2010 Pac-10 Media Day Notebook

Larry Scott

BRO takes a look around the Pac-10 at what the other nine schools had to say about the 2010 season, including conference realignment and much more...

The Pac-10 took Media Day to the Rose Bowl, a change from years past when it was held in a ballroom at the LAX Sheraton Gateway.

While the idea was a change, doing it in 80-degree weather, with the sun beating down, wasn't as much fun.

Still, it signaled a change in the air, with Larry Scott firmly putting his fingerprints on the conference that he is now commissioner of.

Coaches and select players from each of the 10 conference schools were on hand, and the media was treated to a couple of videos highlighting the Pac-10, it's history and heritage while offering a look-ahead to the future, with a video clip highlighting future members Colorado and Utah.

Here are some of the notes and soundbytes from the other nine schools in the Pac-10 Conference.

OREGON

The last time Oregon was in Pasadena, it was for the Rose Bowl, and Kelly was glad to be there, despite their last visit ending in a loss to Ohio State.

"We're excited to be back here," said Kelly. "We were here just a short time ago."

The defending Pac-10 champions were picked to repeat as conference champions, the first time they'd been selected by the media since 2001, which they also won. But head coach Chip Kelly put little stock in that.

"Last year you picked us third and Arizona 8th and we finished 1st and 2nd," said Kelly. "So I don't put a lot of stock into that. Preseason rankings don't mean anything to us.

With Jeremiah Masoli no longer a part of the program, Kelly said it was between Nate Costa and Darron Thomas for the starting quarterback job.

ARIZONA

The always energetic and fiery Mike Stoops came to the microphone with a soda in his hand, as if he needed more caffeine to get him going.

Stoops commented on how nice it was to be one of the last people to speak at Media Day (typically, the lower you finish in the conference the prior year, the earlier you speak), acknowledging their finish a year ago.

He was joined by quarterback Nick Foles on the Pac-10's East Coast media swing.

"It was fun going to the East Coast and spreading the Pac-10," said Foles.

Stoops and Foles talked about some of the personnel losses, the biggest being receiver DeLaShaun Dean, who was kicked off the team.

"Losing DeLa was tough, be we have playmakers," said Foles. Arizona was picked fifth in the preseason poll.

OREGON STATE

The Beavers have twice been a game away from playing in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl the past two years, and Mike Riley said he's hoping this could be that year. He was flanked by All-American candidate Jacquizz Rodgers, who without pads and a helmet on, looks much shorter, making his production even more impressive.

Riley, like several of the coaches, raved about the New York experience and about Pac-10 Media Day being in Pasadena.

Despite losing quarterback Sean Canfield to graduation, Riley is very high on former Santa Monica native Ryan Katz leading the Beavers' offense.

"I think that, ability wise, he's got a wonderful arm," said Riley. "I just like watching him throw. He's pretty much unflappable and he's a tough guy. I don't think he'll feel out of place at all or be intimidated by things."

Riley said the Beavers got a big boost this week when linebacker Keith Pankey was cleared to go full-bore when they begin practice, after having surgery on his Achilles' tendon.

The Beavers were picked third in the Preseason Poll.

STANFORD

Jim Harbaugh, who had two-way player Owen Marecic with him, is always entertaining to watch with a microphone, and he used Pac-10 Media Day to come up with a unique analogy.

"Those that look at Catholicism and Christianity, look at January 1st as the New Year," said Harbaugh. "Me and Owen look at opening day of camp as the New Year."

Harbaugh also used much of his time at the front to talk about the greatness of Owen Marecic. And he has some reasoning behind it.

"Owen will start at fullback and Owen will start at linebacker," said Harbaugh, about the rare, two-way starter. "He's the perfectly engineered football player. He's not quite the perfect student, though, he didn't get a 4.0 (Marecic got a 3.8)."

Harbaugh also spoke highly of his touted sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck, considered by many to be a Top 10 pick in next April's NFL Draft should he choose to come out.

The inevitable questions about Harbaugh staying at Stanford were brought up.

"Lord willing, and the creek don't rise, I'll be the coach at Stanford University," said Harbaugh.

Stanford was picked fourth in the Preseason Poll.

USC

Lane Kiffin, the new Trojans head coach, and quarterback Matt Barkley, were USC's representative in Pasadena.

From the get-go, Kiffin addressed the lawsuit from the Tennessee Titans regarding his hiring of Kennedy Pola, by saying he couldn't address a legal matter.

However, he did address Pola's impact on recruiting.

"He's extremely valuable and really started our great run over all of those years," said Kiffin.

