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Pac-12 power rankings: Week two

The first weekend of games caused considerable movement in our weekly snapshot of how Pac-12 teams are performing. Our week two power rankings are after the jump, let me know what you think.

Zags on ESPN networks at least 13 times

Gonzaga will appear at least 13 times on ESPN’s family of networks during the 2014-15 college basketball season.

GU’s non-conference matchups against SMU, Arizona, Washington State, UCLA and Memphis are among a minimum of 44 ESPN telecasts involving WCC teams.

The Zags’ showdowns with BYU (Dec. 27 and Feb. 28) and Saint Mary’s (Jan. 22 and Feb. 21) are on ESPN’s schedule. The ESPN networks will have expanded coverage of the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas, beginning with a pair of quarterfinal games Saturday, March. 7.

More here.

—Below, find ticket information for the GU-WSU game Dec. 10th at the Arena.


There is no place like Safeco for Young


Far be it for me to second-guess a Mariners' manager, especially as we delve into football season. Usually by now we're all more interested in the Cougars or the Eagles or the Seahawks. And Lloyd McClendon has done a masterful job keeping the M's – a flawed team – in contention for a wild-card berth. But something that happened over the weekend had me shaking my head. And I still am. Can't you hear the rattling? Read on.

Halliday’s leadership on full display

One of the best things to come out of Thursday night's loss was the image of quarterback Connor Halliday rallying the Cougars on the sideline. In the past Halliday has lost his cool, not without reason, but the result is almost never positive.

This offseason there was a change in Halliday that I've noticed in conversations and interviews with the quarterback, and it's a change that reporters who I have a lot of respect for have remarked on as well. Call it poise, maturity, or whatever, Halliday just seems in control. In control of the offense, in control of his answers and in control of his temper.

It's a change his coaches and teammates have noticed as well, and it's the subject of today's Washington State notebook. We also have our Pac-12 power rankings for week two. Oregon held firm at the top, beyond that the conference had more movements than a Wagner opera.

We've also rustled up some links from around the conference and placed them after the jump.

Vandals, Florida mull rescheduling options

They couldn't get the game played on Saturday night, which immediately raised questions whether it will get played at all. But an announcement on whether Idaho and Florida will reschedule the 2014 season opener that was first declared “terminated” and then simply “suspended” due to lightning and unplayable field conditions could come today.

For more on the Vandals and their scheduling dilemma, click on the link. 


Cyrus Coen returns to the practice field

Mitch Peterson did a yeoman's job against Rutgers in place of starting Sam linebacker Cyrus Coen. He didn't shy away from the moment and collected 16 tackles against a power team that tested him time and again.

Still, you'd rather have your starter in there, which is why Coen's return to contact on Monday was such a welcome sight for the Cougars.

“He's really improved over the last year,” said coach Mike Leach when asked about Coen. “He's always kind of a tough, hard-nosed guy but he's had a great camp, had a great camp. The biggest place he improved is he's gotten to a place where he plays pass coverage really well.”

Our report from Monday's practice is after the jump.

New depth chart for Nevada

Washington State just sent out its game notes, including an updated depth chart with a few notable changes on defense. Daquawn Brown has moved from field cornerback to boundary cornerback, where he will start in front of Tracy Clark, who struggled against Rutgers. Charleston White will take over as the starting field corner and he'll be backed up by Marcellus Pippins.

Darius Lemora is still listed as the starting strong safety. While he was listed there last week, Teondray Caldwell made the start against Rutgers. Lemora did play and the defense seemed to play better when he was in the game.

The game notes are after the jump. The depth chart is on page 11.


Labor Day is the right name for every day of the football season


It's a holiday, right? Which means I don't have to plug the parking meters if I go downtown. That's how I can always tell. Working in the world of sports, sometimes that's the only way. Because sports folks never take a day off. Read on.

Another game week begins

It's Monday and that means the start official start of the Spokesman Review's game week. The Cougars have been thinking about this game since the last one, but we start looking ahead with our weekly First Look at WSU's opponent.

The Cougars have just a few more days in Pullman before heading to Reno, Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack. Picking up the season's first win will be a challenge for Washington State, which opens as a three-point favorite over Nevada.

We have more links after the jump.

We always (over)react to college football’s first full Saturday


My first impression of the initial full week of college football: It's good to see the Pac-12 officials are in midseason form. Read on.

They aren’t who you thought they were

What's the most predictable thing about college football? It's the unpredictability. Jameis Winston hardly looked like a Heisman Trophy winner while defending champion Florida State eked out a win over Oklahoma State, West Virginia gave Alabama all it could handle and who knew Marshawn Lynch played for Georgia?

My sincere apologies to anyone who placed money based on my Pac-12 picks for week one. We may print my cell phone number, but there's a reason we don't print my home address.

Follow the jump for links from around this crazy, messed up conference.

Sebastian LaRue back at practice

The Cougars held practice for about an hour tonight. There wasn't much worth noting – some punt drills, lots of scout team work at half speed – except for the return of one Sebastian LaRue, who has been away from the team because of family matters since the middle of fall camp.

After practice we talked to defensive coordinator Mike Breske for the first time since before the Rutgers game.

More on practice after the jump.

EWU vs. University of Western Montana

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered Eastern Washington's victory over University of Western Montana, 41-9, in the NCAA college football game, Aug. 30, 2014 in Cheney, WA. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos!

Lightning, rain wash out Idaho football opener at Florida

The University of Idaho's football season will have to a wait a week.

With The Swamp turned into an actual swamp and the playing field deemed unsafe, the Vandals' date with the University of Florida was “terminated” after two extended lightning delays in Gainesville Saturday night. The terminology was later amended to “suspended” in a statement issued by Florida. 

So will the game ever get played? Follow the link for more on the Vandals.


Highlights from WSU player availability

Connor Halliday, Darryl Monroe and Vince Mayle addressed the media on Saturday afternoon to talk about Thursday's loss to Rutgers, Friday's game at Nevada and more. Highlights from those interviews are after the jump.

Quotes from Mike Leach press conference

Washington State will play another weekday game this week, traveling to Reno, Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack. Because the schedule is still off the Cougars held their typical Monday press conference today.


A transcription of coach Mike Leach's interview is after the jump.

The M’s are sinking in the West


If you wondered when this M's follower's dream of winning the American League West passed away, wonder no longer. It occurred in the fourth inning last night, when Wilson Ramos drove a high changeup over the left-field wall, the fourth of four home runs Felix Hernandez would surrender. Read on.

Saturday morning Pac-12 links

Some teams still play their games on Saturday and without a Washington State game it's the perfect opportunity to spend a day on the couch flipping between two or three matchups. The Cougars will hold their weekly press availability today so keep an eye out for some WSU news and the team will practice tonight.

Links are after the jump.


Everyone gets in act for Indians

The Spokane Indians capped their regular-season home schedule Friday with a balanced offensive performance. All 11 Indians who came to bat, including late-game replacements Chuck Moorman and Pepe Cardona, collected hits during the 15-hit effort that buried Salem-Keizer 11-5. Read story

Grading the Rutgers game

Just like last season, each day following the Washington State game I'll be posting letter grades for each position unit based on my observations of how it did during the previous game. To answer an oft-asked question: No, I won't be grading the coaching staff. We're not privy to what's going on in the minds and headsets, and these grades are simply a reflection of what I can see playing out on the field.

So with that, the Rutgers position grades are after the jump.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Greg Lee Greg Lee covers high school sports in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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