The first iteration of our weekly power rankings are in the paper today. I'm also going to share these weekly snapshots here as well.
Let me know what you think.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Can I be honest with you? No. OK. Read on.
The way the Eastern Washington players and coaches were talking Tuesday, you wouldn't know the Eagle were coming off a three-touchdown win last weekend. Up next: Montana Western, an NAIA school, and here's the early scoop from EWU and also from Montana Western. … One UW player offers an interesting blend of culture, as this Seattle Times story explains. The Tacoma News Tribune profiles Husky defensive back Budda Baker. … Montana has a big opener Saturday at Wyoming.
Today is the last day of Washington State's offseason. We'll wrap it up today with a live WSU football chat right here on SportsLink at 11 a.m.
Until then we have some links, after the jump.
The Spokane Indians don't have to worry about qualifying for the Northwest League playoffs, as they took care of that by winning the North Division first-half title. But the Indians will definitely have a say in what two teams join Spokane and South Division first-half champion Hillsboro in the best-of-3 divisional round, which begins Tuesday. Read story
One thing I love about watching these underclassmen scrimmages, the young defenders always load up for the big hit. Not that the hits are illegal or especially dangerous – I haven't seen anyone try to spear a teammate or lead with the helmet or anything like that – but with their older teammates watching and commenting from the sideline it's apparent the defenders want to assert themselves.
Follow the jump for more on today's scrimmage and the rest of practice.
Call it resolution or call it compromise, but the big question dogging the Idaho Vandals into the first week of the college football season — who's the quarterback? — has been answered.
It's both of them.
More on the Vandals below.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Social media is really big on creating virtual communities, groups of people with like-minded interests that gather in the ether of the Internet to converse and commiserate. It's a pretty new phenomenon, though it mirrors something I've seen going on in Spokane for, I don't know, 30 years. Read on.
Bill Moos had a full day in Seattle yesterday, promoting Washington State athletics as part of Seattle Week leading up to Thursday's game against Rutgers. He did radio, television, and even stopped by the Seattle Times for a live chat.
It may be the last time Moos does this for a while. While he says that he still will stump for WSU in Seattle, he won't send his football team there any longer unless it's for an Apple Cup.
That's the main item in today's WSU notebook.
More links are after the jump.
The Northwest League regular season is down to one week and seven games. First-half champions Spokane of the North Division and Hillsboro of the South know that they'll open best-of-3 divisional series on Sept. 2, but their opponents are still unclear. Read story
Tomorrow will be a Thursday Night Football underclassmen scrimmage, Wednesday will be a walk-through and travel day and on Thursday the Cougars open the season in Seattle against Rutgers.
So, today was the last “typical” day of practice, complete with drills, more drills, some passing drills and even the far-off echoes of electric drills from last year's constant construction reverberating around the Palouse.
Our practice report is after the jump.
As of early Monday afternoon Washington State's game in Seattle against Rutgers has sold around 26,000 tickets. WSU officials were hopeful that ticket sales would pick up about a week before kickoff and that the Cougars could still approach 40-45,000 in ticket sales but it appears now that could be difficult.
More after the jump.
Bill Moos joined Bud Nameck for his weekly call-in show earlier today. In case you missed it you can listen to the podcast later on iTunes and if you can't wait I've written down some of the highlights below.
Moos will also be joining the Seattle Times for a live chat at noon today on its website.
Highlights are after the jump.
As Bud Withers of the Seattle Times pointed out yesterday, Washington State's season-opener against Rutgers on Thursday night is one of six Pac-12 games that are going to be televised on FOX Sports 1, which is in the middle of an apparent dispute with satellite TV provider DISH.
DISH claims that it already agreed to pay an “inflated price” for FOX Sports 1 content, and that FOX is now asking for an additional charge. If the two sides can't come to an agreement this week then DISH subscribers will miss Rutgers at WSU on Thursday, Colorado at Colorado State on Friday, North Dakota State at Iowa State on Saturday and Southern Methodist at Baylor on Sunday.
In addition to the two games this week, the Pac-12 games between Arizona and UTSA, UCLA and Arizona State, Utah and Oregon State and Oregon and California are scheduled to be televised on FOX Sports 1. The matchup between UCLA and ASU in particular could have major conference implications, and the contest between Utah and Oregon State will likely be a big game for fans of those teams as well.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Like a lot of you, I've been following the Mariners for a long time. We've seen most everything, from the improbable comeback of 1995 to the nearly flawless 2001 regular season. We've seen awful defeats – way too many of those – and heart-stopping victories. We've seen great pitchers, terrible pitchers, marvelous hitters and Mario Mendoza. Heck, we've even seen a player try to blow a ground ball foul. But, until yesterday, we hadn't seen the M's sweep a three-game-or-more series in Boston. Read on.
Today's the first Monday of the 2014 WSU football season, but don't expect the usual press conference. Because the Cougars play on Thursday, they're considering today a Wednesday.
Confused? So are we. But hey, we can look forward to Thursday Night Football tomorrow.
Links after the jump.
Washington State just finished up a two-and-one-half hour practice on Rogers Field, their last in full pads before opening the season against Rutgers in Seattle. There were some roster changes today.
For starters, Dylan Hanser is now No. 43, Darryl Paulo is No. 99 and Peyton Pelluer is No. 47, so mark that down somewhere. Of more interest to you, in all likelihood, was the omission of freshmen Barry Ware and Deion Singleton from today's roster.
Singleton, a defensive back, and Ware, a receiver, never joined the team after signing letters of intent with WSU back in February. However, both were listed on the roster and coach Mike Leach said early in fall camp that he expected them to join the Cougars at some point.
Singleton is a plus athlete who could potentially have contributed at either corner or safety. Ware originally committed to UCLA and at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds has great size for a receiver. Here is what Leach had to say about each when they signed:
(Ware) “Big target, great receiver skills both physical and explosive.”
(Singleton) “Tall, rangy secondary player. Can do a lot of things and just an incredible athlete. His brother plays Arena Football there in the Tri-Cities.”
Classes start tomorrow, however, and neither has enrolled at WSU, likely prompting the removal of their names from the roster. That's not to say that they'll never play for WSU, however, just that they almost certainly won't this season. The players could greyshirt and enroll in January like Hanser, Marcellus Pippins and Nick Begg did last season. They could also go the junior college route. However, in either scenario Singleton and Ware will no longer be bound to WSU by their letter of intent, opening the door for other schools to recruit them.
Leach said after practice that he was unsure if he could comment on their absence, but “we're only worried about the guys that are here.”
Follow the jump for a report from today's practice.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
You want to know one thing that made me really happy about watching Eastern Washington's win over Sam Houston State yesterday on ESPN? Not once, as far as I could tell, did the self-proclaimed world-wide leader show the tired old shot of the Spokane Falls roaring in downtown. That seems like a win to me. Read on.
Eastern Washington kicked off the college football season in style yesterday with a fun win over visiting Sam Houston State. With that game out of the way, all eyes on this side of the state will be on the Cougars, who are just a few days away from their own season-opener against Rutgers.
Links are after the jump.
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered Eastern Washington University's victory over Sam Houston State, 56-35, in the NCAA college football game at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash., Aug. 23, 2014. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos!