Bear hunting

Take a bow, Mike Leach.

The new Washington State coach was by far the most popular speaker at Tuesday's media day event in Universal City, Calif.

He detailed a bear hunting trip from earlier this summer. Asked to pick a hunting partner among his new coaching compatriots - Leach, dressed in a maroon WSU golf shirt and white pants - spent a minute talking through his options.

"We don't want to get this one wrong," he said. UA coach "Rich Rodriguez has spent a lot of time in West Virginia - so, potential rub-off there."

The former Texas Tech coach decided to whittle down the list to a "playoff," pitting Utah's Kyle Whittingham against the Arizona Wildcats boss in the finals.

"I'm going to give the nod to Kyle," Leach said. "He's sandwiched between a bunch of mountains, surrounded by them, and he's been there for a while, and he's a tenacious guy.

"So I think that if you were to go hunting in Utah, Kyle would be the key guy to have around."

More Leach

The delightfully eclectic Leach was asked to compare his two nearby seniors, quarterback Jeff Tuel and defensive end Travis Long, to war generals.

Leach is a military buff; he said he's "more of a Civil War guy … if I were to select wars."

He compared Tuel to Stonewall Jackson.

"Gets ahold of the play, attacks from different angles," Leach said. "The cavalry is over here, no, we're here. He's not afraid to split the force and attack from different angles."

Long is "more of a Ulysses S. Grant guy," the coach said, adding that the defensive end is "quiet" and "steady."

"He's in the trenches," Leach said. "And if requires bombarding for a month, he's fully prepared to do it. He's going to guard the river, going to bombard them till they bust - providing he keeps his pads low. …"

Later, Leach said he decided against comparing Tuel to Robert E. Lee because he "checks (plays) at the line of scrimmage."

Camp T

Todd Graham's description of Camp Tontazona as "rustic" and "roughin' it" was meant as a compliment.

Arizona State's new coach is eager to bring his team to the fields northeast of Payson Aug. 14-18. The Sun Devils are returning to their historic preseason home after a successful fundraising drive this spring.

"It's one of the great traditions unique to Arizona State University, and talking to our players and fans, far and away, that is the tradition there," he said. "You look at the age of the iPad, iPod, all that stuff, we're not going to have any of that.

"And we're going up there, and our cellphones don't work. What a great blessing for me." Another bonus, Graham said: Players will bunk in a dorm, free of the outside influence of friends, girlfriends and family.

The big number


Three unknown media members voted the Sun Devils to win the Pac-12 South. The consensus put ASU in fifth place in its own division. "The three smartest people here," ASU linebacker Brandon Magee said.

The prez!

Former UA president Robert Shelton attended media day in his role as the Fiesta Bowl's executive director.

Arizona quarterback Matt Scott and UA linebacker Jake Fischer visited with Shelton outside Universal City's Gibson Amphitheatre and even posed for a photo.

"It's the prez!" Scott said.


"Personally, we don't want the big, slow, clunky guys that get tired after two plays. We want guys that will give you four, hard plays, get a drink of water and come back in and give you more." - Oregon coach Chip Kelly, on his offense

Another quotable

"My concern is UCLA." - New Bruins coach Jim Mora, when asked about rival USC.