Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Power Shift- The Rise of UCLA and the Fall of the North

In this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into all of the action in week one, including a disastrous showing by the schools up north, though George thinks the Pac-12 at least outperformed the ACC. Who put on the worst coaching clinic- Justin Wilcox, Nick Rolovich, or Jimmy Lake? The guys get into their Pac-12 power rankings, and are unified at the top after UCLA’s dominant performance against LSU. Finally, Previews and picks for the upcoming week 2 slate of games.

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Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: An Interview with David Shaw, Media Day Takeaways, Realignment Talk and More

The Pac-12 Apostles Podcast is back, but how much longer will the Pac-12 be the Pac-12? George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden discuss whether or not it’s wise to bring on any Big 12 teams. George interviews Stanford head coach David Shaw, and asks him some questions that he thought Shaw might not be prepared to answer- but as usual, Shaw has thoughtful opinions, rebuttals, and defenses for any and all of George’s inquiries. Last, George and Ralph discuss the Pac-12 preseason media poll and all-conference honors that came out of Media Day (read Ralph’s in-depth recap here).

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Some of David Shaw’s quotes from his interview with George Wrighster:

On going into this season vs going into last season facing Covid-19 concerns:

“We’re much better than we were last year. I think we’re more informed. We’ve got a bunch of guys vaccinated… We made it through last year without a single positive test on our team… and now with the Delta variant or whatever else comes our way, we just have to operate within the boundaries that we have…”

On teams within the conference that offer 300+ scholarships to a single recruiting class:

“That’s what we have been able to do really well. Our players that we recruit respect us, partially because of our process and our honesty. We will offer the number of scholarships that we have. We don’t over-offer… So many of (potential recruits) look at that and initially of course they’re offended, but then they’re like ‘how many of these offers do I have that aren’t really committable offers? …I may have 20 offers, but really that might be 8 truly committable offers.’

So they’re not really offers. Back in the old days we called those ‘noffers,’ like, non-offers.

There’s an integrity that we believe in. There’s a process- I call it ‘The Gameshow.’ We don’t play The Gameshow, like ‘who’s going to take this first, you get an offer and you get an offer, but it doesn’t really matter because the first three guys come.’ That makes no sense to me. So we operate with integrity and honesty, and we’re very up front about out process, and our student athletes that we recruit and their parents really appreciate that.”

On the high volume of graduate transfers out of the Stanford program:

“We haven’t had a single undergraduate transfer in my entire tenure… Now, I have an open philosophy with our guys where I say ‘Hey, you know what? If you’re going to be a fifth-year senior… but you find a better situation out there for you? Not only are you allowed (to transfer) by NCAA rules, but I’m going to help you.’ So I’ll make calls for these guys. I’ll say, ‘Hey, don’t be a backup for me as a fifth-year senior if there’s a place where you can start…’

I think coaches should be encouraging that, because these guys have given themselves to us for four years, and graduated, and as a college graduate, I should not be able to tell this guy what to do, he should be able to do what’s best for himself.

On Potential Conference Realignment:

“I think it’s all going to eventually settle down… I do think as far as the conference is concerned, we have a lot of natural rivalries that I’d hate to see get broken up, in particular the California schools. The four of us are very intrigued about our long history of playing against each other in every sport… I’d hate to see those things break up. I think we’ve got a great rivalry with both Oregon and Washington, you’d hate to see those rivalries go away.

I’m sure some program is going to look to do what’s best for them, and we’ll see what happens, but by in large I think the conference should pretty much remain the same. The only question I have is who’s going to look to join our conference. That’s what’s going to be interesting…”

On Being Quoted in Pete Thamel’s Article on Arizona State’s Potential Recruiting Violations

“I back what I said. I still believe it. We were coming out of pretty much the most difficult coaching season for all of us… We had an extended dead period, which means none of us could bring people on campus. We had a Covid situation, a national health emergency, so we were really not supposed to be bringing people on campus. We were supposed to try to keep ourselves and our student athletes safe. As you said, it was an open secret, it wasn’t that people didn’t know. They did something wrong, they got caught, and they’re in the middle of an NCAA investigation. I’m not saying what’s going to happen from that, but I let my feelings be known that I felt offended. Especially me being on multiple committees, for our conference, for the NCAA, and trying to help set these rules so that we could all be on the same page and no one could have a clear advantage. For that to be pretty blatantly violated, I felt upset and I still feel the same way today.”

Have a take you’d like us to read and address on the show? Email us at and we’ll read your take on a future podcast.