Woke a little earlier than usual this morning and I'm glad I did. There are stories after stories today, some with a WSU bent, others, many others, from around the Pac-10. Hope you have some extra time as well. Read on.
• Washington State: Our position preview this morning concerns the defensive backfield, a position a little in flux right now because of the ankle injury suffered by Brandon Jones earlier this week. It is what it is. ... Former P-I newspaper columnist Jim Moore, now P-I online columnist Jim Moore, is flush with optimism as the WSU football season starts. ... Former Cougar running back DeMaundray Wooldridge is giving the Idaho faithful some optimism of their own.
• Around the Pac-10: Even without Woolridge, who left WSU before I got the beat, the Cougars' running back corps is ranked seventh in the conference by ESPN.com's Ted Miller. ... Buster Sports' Nick Daschel cites research (now that will get him drummed out of the sports writers union; what are we, historians?) in saying UW is the nation's No. 1 producer of NFL quarterbacks. ... The Mercury News' Jon Wilner has revamped his Pac-10 picks as fall camps wind down. ... And Ken Goe of the Oregonian doesn't feel it's too farfetched to think Oregon and USC could both be undefeated when they meet in late October. ... Washington: The Huskies are starting to get ready for LSU, according to Tacoma's Todd Milles. ... Bob Condotta writes about a change in the defensive backfield. Oregon State: We know Jacquizz Rodgers will be the starting running back, but who will be his backup? ... Oregon: The NCAA has finally cleared a Duck recruit. ... Cal: The San Francisco Chronicle presents its Cal preview. Guess what Coug fans? WSU is in the lead. ... Stanford: The paper also has its preview of the Cardinal, WSU's first opponent a week from Saturday. ... USC: Aaron Corp may be back at practice, but coach Pete Carroll wants to see more out of him. ...UCLA: A true freshman is igniting the Bruins running game. ... Arizona State: That noise from Tempe was just a huge hit in practice. ... Arizona: The Wildcats will be starting a fifth-year offensive tackle who has overcome major injuries just to be on the field.
• That's it for this morning. The practice today, sans pads, will be at 4 p.m. We also will have our final position preview on the special teams for tomorrow's paper. We'll post both sometime this evening. Until then …