COUGARS • UPDATED: 5:05 P.M.
As the days melt away before Washington State's Sept. 4 opener at Oklahoma State, the position battles begin to work themselves out. We finished up our offensive previews today with a look at the running backs and it seems the 11 starters on that side of the ball are pretty set. For more on that, and our links, read on.
• UPDATE: Expect the basketball schedule to be officially released soon. The Cougars open with Southern University in Pullman Nov. 13, then host Idaho on Nov. 16. ... The Seattle game is Nov. 23 vs. the University of Portland, followed by a trip to Fresno State on Nov. 26. ... No game in the Tri-Cities this year, but there is a non-conference game with Texas Pan American in Spokane Dec. 10. ... The Kansas State game is Dec. 3 in Pullman (the Apple Cup is Dec. 4), the Gonzaga game will be the next week, Dec. 8, in Pullman. ... The Cougars will also be gone for a few weeks over Christmas, playing at Santa Clara Dec. 19, then heading over to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22, 23 and 25 before jetting to LA for the opening of the Pac-10 season Dec. 29 and 31 against UCLA and USC, respectively. Both games against the Huskies, Jan. 30 and Feb. 27, are on Sundays. We'll have more later.
• Washington State: As the Cougars enter the final 10 days before the OSU opener, about the only spot that may be still up in the air is right tackle. Though senior Micah Hannam is the incumbent and the frontrunner, he and freshman John Fullington traded off every two plays at Tuesday's practice, meaning both ran with the ones and the twos. That's one spot to watch. ... There are a few more questions to be answered on defense, though a lot of those have been brought up due to injuries. The nicks and scrapes of a typical fall camp have sidelined a couple of starters for long periods (we went over those injuries and other items from practice last night on this post), so we'll see how that shapes out. ... On to the stories. ... We had our piece on the running backs. And that's about it in the way of freebies from WSU. ... From Oklahoma, here is a practice report on the Cowboys along with a feature. ... Another look at the OSU practice is also available.
• Around the Pac-10: Not a lot that's conference specific, but the L.A. Times' Chris Dusfresne is now counting down his top 10, and a conference school is in the mix. ... Washington: Senioritis isn't recognized by the AMA, but it certainly is by AFCA. It can be a good thing (as in this case) or a bad thing. ... Oregon State: The jokes are fading quickly. ... Kicker Justin Kahut has returned to practice after rehabbing a sore back. ... Who is the No. 2 running back? The Beavers have found just the guy. ... Oregon: The Ducks have found another running back as well. ... There is almost too much depth at linebacker. ... Cal: Nepotism was involved in Jeff Tedford's choice of a defensive coordinator. Well, if you use the term really loosely. ... Stanford: OK, can we have a moratorium on Owen Maresic, two-way player, stories please? ... USC: They battled for USC's starting quarterback position. Now they are seemingly linked forever. ... UCLA: Kevin Prince seems to be doing better. ... Arizona State: There's a freshman running back who is expected to make a big impact. ... The indoor practice facility stood up to some scary weather. ... Arizona: Tucson is a little different than home for this assistant.
• That's all for this morning. We'll be at practice this afternoon and then post some notes and our special teams preview. We'll also be around if events warrant. Until then ...