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 …