A GRIP ON SPORTS
Any list of best or greatest managers in Seattle Mariners' history begins and ends with one name: Lou Piniella. That's how it should be. But last night, Lloyd McClendon went against one of Piniella's cardinal rules and it worked. Boy, did it ever work. Read on.
It's game day here in Bozeman, where No. 2 Eastern Washington visits No. 14 Montana State. Here's my game preview, and, in case you missed it, the replay from Thursday's live chat. … The hometown Bozeman Daily Chronicle has a big package on the game, including a reprise from last year's EWU win, a profile of EWU coach Beau Baldwin and a game preview highlighting new MSU quarterback Dakota Prukop…. In other games, Montana faces a huge challenge at top-ranked North Dakota State. Here's a preview from the Missoulian. … Interestingly, Eastern's next two opponents, UC Davis and Idaho State, have the week off. … Southern Utah is hoping to rebound, but that won't be easy at Fresno State. …
The last time the Cougars played at 7:30, a whole fortnight ago, the game ended at 11:04. Let's see if Oregon and Washington State can beat that tonight (they won't).
And now for the links, which are right after the jump.
The Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans will renew their rivalry on Saturday night when the teams open their 2014-15 Western Hockey League seasons in Kennewick. We'll be there to see the latest chapter. Read story
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Gonzaga Prep vs. Mead game. Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.
Give credit to Utah for making a trip to the Big House to make Week 4 interesting for Pac-12 viewers. The rest of the nonconference schedule is as bland as a beige rainbow.
The week’s most interesting storyline can be found in Colorado, where the Buffaloes take on a Hawaii team that lost close games against Washington and Oregon State. Can we just decide that the winner of that game gets to stay in the Pac-12?
All games are Saturday, all picks should be used for kindling purposes only.
Last week: 7-1 straight up, 1-5 against the spread.
Overall: 26-5 straight up, 8-15 against the spread.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
There is something calming in this day an age when you are forced to turn off all your electrical devices and avoid human contact through your smartphone. But it isn't really advisable to do it during a pennant race. Not if you want to have any fingernails left. Read on.
Just one more day until Washington State takes on No. 2 Oregon in front of a sold-out Martin Stadium. Can't wait? Time travel may not exist, but watch how quickly the day flies by as you make your way through our morning links.
By the way, it's International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Do with that what you will.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Ferris vs. University High game at Joe Albi. Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.
After Washington State finished its final full practice before Saturday's game against Oregon the underclassmen had their Thursday Night Football scrimmage. The defense looked great. The offense, well, they had to do some up-downs.
Our report from practice is after the jump.
The Spokane Chiefs must reshape many phases of their game, but they prepare to enter the 2014-15 Western Hockey League season with the will to compete. Read story
Read the full transcript of Thursday's chat in the extended post.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
You know, this weekend might be the best weekend ever in terms of sports depth around here. The Seahawks are playing the Broncos in a rematch from last year's Super Bowl, the Cougars host No. 2 Oregon, the Mariners face a key series at Houston in their chase for a postseason berth for the first time in 13 years and there are a bunch of other games. Too bad I won't be around. Read on.
The out-of-conference games took their toll on the Pac-12 and now that the conference’s teams are sufficiently beaten up they’ll start to play each other. With a 25-4 record in nonconference games the Pac-12 mostly solidified its reputation as one of college football’s top conferences.
Still, it’s hard not to think that the Pac-12 missed an opportunity to really be considered elite. USC is still one of the conference’s most talented teams and could certainly win the Pac-12 South. If it does, it will make every good program it beats look bad in the process, losing to the team that lost to Boston College.
Even though UCLA went undefeated, the Bruins’ six-point average margin of victory against what wasn’t thought to be an imposing schedule is going to diminish the national perception of one of the Pac-12’s most talented teams for the rest of the year.
At least Oregon took care of business.
Has it really been two weeks since we chatted about Eastern Washington football? We'll do it again today at noon, right here at SportsLink. One topic of conversation should be new Montana State quarterback Dakota Prukop. who's the subject of today's Big Sky notebook. …MSU's underdog status is personified by Bobcat lineman Taylor Dees, according to this article in the Billings Gazette, which also has a preview of Saturday's Montana game at North Dakota State. … Two weeks from now, Idaho State will bring a veteran offensive line against Eastern. …Suddenly, the Eagles' win over Sam Houston State doesn't look so impressive.
Heading into the 2014 football season the WSU receiving depth appeared pretty set. The Cougars returned their top eight receivers from the previous season and there seemed to be a defined pecking order.
Three games into the season and last year's most productive receiver, Gabe Marks, is redshirting and Isiah Myers has already matched his production from a year ago and is on the Biletnikoff Award watch list. I wrote about Myers' emergence the in paper today, and our practice report includes a number of big plays from redshirting freshman receiver who isn't waiting to make an impact.
We have more links after the jump.
Washington State's depth is starting to catch up to the starters. Or maybe the backups just had a good day. Either way, Wednesday's WSU football practice saw some big plays from players you don't normally hear about.
Our practice report is after the jump.
Busy day on the Gonzaga beat and a couple of hours this afternoon spent co-hosting a weekly radio show with Toby Howell on KGA AM-1510.
I put together a Gonzaga notebook for Thursday's S-R with the first item concerning Angel Nunez's hardship waiver appeal. It was denied by the WCC, which means Nunez is now listed as a senior. Gonzaga plans to appeal the decision to the NCAA. I've added notebook items on Matt Santangelo returning to the analyst role on GU radio broadcasts, Mike Hart returning to the program to be the video coordinator and John Jakus being hired as director of operations. He'll spend this season learning from Jerry Krause, who is stepping down from the director of ops position he's held since 2001.
—The Bulldogs also released their non-conference schedule. Most of the matchups have been publicized (UCLA, Arizona, WSU, Memphis, SMU, etc.) but there were a few new names dotting the home schedule (an exhibition game vs. Thompson Rivers from Kamloops, B.C., Texas Southern, Southeastern Louisiana, etc.)
Because we were caught up in the hubbub of some late-night scheduling news and other stuff for the paper we never got a practice report up last night. We make amends for that omission after the jump.