With only a few days left until the season begins, WSU will get back at it in earnest this afternoon. We'll do the same, with the first Pac-10 coaches conference call, a Paul Wulff press conference and then practice. But before we get to all that, here's our morning post.
• Washington State: We took our first look at Stanford yesterday, something made much more difficult because of a lack of Cardinal news throughout the fall and a late release of their weekly news items, including a two-deep. By the way, WSU released its two-deep, and there were few surprises. Alex Hoffman-Ellis is listed as the starting middle linebacker and that's the plan, if he's healthy. Aire Justin and Daniel Simmons are both listed as starters, which means Justin has made up ground in the past week. ... The Times' Bud Withers has this feature on a couple of Seattle-area true freshmen and the temptation not to honor their commitment to WSU. And that's about it.
• Around the Pac-10: We'll start with ESPN.com's Ted Miller, who ranks the Pac-10's cornerback corps. The Cougars are eighth. ... Buster Sports' Nick Daschel does the same with the punters, but decides to leave Reid Forrest out of his top five. An oversight considering Forrest had to punt so much last season and did it so well. ... Washington: Are Todd Woodward's loyalties divided this week? Tacoma's Todd Milles writes the UW AD says no. ... And Jerry Brewer's column in the Times is about the ultimate underdog, Steve Sarkisian (like Brewer, I'm being a little sarcastic here). ... Oregon State: WSU won only one game with ease last year – though the Cougars lost two quarterbacks in the process – and that was against Portland State. But quarterback Drew Hubel showed some talent at times in defeat. This week, the Vikings faces OSU, and the son of a former PSU great is impersonating Hubel. ... Oregon: The Ducks have a new kick returner. ... Cal: The Bears' defense goes into the season as the forgotten group. ... Stanford: The Cardinal will have three captains when they take the Martin Stadium turf. ... USC: The Trojans lose another players. This one isn't to injury. ...UCLA: Will the fires just up the mountain-side from the Rose Bowl force a change? Let me tell you this. My sister and her husband, UCLA season ticket holders, may not go if the air quality is still horrendous. ... Arizona State: When the Sun Devils and Idaho State agreed to play, former Bengal Dirk Koetter was still the ASU coach. Not anymore. ... Arizona: Don't expect to see star tight end Rob Gronkowski play in the Wildcats' opener.
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back later with our Pac-10 notebook, a look at practice and Paul Wulff's thoughts about the Cardinal. Until then …