USC Football: 3 Things to Watch For at Pac-12 Media Days


We’re hours away from the start of the Pac-12 Media Days in Burbank at Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, with representatives from not only USC football, but all 12 Pac-12 teams will converge to talk about the upcoming season.

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What’s there to said? Expect lots of positive vibes and plenty of excited coaches, along with a few witty Mike Leachisms.

If you’re a USC fan however, here’s three things to keep an eye on, though the Trojans won’t hit the podium until Friday:

Larry Scott to Address Progress with DirecTV at Pac-12 Media Days

Now that the AT&T DirecTV merger has been approved by the FCC, the Pac-12 is as close as it has ever been to securing a deal to put the Pac-12 Networks on DirecTV.

AT&T is a corporate sponsor of the Pac-12 at large, so their acquisition of the satellite giant means the conference has extra firepower now aimed at getting DirecTV to compromise over subscriber fees.

Larry Scott at Pac-12 Media Days | Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 media days would be the perfect time to announce a done deal, though there is no telling just how quickly the networks will make their way into DirecTV subscribers homes.

At the very least, Larry Scott will almost certainly be prompted to give an update on negotiations since he went on the record last year that an AT&T buyout would “kick off a fresh set of discussions.”

That’s key for USC, as the Trojans open the season with a pair of games on the Pac-12 Network, against Sun Belt teams Arkansas State and Idaho.

USC Football will rank high in Pac-12 Media Poll

Death, taxes and the Trojans being hyped in the preseason. It’s practically been a yearly occurrence since the conference was established exactly 100 years ago.

With USC returning star quarterback Cody Kessler, along with a bevy of young talent like wide receiver JuJu Smith and jack of all trades Adoree’ Jackson, the Trojans are probably the odds on favorite to be picked by the media to win the Pac-12 South, if not the predicted conference winner.

Numerous media outlets have the Trojans as a playoff team this season, and with ASU and UCLA breaking in new quarterbacks, USC is could be seen a the safe pick.

Though, considering the Trojans’ inability to get to a Pac-12 Championship Game since its inception in 2011, a high ranking isn’t a guarantee by any means.

Last year, USC was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 South behind overwhelming favorite UCLA. Arizona, who didn’t receive a single vote, ultimately won the division.

How Cody Kessler will face pressure

This isn’t Kessler’s first rodeo, as 2015 marks his third season as a starter for the Trojans and the second time he will be USC’s offensive representative at Pac-12 Media Days.

But it is going to be his time in the national spotlight. Following a breakout and record-setting junior campaign, Kessler enters the season among a handful of early Heisman Trophy candidates, which brings forth outrageously high expectations.

Naturally, he’ll be thrown a steady stream of hardballs on Friday, perhaps in reference to Matt Barkley. Kessler was the Trojans’ third string quarterback in 2012, when Barkley returned for senior season with hopes of completing some ‘unfinished business’.

It didn’t work out for Barkley, and with the 2015 offseason hype train feeling so eerily similar to that of three years ago, Kessler could have perspective on how to prevent the same recession from happening.

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