FLY FISHING — Some fly fishermen briefly distracted from their sport by the Eastern Washington University football team's pursuit of the FCS championship are trying to hook even more enthusiasm with a little fly-tying incentive.
Before the third-ranked EWU Eagles take on Jacksonville State at the Inferno on Saturday, the EWU alums at the Evolution Anglers blog are continuing their tradition of wrapping up championship quality “inferno” flies.
They're teaming with blogger Big Mills and running a contest in which participants can win some fan-catching and perhaps fish catching flies tied by the talented bloggers.
Read on for the details from the bloggrs:
Eastern Washington University defensive coordinator and associate head coach John Graham is a finalist for the head coaching position at Central Washington, Graham said Wednesday.
Graham, 44, a defensive back at Central in 1990-91, graduated in 1992 and was an assistant for the Wildcats for 13 years under Mike Dunbar, Jeff Zenisek and John Zamberlin.
“It's always been a dream of mine to be a head coach,” said Graham, who applied for the position when Zamberlin was hired by Idaho State in 2006, and was a finalist at CWU before his current head coach, Beau Baldwin was hired. When Baldwin was hired a year later by Eastern Washington a year later, Graham followed him to Cheney.
There was one constant throughout the many ups and downs Gonzaga experienced before rallying for an 80-76 road win over West Virginia: Przemek Karnowski.
With Sam Dower Jr. in foul trouble and the Bulldogs' offense sputtering, the 7-foot-1 center provided scoring, rebounding, a defensive presence and stability. He also didn't commit a foul until 2:07 left in the second half.
More below in my day-after post.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Color me impressed. With what, you may ask? With Gonzaga's win last night. Read on.
Another team, another challenge. For No. 3 Eastern Washington, it comes this week in the form of Jacksonville State running back DaMarcus James and the Gamecocks' zone-read offense. Here's our story, along with previews from Eastern and from JSU, plus JSU stats. Here's a story on JSU's defense, courtesy of the Birmingham News. … In the other quarterfinal in Eastern's half of the bracket, No. 2 Eastern Illinois faces Towson on Friday night The Panthers picked up a couple of big honors.
From Pullman — Plenty of WSU news today as we've got stories on the seniors who are continuing to add to their legacy on the football team, a notebook on why the Cougars basketball practice are extra intense this week, and blog posts looking at a pair of new offensive line commits, recapping what we saw of practice and taking a look at some extra presents WSU players will receive for the holidays.
Don't forget we'll have an 11 a.m. chat to talk football, basketball, bowls and more here on SportsLink.
Links from around the conference, after the jump.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered Gonzaga Prep's home game against Central Valley. Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.
From Pullman — Reports are coming in that a pair of high school offensive tackles have declared their intentions to play football at Washington State. Andre Dillard is a 6'5, 240-pound senior at Woodinville High School, while Brandon Evers is 6'7 and 275 pounds. Rivals.com says that Evers plays center, while Scout.com maintains that he will be an offensive tackle. We suspect that the latter recruiting service is correct, unless the former was making a comment about Evers' ability to contribute to the basketball team.
Neither prospect has been given any stars from the recruiting websites yet.
Barry Bolton has the scoop on Evers, who committed on Tuesday:
Evers has been a powerhouse for Enterprise High the past two season up front. Early on in his football career he played QB and WR before finding his true calling on the offensive line. He's blocked for standout running backs the past two seasons in Brad Woods and Izzy Matthews at Enterprise.
Evers had offers from WSU and SDSU, with Oregon, Washington and Stanford all showing varying shades of interest.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered Gonzaga Prep girls win over Central Valley. Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.
From Pullman — The Cougars again practiced indoors, meaning that we who are banned from practice (everyone) only saw the first 15 minutes (media only). What we saw was an upbeat group of Cougars who seemed excited to be heading to their first bowl game even though many of them had yet to hear about the gifts.
The Cougars won't have as many extra practice as most team thanks to an early game and finals week. But they're making the most of them, albeit with a slightly disheveled schedule.
“Well it’s a real erratic schedule, in the end you’d like to have a little more time off this week then we’re able to have,” coach Mike Leach said. “But the biggest thing, it hasn’t been too bad, you just bounce the schedule around and it seems like every day we’re practicing at a different time. That’s to accommodate their academics which is important.”
More after the jump.
Gonzaga trailed by 10 four minutes into the second half, by eight with 8:23 left and by five with 7 minutes left.
