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Heat is on around Pac-10, WSU


Watching practice yesterday I was hit by a revelation. Or maybe it was heat stroke. I'm not sure which. But anyway, it struck me that football season here runs through, basically, three seasons. There's the incredible heat of summer – and early fall, because it was hotter than Hades on that field yesterday – gives way to the cool nip of autumn and, though the calendar won't say it, winter makes an appearance for a week or two at the end as well. I have to remember how much I was bitching this time of year about the heat during those final weeks, when I start complaining I can't feel my toes and fingers. Let's move on. The junk for today is on the link. Read on.

• Washington State: We featured one of the offensive linemen today, new starting left tackle Tyson Pencer. If quarterback is the most important position on the football field – and it is – then left tackle is No. 2. If you don't have a good left tackle, it's hard to keep a good quarterback upright. ... We also have our Pac-10 picks this morning. I've been doing so poorly I decided to give WSU a break. I picked the Cougars to lose by a bunch. Chances are now it will be a lot closer. ... As our blog post from last night covered, I'm not sure if either Kevin Lopina (calf) or Logwone Mitz (flu-like symptoms), both pretty darn important reserves, will be available Saturday. Right now, with what's been going on injury-wise, WSU is not getting any breaks. We said all along the Cougars could win three or four games if they stayed healthy. More than anyone in the conference they need to keep their key players on the field. That isn't happening. ... There is help on the way. WSU now has 12 commitments for next season, more than I can ever remember this early. Check out CougFan's piece on the latest one. It lists all the commitments.

• Around the Pac-10:'s Ted Miller has his weekly Pac-10 picks and what to watch this week. ... Nick Daschel of Buster Sports rates the Pac-10 players. ... Washington: Linebacker Donald Butler made a dozen big plays for the Huskies last Saturday. He's the subject of Bob Condotta's feature in the Times. ... When Butler missed, safety Justin Glenn didn't. He's the subject of Todd Milles' feature in the News Tribune. ... Oregon State: Despite the loss to Cincinnati, the Beavers are still in a good spot in the Pac-10. ... Oregon: The Ducks' uniforms are always a topic of conversation. This week they are going to be of the throwback variety. Of course, it's only 1998 UO is highlighting. That was pre-Nike, though. ... Cal: Jahvid Best is ready to throwdown in Autzen, possibly running away from those guys in the old-looking unis. ... Stanford: The focus, even in the Bay Area, is on the Huskies and their new coach. ... USC: It's official. Matt Barkley will start Saturday. What do you bet Taylor Mays finds a way to play as well? ...UCLA: The bye week is helping the Bruins regain their health. ... Arizona State: Quarterback Danny Sullivan thinks the Sun Devils are capable of upsetting Georgia. ... Arizona: Just who is new quarterback Nick Foles?


• That's it for this morning. We'll be back this evening with a story and a practice report. Until then …

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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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