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HOT COUGAR ACTION: Pac-10 Basketball Media Day Edition

We're a little late today -- and by we I mean me -- but there's tons of links to go around. The excuse for being late? Well it's Pac-10 media day for basketball. Of course, that's not the real reason for the late showing, but I'll use it as an excuse.

Washington State is ranked No. 5 in the preseason media poll, behind Washington, Arizona, UCLA and Arizona State. Can't really argue with the Cougs right in the middle. As Vince Grippi said this morning, if they click and play well together, WSU can move up. If they don't, then that ranking is just about right.

Want to get more pumped for the season? Watch the video the Pac-10 put together. James Earl Jones type voice? Check. Legends from the Pac-10? Check. Cougars making an appearance? You betcha. Check it out and get pumped for the season.

On to the links...

WSU Football

Arizona State Sun Devils Vs. WSU Cougars News And Notes - SB Nation Seattle
Paul Wulff takes his Washington State Cougars to Tempe to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils this weekend. We've got all your news and notes ahead of this weekends game.

Physical play returns to WSU practice - SportsLink - - Oct. 27, 2010
Carl Winston left practice with ice on his left hamstring and Chima Nwachukwu, who returned to practice for the first time in a few weeks, didn't finish, taking off his shoulder pads and heading to the locker room. He returned in shorts and a T-shirt.

Football Friday on Thursday, ASU Edition - WSU Football Blog The Moos home is a house divided this week
BILL MOOS knew this day would come, but he thought his wife would be there to lend support. No way, Kendra Moos told her husband. Come Saturday, when Bo Moos -- the eldest son of Bill and Kendra -- takes the field for Arizona State's homecoming football game with Washington State, Kendra will be cheering for the Sun Devils. One of the Sun Devils, anyway.

WSU's Nwachukwu finalist for sportsmanship award - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Washington State safety Chima Nwachukwu is one of 10 finalists for sixth-annual ARA Sportsmanship Award, given to a Division I football player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship.

Other WSU News

WSU’s goal comes up shy - - Oct. 28, 2010
"We still have a significant way to go to reach our stated goal, but I'm extremely proud of the number of folks who have contributed since the start of this initiative," WSU assistant athletic director Dan Meyer said in a news release. "When you look at the economic realities people are facing, I tip my cap to the folks who have donated what they can. We set our sights high, to become the first Pac-10 school with 10,000 annual donors, and we will continue this initiative until we reach it."

Cougars Conclude Play at Las Vegas Showdown - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
After shooting its best round of the fall season Tuesday with a score of 297, WSU fired a final-round 314 (+26) and finished the three-day event at 920 and in 17th place. Cougar baseball: Youth steps up
Injuries, surgeries and academic concerns sidelined many of Washington State's key veterans during fall baseball workouts, and several freshmen were quick to take advantage of added playing time to catch the eye of coach Donnie Marbut.

The Washington State University women's rowing team will face Gonzaga for the second time in a week as it hosts the Bulldogs at the annual Head of the Snake Regatta Friday, Oct. 29.

Cougars Cross Cascades for Conference Championships - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State University cross country teams travel to Seattle for the Pacific-10 Conference Championships at the Jefferson Park Golf Course Saturday, Oct. 30.

Pac-10 News

Pac-10 predictions: Week 9 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Arizona State 35, Washington State 24: The Sun Devils figure to be smarting after the loss at Cal, and that should help them focus on the Cougars, who no longer can be taken lightly. But the Cougs are banged up, and the Sun Devils are too athletic to pick the upset.

Vince Grippi's Pac-10 picks - - Oct. 27, 2010
Washington State at Arizona State (Arizona State by 21): OK, we get it. ASU should be favored. But by three touchdowns? When its starting quarterback is on the mend? That we don't get. ASU, 28-17.

What to watch in the Pac-10: Week 9 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Sun Devils are on upset alert: This is easy. Arizona State looked bad at Cal, and QB Steven Threet is coming back from a concussion. How inspired will the Sun Devils be against Washington State? The Cougars? They fought until the bitter end against Stanford. Each week it seems like the Cougs' confidence takes an uptick, even in defeat. Their visit to ASU seems like a prime opportunity to break through with a conference win.

Stanford, Washington lead in graduation - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
In the Pac-10, only Stanford and Washington are above average when it comes to football's "Graduation Success Rate (GSR)," according to figures released this week by the NCAA. (WSU was below average; read the piece and you'll probably understand why.)

Pac-10 football ratings: A bleak outlook for bowl bids | College Hotline
You have to figure several Pac-10 bowl partners are just a wee bit concerned that they may not have Pac-10 team in the Pac-10 half of the draw. But that's life with the Pac-10 and its round robin schedule (not to mention one team on probation).

Other Stuff We Like

Jay Bilas: The NCAA should reform itself before it's too late - ESPN
Thoughtful piece on two things that can be done. It'll take you some time to read it, but it's worth it.

Auburn is the new No. 1 team in the country according to FEI, and Cam Newton's Heisman candidacy surged forward in a relentless ground attack on Saturday. As I discussed last week in an ESPN Insider piece, the game was supposed to feature a Top 10 offense in Auburn against a Top 10 defense in LSU. After surrendering 440 yards on the ground, however, LSU's defensive FEI ranking dropped from No. 3 to No. 21, and Newton's 28 carries and 7.8 yards per attempt deserved most of the credit.

Triple Rainbow (10/27) - The Solid Verbal Podcast
Dan flies solo (what does this meeeeeean?) and lines up a fierce triple play of college football guests with Clay Travis from AOL Fanhouse, Brian Cook from, and friend of the show and House of Run podcast host "West Coast Kevin."