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Pac-12 football media day roundup

News and notes from Hollywood before the 2019 college football season.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 Conference wrapped up its yearly Media Day in Hollywood on Wednesday. At the top of noteworthy announcements made by commissioner Larry Scott was a move to help the conference’s national exposure.

Pac-12 Championship being moved from Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco to Las Vegas Stadium, the NFL home of the Raiders for 2020 and 2021.

Pac-12 Conference

A partnership deal along with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and MGM Resorts International for the conference football championship game.

“Our Pac-12 universities and entire Conference are thrilled to have our 2020 and 2021 football championship event take place in one of the most anticipated new venues in sports,” said Scott. “Highlighting and showcasing our programs on one of the biggest stages in a major destination market is a tremendous opportunity for our student-athletes, universities and fans, and consistent with our mission to create the best possible experiences for student-athletes.”

George Kliavkoff, President of Entertainment & Sports for MGM Resorts International, said, “We have had a long-standing partnership with the Pac-12 that includes hosting the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. Pac-12 fans are some of the best in collegiate sports and we are proud to extend our relationship with the Conference and its fans to the football championship games in 2020 and 2021.”

Tickets for this season’s 2019 Pac-12 Football Championship at Levi’s Stadium are available at Pac-12.com/tickets.

Utah picked as preseason favorite to win Pac-12 Championship

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Utah was selected as the favorite to take the 2019 Pac-12 football championship in a 35-member media poll on Wednesday. The Utes received 33-first place votes in the Pac-12 South to edge out second place USC, who only gathered two. Oregon is projected to meet Utah in San Francisco. The Ducks tied defending champion Washington Huskies with 17-first place votes, but was given the nod by one point with a total of 190.

The media has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 31 of 58 previous polls, but only four times in the last 12 polls.

South Division

1. Utah (33) 206

2. USC (2) 167

3. Arizona State 118

4. UCLA 118

5. Arizona 85

6. Colorado 46

North Division

1. Oregon (17) 190

2. Washington (17) 189

3. Stanford 129

4. Washington State (1) 108

5. California 81

6. Oregon State 38

Pac-12’s Independent Football Officiating Review

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 27 Washington Spring Game Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The conference announced the findings of an independent review of its football officiating program conducted by Sibson Consulting, a world-class consultancy specializing in officiating program assessments. The comprehensive four-month review was overseen by a sub-committee of Pac-12 athletic directors chaired by Arizona State’s Ray Anderson and also included University of Oregon’s Rob Mullens, Oregon State’s Scott Barnes and University of Colorado Boulder’s Rick George.

Key recommendations to be implemented for this coming season include:

  • The head of officiating to report directly to the Commissioner rather than the football administrator;
  • Adoption of a new replay manual codifying processes and procedures that will eliminate the potential for an incident like the one in last year’s Washington State v. USC game reoccurring;
  • Enhancements to training programs for officials, and more consistency in grading and training from the officiating supervisors; and
  • A new communications protocol with more transparency and public comment around significant calls or errors that either impact player safety or the result of the game.

“We are committed to ensuring that our football officiating program continues to improve and is best-in-class, and our implementation of these recommendations will allow us to do so,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said.

According to the review, the Pac-12’s football officiating program is “fundamentally sound and predominantly consistent with industry best practice, including with regard to the quality of officials and use of state-of-the-art technology.”

“On behalf of the athletic directors, we look forward to implementation of the Sibson review recommendations to continue to evolve and strengthen our football officiating program,” said Arizona State University Athletic Director Ray Anderson. “We are fully aligned with the Sibson recommendations and Pac-12 leadership in taking our program to the next level of performance.