Less talking, more performing.
That's the Pac-12's strategy this season, judging by a Football Media Day that will take only one day, in contrast to the Southeastern Conference's four-day event and the Pac-12's two-day sessions in recent years.
The Pac-12 will stage its annual event Wednesday in Hollywood, Calif. The primary subjects are likely to include the College Football Playoff, three new coaches in the South division, the revenue gap between the Pac-12 and other Power Five conferences, Bryce Love's Heisman Trophy candidacy and the five quarterbacks representing their schools at the meetings.
Utah is sending center Lo Falemaka and linebacker Chase Hansen. The Utes are likely to be picked second or third in the South, behind USC and possibly Arizona. Utah was the No. 2 choice in the division last summer, before finishing fifth with a 3-6 conference record that included narrow losses to USC, Washington and Stanford.
Arizona's Kevin Sumlin joins Arizona State's Herm Edwards and UCLA's Chip Kelly as new coaches in the South, with Kelly returning to the Pac-12 after his successful run at Oregon led to two NFL opportunities.
Khalil Tate of Arizona and Manny Wilkins of ASU will attend the event, along with fellow quarterbacks Justin Herbert of Oregon, Jake Browning of Washington and Steven Montez of Colorado. USC linebacker Porter Gustin, from Salem Hills High School, is one of two defensive players representing the Trojans.
PAC-12 MEDIA DAY
When • Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. MDT, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. MDT (Utah coaches and players scheduled to appear from 4-4:30 p.m. MDT).
TV • Pac-12 Network
The Utes got a glimpse of Tate in 2016, when he passed for 105 yards and ran for 33 yards in Arizona’s loss at Rice-Eccles Stadium. But when they faced the Wildcats in September 2017, Tate had not yet become Arizona’s starter. The Wildcats will meet BYU, Southern Utah and the Utes in the first seven weeks of the season.
Love, Stanford's senior running back, finished second in the Heisman voting last year, when the Cardinal upset Washington. That loss may have kept the Huskies out of the College Football Playoff, and the Pac-12 lacked a semifinal contestant for the second time in three years. Washington, which visits Utah on Sept. 15, should be picked as the Pac-12 champion and the conference's best hope for a CFP bid in 2018.
The Pac-12's national profile needs the boost that a title contender would produce, after going 1-8 last season in bowl games – a deceiving record in some ways, but not a good look. The conference also has been derided for failing to generate the same amount of revenue as its contemporaries, notably the SEC and the Big Ten.
That gap has raised questions about the work of Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, although his contract runs through June 2022.