have a legitimate shot in the quarterback competition. Lee must be getting that same vibe too. Said he's been getting major reps with all three in preparation
11:56 PT: "As we're seeing now in college football, commitments don't mean a lot" - Kiffin. The Trojans coach also admitted USC's poor finish and his questionable job security affected their once top-ranked recruiting class.
...and now the moment you've all been waiting for...
Arizona State Sun Devils
"A lot of excitement around our program right now, this is the best football team I've coached." Todd Graham said. #ASU— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
12:04pm PT: Todd Graham just got an uncomfortable laugh from the crowd after admitting that Taylor Kelly's drag racing hobby "bothers [him] a lot."
12:05 PT: Sutton being candid with the crowd sharing that "the deciding factor" in his decision to return to ASU was his grade from the NFL Draft committee. Don't worry fans, he also backed it up by adding he wants to be part of something that's never happened before at ASU.
Coach Graham believes the WR production will be better, and expects an immediate impact from Jaelen Strong. #ASU— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
12:10 PT: Sutton says it feels good to not have to worry whether or not any of his teammates will take care of business: "The relationships on our team are stronger than they've ever been and we believe in each other."
12:13 PT: Graham just said that Sutton is the most intelligent defensive tackle he's ever worked with and easily one of the most intelligent defenders he's ever had the pleasure to help mold. Apparently he's the most passionate defender he's ever coached too. Graham added that Sutton has a tendency to almost run him over on the tunnel before kickoff. Scary proposition.
12:14 PT: Oh yeah, I should also mention that Graham said Sutton is bigger, stronger and faster. Already shared he's up to 305 earlier this week. Is the rest of the Pac-12 scared yet?
Regarding the previous ASU-Notre Dame dilemma: Coach Graham doesn't worry about it, and any speculation.— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
12:16 PT: For the 10,117th time since the season ended, Graham reminded fans that the Sun Devils were just one field goal away from playing in the Pac-12 Championship game. In the same breathe, he also acknowledged how far away they were from dominating at any point. For whatever reason, I found this statement to be the most refreshing quote from the forum. Shows how much room the Devils have to grow.
12:21 PT: Head coach Jim Mora Jr. said two challenges for UCLA to overcome will be their secondary play and their schedule. Calm down, I don't see y'all playing Notre Dame.
"Let's take risks and let's attack." Jim Mora Jr. on game day decision making and willingness to play freshman.— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
After losing record setting RB Johnathan Franklin, #UCLA will possibly utilize 3-4 players to make up for the production.— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013
12:27 PT: Mora is begging for some question love for OL Xavier Su'a Filo. Time to see if he's ever woken up in a cold sweat from a Will Sutton sack attack dream.
12:30 PT: Mora showering praise on Brett Hundley but did share that he feels he still has some room to grow in the decision-making department. More specifically, he's talking about the hits Hundley allows himself to take.
#UCLA OL Xavier Su'A-Filo dodged the question about taking over as the best football team in Los Angeles.— House of Sparky (@HouseOfSparky) July 26, 2013