There will be no shortage of topics to discuss at Pac-12 football media day on Friday in Los Angeles.
Commissioner George Kliavkoff will speak for the first time about USC and UCLA’s impending exits to the Big Ten and the future of the Pac-12.
Oh, and there’s a football season kicking off in just over a month. UW first-year head coach Kalen DeBoer will be joined by offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland, safety Alex Cook and, more than likely, athletic director Jen Cohen to talk about the Huskies.
With reporter Mike Vorel in L.A., follow along for full coverage, including highlights and takeaways, of Pac-12 football media day on Friday.
Here’s what George Kliavkoff said about expansion, the Big-12 and a possible media rights deal
LOS ANGELES — It took commissioner George Kliavkoff exactly six minutes and 45 seconds to acknowledge the woolly mammoth in the room Friday during his state-of-the-conference address at the Pac-12’s annual preseason media event.
When the time came, Kliavkoff did so with gloves off and zero punches pulled.
He said the conference was “very disappointed” that USC and UCLA are leaving for the Big Ten but outlined the Pac-12’s strategy moving forward and turned feisty during the question-and-answer session.
Kliavkoff didn’t name names but indicated the Pac-12 is actively exploring expansion.
He suggested the conference could play “a lot” of football games in Los Angeles in the future, even without the Bruins and Trojans.
He noted the conference’s next media rights deal is “highly likely” to involve a major digital media company.
“We are in the enviable position of being next to market after the Big Ten,” he said.
One big takeaway from George Kliavkoff's opening comments at Pac-12 media day
George Kliavkoff spoke for just under 37 minutes on the main stage at Los Angeles’ Novo Theater to kick off Friday’s Pac-12 Media Day, the first public statement he’s made since USC and UCLA agreed to bolt for the Big Ten roughly a month ago.
And, amidst the unsurprising discussion of ongoing media rights negotiations and national NIL legislation, the Pac-12 commissioner threw a counter-punch to his prospective poacher – Brett Yormark and the suddenly buoyed Big 12.
When asked about Yormark, the Big 12’s new commissioner, saying recently that his conference is “open for business,” Kliavkoff replied: "I appreciate that. We haven't decided if we're going shopping there or not."
Of course, in the wake of continued Big Ten expansion and the apparent inevitability of super conferences in the not-so-distant future, the Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 are suddenly fighting for survival – and attempting to position themselves for a (hopefully) expanded College Football Playoff in 2026. A year after the Big 12 nearly disintegrated, that conference has suddenly stabilized – thanks to the impending additions of Cincinnati, BYU, Houston and Central Florida as well as the acknowledgment that the Big Ten and SEC has little interest in poaching its remaining programs.
In the last month, rumors have circulated that the Big 12 could target Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah – as well as potentially Washington and Oregon – in continued expansion, while Kliavkoff has simmered behind the scenes.
“That remark (about potentially shopping for Big 12 programs) was a reflection of the fact that I’ve spent four weeks trying to defend against grenades that have been lobbed from every corner of the Big 12 trying to destabilize our remaining conference,” Kliavkoff said Friday. “I understand why they’re doing it. When you look at the relative media value of the two conferences, I get it. I get why they’re scared. I get why they’re trying to destabilize us. But I was just tired of that. It’s probably not the most collegial thing I’ve ever said.”
At this point, collegiality between the Pac-12 and Big 12 is an unrealistic expectation. But in a duel to the death, it’s unclear which conference will be standing a year from now … as well as where Washington will ultimately land.
Stay tuned for more coverage from Pac-12 Media Day throughout the day.
Pac-12 media day preview: George Kliavkoff to make first public comments since Big Ten raid
The Pac-12 will conduct a football media showcase unlike any in conference history Friday at the Novo Theatre in Los Angeles.
The participant list includes commissioner George Kliavkoff, chief of football operations Merton Hanks, head coaches and players from every school, and an existential crisis.
With USC and UCLA bound for the Big Ten in two years and the conference fighting for survival, the fast-approaching 2022 season, which carries significant intrigue unto itself, will have to share the stage.
Here are the top storylines to watch.
One key question for George Kliavkoff and each of UW’s representatives at Pac-12 media day
They call it “Talking Season” for a reason.
Before fall camps kick off across the country, conference media days dominate the air waves — commissioners and coaches taking turns feverishly slinging cliches and painting pretty pictures of prosperous futures. The SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten have already spoken.
Now, it’s time for the Pac-12 to make its case.
Oh, and if you were wondering: The Seattle Times will be there, too. So, in the spirit of “Talking Season,” here’s one key question for Kliavkoff and the Husky contingent to answer on Friday in LA.
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