We checked in with Greg Biggins, Scout's National Recruiting Director, to get a sense for offseason Pac-12 developments. The top takeaways: USC is cleaning up, and Oregon has increased its energy level thanks to the new coaching staff. Biggins also offered great perspective on the differences in personality between USC's Sam Darnold and UCLA's Josh Rosen.
The NFL Draft is a few weeks away, and the Pac-12 is loaded with potential first-round picks. Rob Rang, draft analyst for CBSSports.com, examined the top prospects, made note of possible sleepers, and shared his thoughts on injured Washington CB Sidney Jones. We also cast an eye to the Pac-12's stellar quarterback class of 2018.
Roxy Bernstein, play-by-play announcer for ESPN and the Pac-12 Networks, is also a Cal graduate who's passionate about Golden Bear sports. We discussed the state of the athletic program, with particular attention paid to athletic director Mike Williams, the debt and facility issues, football coach Justin Wilcox and basketball coach Wyking Jones.
Matt Muehlebach, the former Arizona guard and current Pac-12 Networks analyst, examines the Pac-12's prospects in the NCAA tournament. We discussed Arizona's path to the Final Four, Oregon's challenge in the wake of Chris Boucher's injury, and UCLA's looming duels with Kentucky and/or North Carolina. Muehlebach thinks the conference will send two teams to the national semifinals.
The latest Hotline podcast features Jerry Palm, who tracks the NCAA tournament selection process closely. We discussed the Pac-12's prospects for a No. 1 seed and for getting five teams into the field. Palm believes Oregon has the best chance for a No. 1 seed, UCLA the worst.
Matthew Kish covers the footwear and apparel giants for the Portland Business Journal. In a wide-ranging discussion, we examine UCLA's mega-deal; what's next for USC, Oregon and Washington; Under Armour's growing foothold; how changes in the marketplace could impact Pac-12 schools in the future; the growing divide in apparel contracts between the haves (big-market public schools) and everyone else; and much more.
Pac-12 Networks and FS1 analyst Casey Jacobsen discusses a range of Pac-12 issues as the stretch run begins, from Arizona's assimilation of Allonzo Trier to UCLA's defensive woes to Oregon's one apparent weakness. We also examine what has gone wrong with Colorado, the impact of the new shot clock, the league's soft second tier, Washington's struggles, Gonzaga's legitimacy and Jacobsen's favorites for the Final Four.
Nobody is more plugged into Pac-12 football programs, or better connected to the coaches, than Fox Sports national columnist Bruce Feldman. We examined the staff changes at Oregon and Cal (Chip Kelly was never headed to Berkeley), the state of quarterback play in the conference (loaded in '17), the downturns in Arizona, the uptick at Washington, Clay Helton's performance at USC and much more over the course of 40 minutes.
Mark Hollis is the man in charge of the committee in charge of which teams make the 2017 NCAA tournament. In a wide-ranging, 20-minute discussion, he touched on several hot-button topics, including the use of metrics by the committee, the changes to the selection process and the potential impact of the Pac-12's non-conference results.
Brandon Huffman, the National Recruiting Director for Scout, takes a deep dive into Pac-12 recruiting with three weeks remaining until National Signing Day. We address the issues and key recruits for all 12 schools in the stretch run and cover several general trends involving west coast prospects.
Former UCLA star Don MacLean is known for his unfiltered commentary as an analyst for the Pac-12 Networks. MacLean joined the Hotline podcast for a look at the landscape as conference play begins, UCLA's ascent, potential challengers to the Bruins, the impact of Lonzo Ball, the NBA-ready game of Markelle Fultz and more.
Adam Jude, who covers the Washington Huskies for the Seattle Times, joined the podcast to discuss UW's playoff date with Alabama, Chris Petersen's methods and success (including comparisons to Chip Kelly), and the looming NFL Draft decisions for several Husky standouts.
Cory McCartney's interest in the Heisman Trophy runs so deep, he wrote a book on the award: "The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners." We discuss his reaction to the 2016 finalists, the Heisman voting process and the inherent bias against players from the Pac-12.
Kevin Richardson has been the radio analyst for San Jose State football for nine seasons, through ups, downs, nosedives and three head coaches. We take a deep, deep dive into the state of the program, the search for a new head coach, what's required for immediate success and the long-term prospects for the Spartans in the Mountain West.
Nobody has a deeper grasp of the Cal football program's ebbs and flows over the years than Mike Pawlawski. The Bears' former all-conference quarterback takes a deep dive into the state of the program, the need to get better on defense and -- crucially -- whether the Bear Raid style of offense can succeed in the Pac-12.
The axe is headed back to Palo Alto.
Bay Area News Group's Jon Wilner and Courtney Cronin recap Stanford's 45-31 win over Cal and seventh straight victory in the annual Big Game rivalry from Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.
Former Stanford quarterback Todd Husak, who has served as the team's radio analyst for almost a decade, discusses the Cardinal's recent improvement, the evolution of quarterback Keller Chryst and the 119th Big Game.
Oregonian columnist John Canzano, host of The Bald Faced Truth radio show, has been following Oregon football closely for years. He discusses the Ducks' stunning fall, the future of coach Mark Helfrich, the Phil Knight factor, and the possibility that Chip Kelly would return to Oregon.
Stewart Mandel, the foremost authority on the college football postseason, discusses the Pac-12's prospects for sending a team to the playoff: Will Washington get in with one loss, could Utah or Colorado make it with two? He also examines the Rose Bowl's options and the likelihood that the College Football Playoff will expand to eight teams.
Rick Neuheisel, the former Pac-12 coach and Pac-12 Networks analyst, discusses the state of the conference, with particular attention paid to the ascents of Colorado and Washington -- he coached both programs -- along with Oregon's need to reinvent itself and UCLA's search for an identity. Currently based in New York, Neuheisel also shares the east coast perception of the Pac-12 and his picks for the division winners.
Greg Biggins, national recruiting analyst for FOX Sports and Scout.com, looks at the top 2017 prospects on the west coast, the Pac-12's most underrated recruiters, Alabama commit Najee Harris, the impact of social media, Jim Harbaugh's wackiness, the merits (or lack thereof) of an early signing date and more.
Yogi Roth, color analyst for the Pac-12 Networks, examines the conference at midseason, including quarterback play, the success of Colorado and Washington, Oregon's woes, USC's emergence, the paucity of NFL Draft talent, the South race and much more.
Ralph Russo, the lead national college football writer for the Associated Press, discusses the national perception of the Pac-12, the impact of night games, Heisman Trophy and AP top-25 voting, the east coast bias and more.
In episode 2 of College Hotline, Chris Dufresne of TMGcollegesports.com (and formerly of the L.A. Times) talks Big 12 expansion, the SEC as a destination for homeless quarterbacks and the long, deepening downturn at USC.