Less than five minutes later, the Bulldogs led by 8. A 13-0 run, which included three 3s by Kevin Pangos, brought Gonzaga back and the Bulldogs went on to claim an 80-76 road win over West Virginia on Tuesday night.
This is the only road game we won't be at this season. We put together a game story, with the help of quotes supplied by Gonzaga SID Oliver Pierce. Read on for more on GU's fifth straight win.
The Spokane Chiefs and Everett Silvertips will meet for the first time in more than seven week on Wednesday night at the Arena. Everett has established itself as one of the top teams in the Western Hockey League since losing to Spokane on Oct. 5 and 18. Young talent is part of the reason, as this week's WHL notebook examines. Read story
From Pullman — Win or lose, college football teams that play in bowl games don't come home empty handed. Bowls are allowed to give up to $550 worth of gifts to each player, and taking a look at the swag has become an annual part of the lore surrounding bowl games. SportsBusinessDaily.com has a list of what every school receives. Here is what the Cougars will collect:
What is a gift suite you may ask? Jeff Nusser of CougCenter.com has the details, after the jump.
The season is just over a month old but Gonzaga is about to face its first true road game. The Bulldogs are in Morgantown to take on West Virginia, which will be out to avenge two lopsided losses to GU in the last 20 months. It'll be a tough test, made tougher by the likelihood that Kevin Pangos (toe) and Gary Bell Jr. (hip) probably won't be at full strength. Both are expected to play
A GRIP ON SPORTS
After the flood of news yesterday, the waters have receded a bit, leaving just the debris. And, of course, the worst of it is from the Mariners. Read on.
Talk about peaking at the right time: The unranked Jacksonville State Gamecocks have knocked off two straight ranked opponents in the FCS playoffs, and they'll try to do it again this week at Eastern Washington. Here's our first look at Jacksonville State, and here is the official release from Eastern. (And by the way, Eagle cornerback Ronald Baines is listed as probable this week after suffering a concussion against South Dakota State.) … Jacksonville State - soon to be known as “Jax” in my Tweets to save space - had a dominating performance last week at McNeese State, but head coach Bill Clark and the Gamecocks have plenty of respect for Eastern Washington. … Want more on Jacksonville State? Go to al.com, a Birmingham-based web site that covers college football like nothing you've ever seen. (It is Alabama, after all.) Here's their Jacksonville State page.
From Pullman — While there is no limit on the number of practices a bowl-bound team can take, Washington State won't be able to get many in before their Dec. 21 appearance in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. With less than two weeks to prepare, the Cougars won't be able to devote many practices to the development of younger players. Complicating matters is the fact that it is finals week at WSU. So the Cougars will practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, take Thursday off, and then return to the field and practice all weekend. With temperatures in Pullman well below freezing, it is likely the team will continue to make use of their inflatable indoor practice facility.
In the paper we have a look at each of the Pac-12 bowl games, and on the blog we examine just how much money the Pac-12 lost by not getting a second team in a BCS bowl. Neil Stover of SWX and I talked about WSU and the New Mexico Bowl last night … If you're having trouble justifying the expensive airfare to Albuquerque WSU may be offering an alternative … WSU opened as four-point favorites over Colorado State … Braulio Perez reports that WSU has another commit on the offensive line.
Neil Stover of SWX was kind enough to have me on his show again to talk about WSU and the New Mexico Bow.
From Pullman — On the one hand, it was a banner Invitation Sunday for the Pac-12, which saw a record nine teams punch their tickets to bowl games. Even more impressive — all nine schools played in the old Pac-10, with only Cal joining relative newcomers Utah and Colorado as conference deadweight. Indeed, if not for the hapless Bears from Berkeley, all the original members of the Pacific Coast Conference, Athletic Association of Western Universities and the Pac-8 would all be playing in the postseason.
Every Pac-12 team except Oregon State opened as the favorite in their bowl game, and the conference appears poised for a successful bowl season.
But in another sense, the Pac-12 athletic directors and commissioner Larry Scott likely can't help but feel disappointed. Oregon looked poised to play in the Sugar Bowl, giving the conference two BCS bowl berths along with Stanford in the Rose Bowl. By all the laws of God and man it should have happened. But not, apparently, the laws of the NCAA.
Despite the Pac-12's near-unanimous status as the second-best conference in the country, and despite the season-long hankering of college football fans to see Alabama's defense matchup against Oregon's offense, the Sugar Bowl chose the geographically closer Oklahoma Sooners as the Crimson Tide's opponent.
The spurning of the ducks had repercussions throughout the conference. We'll take a look after the jump.