1:05 p.m. — Idaho coach Robb Akey was the final coach to address the assembled media at the WAC Football Preview.
Despite the Vandals' struggles — Idaho is 3-21 in two seasons — Akey remains upbeat about his program's chances of turning the corner. Listen here.
Among the highlights from the always funny Akey:
• He sometimes has his team eat its meals out of bowls to reinforce its goal of reaching a bowl game.
• "I expect to be able to fulfill my contract. I expect to sign a new contract before that one runs out," said Akey, who is in the third year of a five-year deal. "I hope they can afford me."
A quick take on McMackin
• Hawaii coach Greg McMackin is making news for inappropriate language at the WAC Football Kickoff.
McMackin, in telling a story about last year’s Hawaii Bowl against Notre Dame, used the slur “faggot” three times. Then, he asked the media in the room to cover for him and not report the incident or his word choice. For more on the story, click here.
I was in the room. I may have been among the uncomfortable laughter that you can hear on the tape (Click here, but be aware that there is explicit language). I know I looked at my Statesman colleagues with a “Can you believe he just said that?” look. As he repeated the word, it was obvious that this was news.
It’s simply inappropriate language for a Division I head coach to be using in any setting, but especially in front of media members at the conference’s signature event.
McMackin should have known better. Football coaches, athletic directors, school presidents, elected lawmakers and so on are held to different standards when it comes to their speech. It’s part of the responsibility of leadership.
Here is McMackin's apology.
11:43 a.m. — The Pac-10 released its preseason media poll Thursday and there was no surprise at who was on top.
USC was picked first on 28 of 32 ballots. The Trojans have won or shared the last seven Pac-10 titles.
Oregon, which opens the season Sept. 3 at Boise State, was selected third and received one first-place vote.
California was second with three first-place votes.
Here is the complete poll:
1. USC (28) 316
2. California (3) 277
3. Oregon (1) 250
4. Oregon State 216
5. Arizona State 155
6. Stanford 150
7. UCLA 145
8. Arizona 142
9. Washington 74
10. Washington State 35
• Tony Barnhardt of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is a must-read for college football fans. His Mr. College Football blog breaks down the Rose Bowl’s decision to allow more access.
Barnhardt reported the news in May. I confirmed it and wrote a column for the Statesman at that time.
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