COACH SPEAK – MAY 18
By Leo Haggerty

PAC12 FOOTBALL COACHES TELECONFERENCE – DAY 4

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

This is the last installment of the PAC 12 Football Coaches Teleconference.  Over the first three-day period, I had a chance to directly ask a question of six of the head honchos and, with the other trio, my query was asked by another member of the media.  It was almost word-for-word of my question the previous day so I did not need to pose a hypothetical but I did transpose the answer.

The final segment was different in only one aspect.  That was that I was able to ask the first question of the Day 4 teleconference.  PAC 12 Vice President of Communications Dave Hirsch must like me for whatever reason.

Trust me when I tell you this.  I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize my relationship with the PAC 12 league office or coaches.  Not going to happen and here’s why.

This contact is hugely beneficial to my readers in that you get a “West Coast” perspective as to what is transpiring in college football.  So, here is the final question I posed to Justin Wilcox from the University of California and Kevin Sumlin from the University of Arizona along with Mario Cristobal from the University of Oregon.

IF YOU HAVE A SAY IN THIS, AND IT’S ASSUMING YOU CANNOT START UNTIL EARLY OCTOBER, WOULD YOU RATHER PLAY AN EIGHT-GAME SCHEDULE AND FINSISH AT THE NORMAL TIME AT THE END OF NOVEMEBR OF THE BEGINNING OF SEPTEMBER OR PLAY A FULL SCHEDULE OF GAMES THAT GOES INTO THE SECOND SEMESTER AND FINISHES SOMETIME IN JANUARY?

As you can see, this wasn’t a “softball” question but one that each coach had to elaborate upon individually.  To their credit, they all did just that as you can read below.  Enjoy.

JW : I guess I would say that is a difficult question to answer right now without more information.  How does that effect the other conferences and the CFP (College Football Playoff)?  Are we working in unison or is it putting us out on our own so to speak?  I wouldn’t be able to answer that without more information.  We’ve talked about these different scenarios.  We’ve been in meetings where we modeled, jeez, I don’t even know if we can count them all.  We’ve done hours and hours and hours of modeling different seasons as to what they would look like based on what the start time would be.  But, again, to answer that I would need to have some more information.

MC : Along the line of what Coach Wilcox has just said, if everyone was held to the same standard, and had the same regimented structure, I would be in favor of playing twelve football games.

KS : I think we all want to play as much as we can play, right? But, just like everything else, it was brought up that states are opening at different times.  There’s a lot of different things that can happen between now and the fall.  It’s really kind of hard right now to decide what I would prefer based on where things are at this point.  So, how would that align with the other conferences for the CFP? We would have to know what everyone else is doing.  Is everyone on the same page?  What does the non-conference schedule look like for everyone?  So, what is that?  That is a very difficult question to answer based on the information that we have.  We have a number of models but I don’t think there’s a guy, player or coach, that doesn’t want to play football and play as much football as he can but in a safe manner.

So, there you have it.  The twelve head football coaches of the Pacific Athletic Conference have spoken.

Again, my thanks to Dave Hirsch for arranging the teleconference.  Also, kudos to PAC-12 Networks college football analyst Yogi Roth who moderated the first part of each teleconference.  Well played, men, well played.