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Commentary on Pac-12 developments on and off the field, and court …

Rising: NFL first-round production

Viewed relatively, Day One of the NFL Draft was a success for the Pac-12.

The conference produced a top-five selection (Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux), the first of several receivers  (USC’s Drake London) and four picks in total. (Add Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie and Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd to the list.)

That’s more selections than the Big 12 (zero), as many as the ACC and the largest first-round total for the Pac-12 since the 2018 draft.

Not for nothing: Each of the four picks hails from one of the conference’s top football programs, offering them meat to dangle in front of future recruits.

We thought Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon might sneak into the end of the first round, giving the conference five Day One picks and turning the evening into an unqualified success.

Instead, the Pac-12 will have to settle for modest success, which is far better than the outcomes of the three previous years.

Falling: Dan Lanning’s available talent

We knew Oregon’s first-year coach was stepping down in talent when he resigned as Georgia’s defensive coordinator to take charge of the Ducks.

The results Thursday helped illuminate the situation:

Lanning’s former defense produced five first-round selections, the highest total in draft history and one more than his new conference.

Rising: WSU’s leadership

Washington State president Kirk Schulz apparently enjoys life in the Palouse to such a degree that he isn’t interested in two high-profile vacancies: commissioner of the Big 12 and president of the NCAA.

In the past week, Schulz has shut down speculation that he would be a candidate for either position, or both.

That’s good news for the Cougars and for the conference. Schulz is one of the few university presidents who not only  takes an interest in football but understands the sport — he’s the Pac-12’s representative on the College Football Playoff Board of managers — and values what it brings to campus writ large.

Were Schulz to depart the conference, the void left behind in the boardroom could be filled by a presidential voice that knows and/or cares little about football.

The Pac-12 has seen first-hand what can happen when the wrong CEOs are involved in setting the agenda.

Falling: Arizona State’s football outlook

Another week, another right cross to ASU’s depth chart for the 2022 football season.

The Sun Devils have taken hit-upon-hit from the transfer portal. The latest to depart are offensive lineman Spencer Lowell and receiver …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Pac-12 stock report: Positive start to the NFL Draft, OSU offers bonuses, Schulz stays put, portal madness and more

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