Kiffin said with so many departures, depth will be an issue for the Trojans and he also spoke to the impact of players leaving.

"The difficult thing with these sanctions is that we created free agency in college football that there is no salary cap on," said Kiffin. "Players weren't leaving to play in bowl games. Every player leaving was told they would get more reps and would play more."

Barkley said the sanctions didn't effect the team as severely as some anticipated and it didn't faze him.

"There were not as many guys on the edge as you would think," said Barkley, who also addressed if he thought about transferring. "No, no. Not once. It never entered my mind."

The starter last year as a freshman, Barkley said he appreciated Kiffin opening up the quarterback competition this spring between him and Mitch Mustain

"I think one of the greatest things he could have ever done was open up the quarterback competition with Mitch and I," said Barkley.

Despite being ineligible for a bowl game, the Trojans were picked second in the Preseason Poll.

CALIFORNIA

Jeff Tedford brought all-Pac-10 defender Mike Mohammed with him to Pasadena, and Tedford was thrilled about the change in venue.

"It's awesome walking out of the tunnel, seeing that green grass, gets you excited for football season," said Tedford.

The biggest news this offseason in Berkeley was the decision to play this season at Memorial Stadium and then the 2011 campaign at AT&T Park in San Francisco, the home of the San Francisco Giants.

Tedford said his players loved playing at AT&T when they were in the Emerald Bowl following the 2008 season.

"This year we're at Memorial Stadium and AT&T Park a year from now," said Tedford. "A lot of people are confused about that. The stadium renovation is going great and a year from now, we'll move into that (practice) facility."

Tedford also made a new hiring of Clancy Pendergast to run the Bears' defense.

"We weren't very good on pass defense last year so Clancy has brought those ideals with him," said Tedford. "A couple of years ago, he was a minute away from winning the Super Bowl with the Cardinals."

Tedford also talked about the quarterback situation, and the much-maligned Kevin Riley.

"We get a lot of questions on our quarterback situation but Kevin Riley is who is going to be taking the first snaps," said Tedford. "We need to put Kevin in a better situation with the play calling and getting the ball out of his hands."

Tedford, who's Bears were picked seventh and were the only team in the top eight to not receive a first place vote in the Preseason Poll, still has his eyes on a return to Pasadena.

"Success this year will be going to the Rose Bowl," said Tedford.

WASHINGTON

Steve Sarkisian, entering his second year as the head coach for the Huskies, was joined by linebacker Mason Foster. Sarkisian was a fan of the purple gatorade that greeted him on stage.

"They have purple gatorade here for us, I like it," said Sarkisian.

That wasn't the only thing Sarkisian liked, also pointing out the senior leadership the Huskies, a trendy pick for a challenge to the Pac-10 crown, are blessed with, mentioning Foster and senior quarterback Jake Locker.

Sarkisian has been to the Rose Bowl numerous times, when he was at USC coaching the Trojans, and he was excited about the event being held in Pasadena. And he knows what it will take for the Huskies to be back there in January.

"If you want to win a Pac-10 championship, you've got to win on the road," said Sarkisian.

Foster highlighted the impact of defensive coordinator Nick Holt.

"He brings an intensity and enthusiasm to our defense," said Foster.

Sarkisian will also be matched up with his former USC colleague, Lane Kiffin, this season.

"It will be extremely competitive and it will be fun," said Sarkisian. "Lane and I are still good friends. Hopefully we get to do it quite some time against each other."

The Huskies were picked sixth in the Preseason Poll.

ARIZONA STATE

Dennis Erickson was joined by kicker Thomas Weber, a rare time that a kicker is brought to Media Day.

Erickson knows how to play to the audience and opened up with a funny line.

"It's good to be here," said Erickson. "It's good to be anywhere."

Erickson talked about the Sun Devils quarterback situation, where Steven Threet, a transfer from Michigan, Brock Osweiler, a sophomore from Montana and Samson Szakacsy were all mentioned.

The fourth-year Sun Devil leader also talked about his stellar sophomore linebacker Vontaze Burfict, comparing him to some of his players when he coached at Miami.

Arizona State was picked ninth in the Preseason Poll.

WASHINGTON STATE

Paul Wulff and defensive end Kevin Kooyman represented the Cougars.

Wulff said that sophomore quarterback Jeff Tuel was their guy behind center and that Marshall Lobbestael would get some reps, but Tuel is clearly the starter.

Picked last in the preseason rankings, Kooyman took it in stride.

"We pretty much ignore the preseason rankings," said Kooyman.

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