With the Cougars splitting into two squads today, it means four or five hours on the practice field for the coaches and support staff. A long day indeed. You can start it by catching up with WSU and the rest of the Pac-10 on the link in our usual morning post.
• Washington State: The first day with shoulder pads not only was highlighted by a little extracurricular hitting but by the steady play of cornerback Daniel Simmons, who we profiled. ... Freelancer Howie Stalwick had a practice notebook in the Kitsap Sun and other papers. ... That's it for this morning.
• Around the Pac-10: Which school has had the best defenses the past 10 years? It's USC of course. Nick Daschel's No. 2 might be a surprise. ... Washington: No matter what he's writing about, I like to read Dave Boling's stuff. When the Tacoma columnist writes about the Huskies, I link it. ... The Times' Bob Condotta has this piece about their tight ends. ... Oregon State: How tough is it for a freshman to start on the offensive line? Tackle Michael Philipp is trying to find out. ... Oregon: Patrick Chung was a consistent force in the Ducks' defensive backfield for as long as I can remember. But now he's gone. Can he be replaced? ... Cal: Nothing, nada, zilch. ... Stanford: So the Cardinal are playing guys both ways. Big deal. Now they've got a guy who used to be a swimmer. Too bad he wasn't on the team last year. He could have gained 100 yards in the fourth quarter against the Cougars, when the field looked like Lake Erie. ... USC: Oops, spoke too soon about Aaron Corp already recovered. His knee injury kept him out of practice yesterday. And Matt Barkley tried to take advantage. ...UCLA: The Bruins may just feature another running back from the Maurice Jones-Drew mold. ... Arizona State: Last year the Sun Devils offensive line was, well, awful. So was the running game. They are trying to fix both this season. ... Arizona: Take the bait. Read this story. Gag about the pun.
• That's all I've got this morning. We'll be back soon, hopefully with a quick post after the first practice. Until then …