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HOT COUGAR ACTION: SB Nation's Pac-10 Preview Arrives

Sorry for the lateness of this today. If I seem a little bit scarce in terms of writing the past few days, it's because between the starting up of school and putting together the SB Nation Pac-10 preview has soaked up a lot of my time.

But while the former is only just beginning, the latter project wrapped up today, with the preview hitting this morning. Take a few minutes (or 15) to read it -- it features capsules from writers at each of the Pac-10 sites. (Even Stanford!)

Pac-10 Football Preview: Where Anyone Can Win It! (Well, Almost Anyone) -
Truly, you can make a compelling case for at least half of the teams in the conference to end up on top. Heck, you can even make at least a marginal case for just about everybody else, too, save for Washington State. Oregon is still the favorite, but only barely, and the fact that USC can actually win the crown but not advance to the Rose Bowl only adds to the intrigue.

Also, in what has become an annual tradition that has generally proved to be prescient, Vince Grippi weighed in with some opinion on what we all can actually expect this year from this team. It's balanced and realistic, as usual. Take a few minutes to read that, too.

How will WSU do this year? - SportsLink - - Sept. 1, 2010
What type of season will Washington State have? If you are a Cougar football fan and expect all sugar and rainbows, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s going to be a tough year. Maybe not as tough as the past two but wins could be few and far between. Yet, in the spaces between the victories, there should be hope. This is a team that should compete in nearly every game, from the humid and heat-infused opener at Oklahoma State to the probably cold and snowy Apple Cup.

The rest of the links follow after the jump.

WSU News

Paul Wulff talks about WSU's opener - SportsLink - - Aug. 31, 2010
To set the stage, I asked Wulff what has been accomplished in the 20 or so days of practice. He emphasized getting all the new players integrated into the team concept, getting everyone to work in sync on offense and communicating on defense. … As for the steps the players took, Wulff said he was pleasantly surprised. He also said that due to all the youth, he thinks this is a team that can keep improving as the year progresses.

Showers, cool conditions don't slow WSU - SportsLink - - Aug. 31, 2010
Former Cougar center Kenny Alfred hobbled out to practice on crutches. Alfred had surgery on his left hip – he had his right one done before his senior year – three weeks ago and will be on crutches for another six weeks. He’s staying in Pullman and doing his rehab work here, trying to get healthy enough, as he said, to be able to play with his children, when he has some.

Seattle's live and local sports station
Jim Walden and Chris Ball joined Ian Furness yesterday. Audio here.

Paul Wulff Radio Show Recap - Week 1 of 2010 - WSU Football Blog
We've done this kind of thing for the last few years now, but in the past I've tend to run a bit long on these things. I promise that won't happen this year. But while whomever of us actually does the radio show recaps, just know that we will do our best to pass on the most relevant things from the show, that much we can promise you!

WSU football: Some notes from game week | Moscow-Pullman Daily News Blogs
Chima Nwachukwu wants to hit someone. So does Alex Hoffman-Ellis. And they’d prefer if that someone isn’t wearing crimson and gray. "Tempers have been flaring these last couple weeks," Nwachukwu said after Tuesday’s practice. "Guys are really upset at each other, trying to get physical with each other. It’s good to have an opportunity to hit another color for once."

‘Much, much improved’ WSU needs to prove it | WSU Cougars - The News Tribune
The Washington State Cougars hope to begin climbing the slippery slope back to respectability Saturday when they open the season at Oklahoma State. "We feel like we’re a much, much improved football team," Cougars coach Paul Wulff said Tuesday. "There’s no question in our minds, but we have go out and (prove) that on game day.

It was the first true practice of game week, as yesterday's late session was primarily a walk-thru. Players on both sides of the field were making plays. On offense, freshman wide receiver Marquess Wilson continued what has been a highly-publicized and impressive fall camp, making a couple nice grabs. Sophomore receiver Gino Simone, who missed some time, looks game-ready, as he also had a couple impressive catches. Defensively, senior linebacker Hallston Higgins and redshirt freshman safety Casey Locker had some big hits (Locker's reminded me of Eric Block's big hit last year against Stanford in the season opener), and redshirt sophomore cornerback Daniel Simmons had an acrobatic interception in a coverage drill.

Position-alysis: Wide Reciever - Cowboys Ride For Free Ryan Leaf turns columnist for
Leaf said he wants to do for Cougar football fans what Daven Harmeling has done over the last year with Cougar basketball fans in his column. "Sometimes the story behind the story is the most interesting piece of the puzzle," Leaf said from his home in Great Falls, Mont.

Cross Country Opens Season with Dual Against Huskies - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State University men's and women's cross country teams will start the season with a rare dual meet...Cougars will take on the University of Washington Friday, September 3, in Ephrata, Washington, known as the Gateway to the Columbia Basin...the 4000m women's race begins at 5 p.m. and the men's 6,000m race begins at 5:30 p.m....course is a 2000m loop around the high school soccer fields and should provide excellent vantage points for spectators...results will be available on the official WSU Athletic website,, when available post-race.

Pac-10 News

Bud Withers' Pac-10 football picks for Week 1 | Seattle Times Newspaper

Pac-10 Heisman list - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
On Tuesdays going forward, we're going to have a Heisman update post. But we thought it would be a good idea to put together a preseason top-10.

Depth chart updates and more! - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
People often say to me, Ted, you know so much. I, too, wish I knew a lot. (Wait. No one has ever said that to me. But they probably should have.)

Random Interesting Stuff

NCAA denies Jeremiah Masoli eligibility - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Jeremiah Masoli's twisting road took another turn: The NCAA has denied the former Oregon QB immediate eligibility at Ole Miss.

NCAA statement on Masoli's ineligibility - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Turns out the NCAA denied former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli immediate eligibility at Ole Miss because his request for a waiver didn't match the "intent" of the transfer exception.

BYU to leave Mountain West Conference, join West Coast Conference in all sports except football - ESPN
BYU will leave the Mountain West Conference for the 2011-12 season, go independent in football and join the WCC in all other sports, notably men's basketball, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation told

BYU football goes solo; other sports to WCC | The Salt Lake Tribune
"I support our administration’s decision," Mendenhall said. "I think there will be a chance for tremendous exposure for our [football] program. … As far as I am concerned, I am supportive of it and anxious to coach the team in a new situation."

Breaking news: BYU goes independent, joins West Coast Conference in other sports | College Hotline
The move, which takes effect for the 2011-12 season, changes the face of major college sports in the western third of the country — at once weakening the Mountain West (BYU’s current home) and strengthening the WCC, whose members include three Bay Area schools: Santa Clara, St. Mary’s and USF. It’s impossible to overstate the significance of this development for the eight-school WCC, which is about to begin renegotiating its ESPN contract.

Thoughts on BYU’s decision, the WCC’s gain, the MWC’s loss and the WAC’s next move | College Hotline
BYU fans don’t want to hear it, and they don’t agree with it, but I’ve said all along that ego was the prime motivator behind the push for football independence, and nothing has made me think otherwise. Put it this way: Would the Cougars really have gone independent, and put 11 teams in the WCC, if Utah hadn’t bolted for the Pac-10? No. Chance.