July 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Players and coaches pose for a photo before the start of PAC-12 Media Day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Mike Leach provided the shortest, and most entertaining, opening statement at Pac-12 Media Day, starting off the Washington State session by forgoing the microphone and just yelling to the crowd. He had to try the opening statement twice, first just yelling out that he's not a big statement guy, then saying it into the microphone. With that, he'd already won over the crowd.
The fun kept on rolling as a reporter called Leach, "Coach Price," which is a fun slip of the tongue. Travis Long responded by raising his eyebrow and giving the media member a weird look while Jeff Tuel gave an answer then handed it over to "Coach Price." Leach followed the lead of his quarterback, saying, "On behalf of Coach Price..." in a moment that drew plenty of laughs.
For the most part, we've seen and heard what Leach had to say before. He's focused on preparation and controlling the things he can as the season nears, and the team expects big things. In other words, pretty standard media day stuff.
Of course, there were some offbeat questions and the answers to match. When queried about which Pac-12 coach he'd like to take hunting with him, Leach quizzically pondered what was in front of him for a moment. He thought of having a small playoff and praised Rich Rodriguez's West Virginia background, saying it might've rubbed off on him, before settling on Kyle Whittingham. The Utah background and familiarity with the mountains won Leach over.
And then there was the war general question. When asked to compare Jeff Tuel and Travis Long to generals, Leach was right in his element -- though he's more of a Civil War guy.
Leach settled on Stonewall Jackson for Tuel because the senior quarterback can attack from all angles, move the cavalry around and lead the troops. Travis Long, on the other hand, was Ulysses S. Grant, because he could settle in and bombard Vicksburg for a month, provided he kept his pads low. You see, it all ties in to football.
The subject then turned to conference pride, though it doesn't seem Leach is a big fan of the "S-E-C" chant or what any other conferences think about the Pac-12. He added he never thought the Pac-12 had anything to prove and that whoever you're at, that's the best conference.
"I don't care what the other conferences think," Leach said. "There's not really any level that I care what the other conferences think."
When it came to Paul Wulff, Jeff Tuel was able to answer questions in a graceful matter. Tuel praised Wulff's recruiting while shifting the focus to Leach and the excitement he's brought. He added that Leach would probably tip his cap to the job Wulff did, essentially setting the table for the new head coach.
We'll be back with the archived video when it's up.