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The Dam Links 7/24/2013: Pac-12 Media Day is Friday

Pac-12 media guide, more positional rankings, Phil Steele numbers, OSU makes an elite recruit's short list, and more

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

38 days until kickoff...

Your dose of Eastern Washington: their mascot is an eagle named Swoop.

With Friday's upcoming Pac-12 media day, the Pac-12 media guide is out. It's quite the document, 168 pages of statistics to make stat geeks like me very happy. I'm sure we'll have more from this over the next few weeks. We'll also have more on media day over the next few days; Brandin Cooks is going to be the featured Beaver player. He and Mike Riley will take the podium at 10 am, fourth on the day. Each division goes in reverse order of last year's finish, so this is the rare situation is good to be last. The Pac-12 coaches are in Bristol today, going through the "Car Wash." Expect a lot of ESPN-exclusive info coming out of Bristol on Wednesday.

With media day Friday, Berkelium97 of California Golden Blogs is actually going (it's convenient to have the Pac-12 offices in the same market you're in). He's opened up a thread to submit questions, if you have any suggestions. The first question submitted for Larry Scott was, of course, about the ongoing soap opera that is Pac-12 Network availability. Andy has long documented the issues with the Pac-12's inability to get coverage on all major carriers on this site, and others have as well. Sadly, many of the issues they had at launch day are still present today; what we've got here is a failure to communicate.

Oregon State made the short list for Dalton Schultz, a four star ESPN 300 TE recruit out of South Jordan, Utah. Also on the list? Notre Dame, Stanford, Washington and hometown Utah. Other programs that expressed interest that were apparently cut include California, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin. While it's great that OSU's on this guy's list, I'll be surprised if Riley & Co. can actually land someone who also has an offer from Notre Dame. I really hope I'm wrong.

Over at the Pac-12 blog, Ted Miller continues his positional review of the Pac-12 with kickers, and he puts Oregon State at the head of the pack. I remember being really surprised when I first realized that Trevor Romaine was the most accurate kicker in the conference last year, and I think that bears repeating. Although we may not have a lot of confidence in our kicker (particularly on extra points), everybody else is in the same boat or worse.

Phil Steele has a couple of interesting numbers. First, Oregon State got really lucky with injuries in 2012, missing fewer starts than all but six teams nationally. We tend to forget this because of the QB injuries which were a large portion of the games missed. It's going to be hard to get that lucky again. OSU's closest competition, Washington, was on the other end of the spectrum, missing more starts than all but 12 teams. Tracking down the same injury numbers for 2011, when it felt like OSU got completely decimated by injuries, the Beavers only missed the 41st highest percentage of starts, significantly less than Washington missed in 2012. I believe this is one of the key reasons that Washington is generally getting a little more pre-season love than OSU.

Phil also projects the final Pac-12 standings, and figures OSU at 5-4, in third place in the Pac-12 North. He has them losing to Stanford, USC, Arizona State and Oregon, but only gives a 51% chance of beating the Huskies, which is the difference between 3rd and 4th in the division. Like many other projections, he sees the Beavers and Huskies as basically being a toss-up, with the home field of Corvallis for the game between the two being the difference.

Pacific Takes ranks the difficulty of the Pac-12 schedules.

SB Nation's Nebraska affiliate, Corn Nation, has an interesting article on why college football's future is in danger, and it's not for the reasons you might suspect. It's an interesting thought, one I hadn't considered before.

Your one minute or less off-topic video of the day is an attempt to make Carly Rae Jepsen feel better after her recent first pitch debacle, I thought we'd take a look back at what is, IMHO, the worst first pitch of all time. There's no deliberate throwing the ball at the umpire, there's no embarrassment at a bad throw, she dresses like she's going to a night club.

As always, vote in the poll and leave any thoughts or missed links in the comments. Today's poll comes from a discussion I had at my high school reunion last weekend, and whether or not mens' basketball or baseball is now more important at OSU.