What Will We Learn At Pac-12 Media Day? Burning Questions That Could Be Answered

Jul 20, 2023, 12:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – A day out from Pac-12 Media Day has us wondering what will we learn as the Conference of Champions gathers in Las Vegas to discuss the 2023 football season?

A lot has happened to the Pac-12 in the last 12 months and that has naturally led fans and pundits to have some burning questions as to what the future for the conference looks like. Some of those questions will be answered in Friday’s event, some will not.

Here, we will take a look at some of the talking points that may come up at Media Day and how they may be addressed. We will also dive into some Utah football specific points as well.

Pac-12 Media Rights

This is the big one. This point is what everyone has been talking and wondering about for the better part of the past year.

Unfortunately, the several reports came out on Tuesday to not expect an announcement on what the deal will be for the Pac-12. However, those reports also indicated the conference is getting close.

A different story came out late Wednesday indicating the conference CEO Group have a scheduled meeting with Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff today to go over numbers and where things stand with the media rights deal.

With that in mind, there are still some things surrounding this point that could be addressed by Kliavkoff, and possibly even Utah’s Athletic Director Mark Harlan to kick off the event.

Things like who the conference has been in talks with, potential directions they are looking to go, and may even a more solid timeline of when the deal will be announced could potentially be addressed.

One thing is for certain, this will be discussed on Friday, but what and how much is up for debate.

USC And UCLA Say Good-Bye, Pac-12 Moves On

Last year the contention at the top of the conference toward USC and UCLA was palpable after they announced in late June they would be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 10 in 2024.

A year later, the temperament toward those two schools appears to have cooled down a bit as the remaining 10 members look toward the future. What will the future look like though?

There has been quite a bit of speculation that the Pac-12 in step with locking in a new media deal, may also be looking for new schools to add. The two schools that consistently come up are San Diego State and SMU.

Will Kliavkoff talk about, or address where the conference’s head is at about adding new institutions to fill USC and UCLA’s vacancies?

This seems like another topic that can’t not be talked about but is a little fuzzy as to how much detail will be lent to it.

The Depth Of The Pac-12 Conference For 2023

The Pac-12 appears to be as deep as it has ever been with five schools that have some legitimate arguments to be voted No. 1 in the media poll. 

This also includes an onslaught of unprecedented quarterback talent, most of which will be present at Media Day.

It will be interesting to not only see how Kliavkoff and some of the other top officials in the Pac-12 view the apparent talent of the conference’s football teams ahead of the 2023 season, but how all of those teams view each other as well.

From a more clerical standpoint, how does the conference plan to keep their top teams competitive moving into the future? How are they going to continue to attract top talent? How do they feel the new College Football Playoff system that will start next season help or hurt them?

There truly is a lot to be excited for when talking about the Pac-12 and their future- even without USC and UCLA and hopefully the conversation stays mostly in this realm, and not too long in the other two topics.

What About Utah Football?

The Utes have been the kings of the conference the past two seasons and they certainly look built to have a shot at a third season if things bounce their way. However, their schedule is as hard as it has ever been, the competition around them appears to have upped their games, and they do have some key pieces coming off of pretty significant injuries.

Where does the Pac-12 media view Utah football in the hierarchy of the conference for 2023? What about the Utes’ conference peers? How does Utah view Utah in a stacked conference?

Additionally, will we get a little more clarity on where quarterback Cam Rising is at in his ACL recovery? When did he know/feel like starting against Florida was a likely goal? Is he concerned at all about how he will fair early on in the season?

For Whittingham, what are the contingency plans if Rising isn’t quite ready? Are you going to rely on the running backs more? Turn to one of the backup quarterbacks? Are you satisfied with where the backups are at in the case one of them has to play in place of Rising?


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Looking to Cole Bishop and the defense- do you think this is the best the defense has looked since you’ve been at Utah? How do you feel about kind of being the next Ute after Jaylon Johnson, Devin Lloyd, and Clark Phillips III that’s being talked about as a high Draft pick? What have you and the defense learned over the past few seasons that will prepare you to take on all of these Pac-12 quarterbacks?

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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What Will We Learn At Pac-12 Media Day? Burning Questions That Could Be Answered