The Pac-12 Media Day is happening today. Yesterday Coach Jim Mora and other Pac-12 coaches went on their media blitz in Northeast which included trips to ESPN studios. Here is Mora and Hello Kiffin talking up the LA rivalry on tWWL (nothing earth shattering in there as Mora and Kiffin are cordial to each other).
Today the Pac-12 Media Day will take place on Friday at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. The event will be streamed beginning at 9:00 a.m. (PST) on the Pac-12. Coach Jim Mora, XSF and Anthony Barr will come on sometime around 12:20 pm PST. Here is the UCLA storyline per the conference site:
Key departure: Running back Johnathan Franklin
Big question for Jim Mora: "What will you do for an encore?"
Answers needed: The Holiday Bowl wasn't pretty for the defense because they couldn't stop the running game. While that figures to be corrected by Mora, the secondary has to replace all four starters. That's cause for alarm in this league.
Under the radar: While replacing Franklin garners a lot of focus by most, don't underestimate how tough it will be to replace Joseph Fauria.
Top storyline: UCLA enters 2013 as one of, if not THE favorite in the South, but there's still some work to be done in Westwood if the Bruins are to get over the hump and capture the conference championship after making it to the title game two straight years.
All of that sounds about right. Also, worth noting tWWL has a "breakdown" of Pac-12 "watchlist" of teams and players who are on various watch list for major awards. Anthony Barr himself is on about 7 different lists.
The media tour of the coaches is generating some buzz in the East Coast. The New York Post has a special quote from Mora on the special game against Southern Cal:
Los Angeles is a town where a lot of talking is done yet often nothing is said. So it was surprising to hear UCLA football coach Jim Mora deliver as dead-on an assessment of the importance of the annual crosstown game with USC as any coach has ever said about a rivalry.
"It's a big-ass game,'' Mora said.
Cue Sir Mix-A-Lot - the Bruins and Trojans got back.
Stay tuned for open thread for Mora's appearance in the Media Day later today.