Saturday was fan appreciation day in Pullman (if you weren't there, you can experience it vicariously here and here) and photo day for the Washington State football team. Today is a day of rest for the players. But not here at SportsLink. We have some notes and links, so read on.
• Washington State: A couple extra stories today as we enter the first of 12 game weeks this season – spread over the next 14. We start with our piece on the defensive line. Honestly, WSU has no better group right now than its front four. And there actually is a little depth, though the end positions are a little thin. ... Bud Withers of the Seattle Times weighs in with two stories, one on Jeff Tuel's role in the Cougar hierarchy (interesting chart at the bottom) and another on C.J. Mizell's journey to Pullman. ... How is WSU viewed in Oklahoma? This story gives you a clue. ... Breaking down the Cowboys' freshmen. ... Many of those freshmen dot the depth chart. ... I wasn't going to answer this question because I thought I had answered it earlier, but looking back, I found Nolan Washington's name and his injury status had slipped through the cracks. Contrary to a comment on an earlier post, Washington is not practicing and may not play Saturday. His hip is still bothering him. At times he feels fine, runs and can do drills. Then it catches and he's done. We'll see if he's better Monday or Tuesday and, if he is, he'll be on the field Saturday. ... And that's about it this morning.
• Around the Pac-10: We have our quick conference preview. ... Another look at the conference's quarterbacks. ... Washington: One of those, the best of them more than likely, is UW's Jake Locker. He's a product of Ferndale, hard near the Canadian border, and he's proud of it. ... Oregon State: Talk about taking your sweet time earning a starting spot. ... The Beavers don't duck a tough schedule, starting with their opener. ... Oregon: No, there is no more important news than the quarterback decision in Eugene. The Oregonian's John Canzano weighs in with what he thinks it means about coach Chip Kelly and George Schroeder writes about Darron Thomas' ability to handle the doggone role (OK, read the piece, you'll see it's a bad pun). ... It's a role that will keep him in the public eye. ... The Ducks had other position battles as well. ... Cal and Stanford: The Cardinal have one sure-fire first round draft pick. In fact, he's already been picked. ... USC: I don't believe I've ever seen a more impressive high school running back on video than Marc Tyler. After years of languishing at USC, he's finally getting his shot. ... Matt Barkley is getting pushed more at practice. ... UCLA: The Bruins have a linebacker that is short in stature but big in punch. ... Arizona State: The Sun Devils just have a bunch of really good linebackers. ... Some notes about the upcoming season. ... Arizona: Long hair, gold tooth, 302-pound frame, unnoticed on campus? Tucson must be one interesting place.
• That's all for this morning. The Cougars are off today and, to a certain extent, so are we. We'll be back if news breaks or we get really bored. Either are always possible. Until then ...