Pac-10 in New York: Yes, hype works

NEW YORK -- As I am typing this, Stewart Mandel and Andy Staples are to my left doing video for SI.com, giving their summary of the Pac-10 press conference from the W Hotel in Manhattan.

They are talking about the wide-open Pac-10 race, how the conference isn't afraid to schedule tough nonconference games, how the Pac-10 -- top-to-bottom -- might be as good as any conference in the country and how the conference seems certain to produce a leading Heisman Trophy contender.

Staples thinks Arizona is an interesting darkhorse in the conference race.

Some great points gents. And my guess is commissioner Larry Scott will enjoy hearing so many positive points about Pac-10 football heading into 2010.

The reason I note what these two national, non-ESPN.com writers are doing is this: Both are based on the East Coast. And both would not be doing this video together (and in coats and ties!) if the Pac-10 were again holding media day on a single afternoon inside a business-traveler hotel by LAX.

In other words, if the chief aim of the Pac-10 spending some extra dough to do a bi-coastal media day is to get more preseason publicity, then it's already clear that mission will be accomplished. Lots of guys from back East who you read regularly -- Pete Thamel of the New York Times, the AP's Ralph D. Russo, etc. -- are here and (again as I type) are writing stories about the Pac-10, stories that didn't exist last year.

Does that mean the Pac-10 will contend for national title this year? No. Does it mean that Scott's going to match the Big Ten and SEC when he signs new media contracts in 2011? No.

But it does mean the conference is already accomplishing what it intends to do this week -- to use Scott's phrase -- "telling our story more aggressively and in a more dynamic way."