Would it be too much of a cliché to say the Pac-10 football season opened with a bang? Or that the conference took a huge hit to its prestige? Wonder if new commissioner Larry Scott wishes he were at the U.S. Open watching Maria Sharapova whack forehands last night instead of in Boise watching LeGarrette Blount whack foreheads. Oh well. Read on for WSU and Pac-10 links.
• Washington State: In today's S-R we wrote about the two true freshmen, Gino Simone and Travis Long, who would start for the Cougars on Saturday. And we summarized the practice day – and the basketball team – on our post last night. ... The Seattle Times has its Cougar preview, with this nice Kenny Alfred feature from Bud Withers and a Withers column about freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel. … Freelancer Howie Stalwick looks at the lineup changes. ... And here is a good guide to tailgating at WSU's game.
• Around the Pac-10: We'll get to the Oregon debacle in the UO section, but here we have ESPN.com's Ted Miller tallying up his position ratings. ... OK, we'll do one Oregon-related item here. Buster Sports Nick Daschel wonders about Chip Kelly's future. ... The News Tribune's Todd Milles has a Pac-10 preview. ... Washington: More Milles, who always has a way to come up with interesting stories others don't think about. Here's another example. ... The Times' Bob Condotta writes about the emergence of Jordan Polk as an offensive threat. ... Oregon State: Saturday's game pits two brothers on opposite sides of the football, but on the same side in life. ... Oregon: OK, here we are. The Ducks not only got beat down on the field, they are going to be knocked around today in the media, thanks to Blount's post-game action, available on video for all to see. Local note: The kid he walloped, Byron Hout, is from Coeur d'Alene and a Lake City High graduate. ... The opinions are already flying, like this throw-the-bum-out reaction from John Canzano. ... By the way, Oregon got whupped on the field. ... Cal: Will the season's success be predicated on how well quarterback Kevin Riley plays? Probably. ... Stanford: A quick summary of the Cardinal, point by point. ... USC: If Matt Barkley's anything, he's a unflappable guy. ...UCLA: Speaking of unflappable, the Bruins hope the 10 guys making their college debut Saturday stay that way. ... Arizona State: Quarterback Danny Sullivan will making his first start Saturday for the Devils. ... Arizona: Finally, the Wildcats have no idea how their quarterbacks will play this week. If they don't punch anyone after the game, is that now considered a win?
• That's it for this morning. The Cougars go through their final walk-through this afternoon as they wrap up preparations for the Cardinal. We'll be back later with the unedited version of our game-day items. Until then …