Jim Mora held his last media scrum before UCLA’s 5 p.m. Saturday kickoff against USC, and talked a little more about the rivalry — including his history with the Trojans’ first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian.
» In a landmark case that could change amateurism, a judge ruled in favor of Ed O’Bannon and against the NCAA. Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann breaks down the implications of Claudia Wilken’s decision, as well as the legal road ahead.
» A feature on USC coach Steve Sarkisian, by columnist Mark Whicker: “Some coaches have five and 10-year plans. Sarkisian, 40, has lived in a quick-pivoting sports car, not always using signals, barreling down the roads less traveled, looking straight ahead.”
Connor Halliday is the best quarterback in the country, according to Connor Halliday’s coach.
After talking up the Pac-12’s depth behind center on Wednesday, Washington State’s Mike Leach said he would take his redshirt senior over just about anybody else.
“You might be rooting for your guy, and I don’t care what you think,” Leach said. “He’s better than your guy is.”
Some other Pac-12 Media Day highlights from the conference’s most quotable coach (as well as other coaches and players) …
» Asked how he would pick a bear-hunting partner between Washington coach Chris Petersen and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham: “We get a large bag and we stick in Coach Petersen, Coach Whittingham, and we shake that bag up really high and really hard.”
» On his fishing trip this summer: “My staff and I went fishing up in McCall, Idaho on the Snake River and got a huge 9.5-foot, 350-pound sturgeon, probably 95 years old. Of course, turned him loose so he could pull somebody else’s boat around for a while next time.” Continue reading
USC’s hire of Steve Sarkisian has already opened up speculation that Washington is gunning for UCLA’s Jim Mora. I broke down all the reasons he has to stay in Los Angeles in the Daily News, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll list both sides now.
The case for UW: Alma mater, better facilities (including a new, on-campus stadium).
The case for UCLA: Two-year foundation already built, natural recruiting advantages, family settling in (son at Claremont McKenna, father in Palm Springs), weather, not having to coach against Myles Jack.
As for the murmurs placing him in Seattle today, well … one Jim Mora definitely was.
The stories in today’s issue of the Los Angeles Daily News:
» My game story, on a dire running back situation paving the way for Myles Jack’s four-touchdown night, the most on the ground for UCLA since Maurice Jones-Drew.
» More on Myles Jack, from columnist Vinny Bonsignore.
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said weeknight games are part of the price of generating national exposure for the conference.
More game notes from UCLA’s 41-31 win over Washington, their eighth straight over the Huskies at the Rose Bowl.
— Your latest dose of Myles Jack hype, this time courtesy of Cassius Marsh and Devin Lucien: