You can blame the Lentil Festival. I am. Because the Washington State football team is ticketed to participate in today's parade, practice begins at 8 a.m. On a Saturday. Shoot, it was hard to get up this early on a Saturday even when watching Bug Bunny cartoons and eating Trix were all I cared about. But we're awake. And we've got your morning briefing. Just click the link.
• Washington State: Where should we start? Well, there's always our position preview, this one on the receiver crew. And if you want to know how Friday's practice went, there's our usual post from yesterday. ... Plus there's this good notebook from freelancer Howie Stalwick in the Kitsap Sun and other papers. ... And there's a linebacker preview on the CougCenter site.
• Around the Pac-10: Buster Sports' Nick Daschel examines the top defensive ends in the Pac-10. There are no Cougars on the list. ... Bud Withers of the Times has his Oregon State preview. ... And ESPN.com's Ted Miller asked around the conference and came up with this list of the week's outstanding practice players. ... Washington: With two weeks remaining until the season opener against LSU, new coach Steve Sarkisian tells the Times' Bob Condotta he's optimistic. ... When the Huskies scrimmage today, defensive end Darrion Jones wants to get a sack, according to Tacoma's Todd Milles. ... Oregon State: The injury situation in Corvallis reads a little like a Thomas Pynchon novel with all the twists and turns. . ... Oregon: If people aren't going to challenge him, Ducks' cornerback Walter Thurmond III says he'll find another way to make an impact. ... Cal and Stanford: Guess what? I can't find a story specifically about these schools. Sorry. If you've got anything new, pass it on. ... USC: If Aaron Corp wants to start the season opener against San Jose State, Pete Carroll says he has to be back at practice by Tuesday. ...UCLA: The Bruins scrimmage today and new quarterback Kevin Prince has a simple assignment that isn't that easy. ... Arizona State: Another scrimmage. Another test. For the Sun Devils, this exam will be game-like. ... Arizona: Trevin Wade talked big last year when he was just a mop-up player. He also played big. Now he's a starter.
• That's it for this morning. The Cougars not only practice at 8 in full pads (or so I've been told), but they're back at 3 in the afternoon in helmets and shorts. Between the two I hope to post a practice summary and the quarterback preview story that will run in Sunday's paper. Before then, I have one link that's a little out of the ordinary. New Arizona coach Sean Miller has a new graduate assistant with a famous last name. We'll be back Until then …