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HOT COUGAR ACTION: Withers Contradicts Cali Division Talks

If you're sick of Pac-12 alignment talk and want us to wake you up when an actual decision is made, just feel free to skip down to the links. But if you're interested, Seattle Times reporter (and Coug himself) Bud Withers is reporting that the divisional alignment that would put all four California schools in one division is hardly a slam dunk:

On the alignment issue, The San Jose Mercury News reported there's a "lean" toward matching the four California schools with the Arizonas. But I was told by a source in the league familiar with the dialogue that "emphatically, no way" will it shake out that way.

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott is not believed to be a fan of that format, because it overloads the big TV markets in one division. Do that, and why not just call the Northwest schools, plus Colorado and Utah, the Outpost Division? Or maybe the Trail Mix Six?

This goes along with the argument we've made all along, and probably signals that most of what you're hearing is posturing to get as many television dollars as possible.

One aspect of the story that I think is being underplayed a little bit is the possibility of USC going independent. Not because I think it will happen, but because it's probably more unlikely to happen now than at any other time because of the current climate around the program. In a weird way, the USC sanctions came along at the perfect time for the conference, as it removes most of the leverage the Trojans have with the biggest influx of television dollars in the conference's history heading its way.

Anyway, stay tuned. There might actually be a real decision in the next month. Or not.

Before getting on to the links, I want to pass along this little thing from A WSU theme for your Firefox browser that mirrors the look of the site. (They have one for Internet Explorer, too, but holy cow -- does anyone actually still use that relic that isn't forced to by their work?)

There's a theme already out there for Firefox that someone put together (and I was using), but this one has some interactive features that are sort of neat. It's got a WSU toolbar (that you can turn off) with buttons that will take you to various parts of, including opening a sidebar in your browser that shows you the latest news. Pretty cool if you don't already get that delivered to an RSS reader or something.

The only thing it's missing is a "Donate" button. C'mon Bill ... get on that one, wouldya?

On to the links!

WSU News

Another Tuesday over at WSU - SportsLink - - Sept. 7, 2010
Though Wulff said in his conference call there were no official lineup changes, there has been an unofficial one. Junior Andrew Roxas has moved ahead of Wade Jacobson at left guard. Roxas, who was a part time starter two years ago but missed last season with hepatitis, graded out well against Oklahoma State and has run with the ones all week. Whether he keeps that job will probably be determined by his play at practice.

Summarizing Wulff's press conferences - SportsLink - - Sept. 7, 2010
Really, the only thing Wulff was asked that was different than the later call was about the team’s attitude, which Wulff sees as good. He said they understand they did a lot of good things against Oklahoma State that the teams the previous two years never could have accomplished. He reiterated something he said Sunday and Monday night: the mistakes were ones that can be fixed, unlike previous years.

Silence sounds OK to Cougars | WSU Cougars - The News Tribune
Jeff Tuel was prepared for the worst. ... So, Jeff, did students get on you pretty good once you returned home? "It’s really been a lot of positive stuff ... I haven’t really been hearing too many negative things, which is encouraging," Tuel said after practice Tuesday. "It’s another reason I love this place and the fans."

where to begin… " Cougar Athletic Supporter
One Cougar fan's experience of traveling to Stillwater this past weekend.

WSU Wednesday - WSU Football Blog
The interesting thing that we heard from Ball after the game is that he didn't think they tackled enough this year in camp. And you heard the same type of thing out of USC, after they let Hawaii score 36 points and rack up 588 yards of offense last week. This is interesting in that it is something Mike Riley and Oregon State has done in recent years, where they've scaled things back a bit in camp to try and preserve some healthy bodies down the line. Did it work? Well, yes and definitely no. Cougs, Bobcats alternating between extremes
The Cougars, despite their recent woes, will be heavily favored Saturday (4 p.m. kickoff) but there's no getting around the fact the Bobcats have a reputation for playing hard-nosed ball, especially on defense. Moreover, they're in the midst of a nice run -- 20 victories over the three seasons leading into this one and a No. 24 national FCS (Division I-AA) ranking. LEAF: Out of tragedy came unity, then triumph
Simply a must-read piece.

Bittersweet return for Bobcats' McEndoo | | Great Falls Tribune
Jason McEndoo is going home this weekend, but it doesn't figure to be a homecoming celebration. "It will be great to be back in old Martin Stadium," said McEndoo of the Washington State football facility. "It's been a long time." (h/t well you win some and lose others)

Justice: Sumlin wouldn't be where he is without Price | Cougars | - Houston Chronicle
Sumlin considers himself lucky that when he decided to give coaching a try, it was Mike Price who opened a door for him. In two seasons under Price, Sumlin learned much of the foundation for some of the things UH does. And he learned all kinds of lessons about organizing a staff, dealing with players and assistants, and coping with good times and bad. "We talk all the time," Sumlin said. "It was from him that I learned how to run an offense."

Volleyball Returns to Bohler for Three Straight Nights - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State University volleyball team returns to Pullman with a 3-3 record to host the Nike Cougar Challenge tournament...Cougs meet Eastern Washington (1-5), Montana State (5-2), and Cal Poly (3-3)...all matches will be played in Bohler Gym

Two Cougar Women's Basketball Games Selected for National Broadcast - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Cougars' match-ups at Washington (Jan. 30) and at California (Feb. 12) were selected as part of the Pac-10's 20-game package with FSN, and will be televised nationally. Additional games could be picked up for regional broadcast, which will be announced later this season.

Pac-10 News

Joe Posnanski - Reggie Bush’s Heisman
The Heisman Trophy was awarded to the most outstanding player of 2005. If the Heisman Trophy people want to make some sort of statement to express their dismay, well, people seem to love doing that sort of thing. But if they take away Reggie Bush’s Heisman because they believe that their award represents something pure and virtuous and innocent, well, that’s where I get off this crazy thing.

Jump right in to Pac-10 pressure cooker - - Sept. 8, 2010
Well, that was a short non-conference season. For Stanford and UCLA, it lasted all of one week.

Pac-10 stock report - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Who's running with a bull market? Who's battling the bears (not the Golden ones)? (Guess whose stock is down?)

Other Stuff We Like

Feature: BYU’s Ty Detmer Enjoying Life Back In Football Following Triton Scandal –
Ty’s new gig can’t go any worse than his last job working at Austin’s infamous investment firm, Triton Financial. ... But Triton was back in the news late last year for all the wrong reasons when it was sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding investors out of tens of millions of dollars in an insurance scam. Detmer’s lawyer said at the time that his client knew nothing of the scam and would assist the SEC in whatever way possible.

Two For the Money, Week Two - WSU Football Blog
We take a look at this week's feature, as we examine some of the most interesting lines for Week Two in College Football