It's game day in Southern California – or SoCal as the hip and informed call it – which means we have a lot of items related to Washington State's battle with UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Well, maybe a lot is stretching it. Read on.
• Washington State: The Bruins offer a lot of challenges (a couple of which we detail in our 2-minute drill), none of which is greater than their new-this-year pistol offense. We decided to look at it today (and will have more in our pregame post). ... A couple of notes we will put into the paper tomorrow but I thought I would pass on today. Offensive tackle Dan Spitz, suspended until November after failing a NCAA-mandated drug test last year, had surgery on his shoulder this week and will not play at all this season. Spitz injured the labrum in fall camp and it never healed completely. It was decided to clean it up and get him ready for next year. ... CougFan reported WSU's 16th commitment of the 2011 class yesterday. It's Tana Pritchard, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound linebacker from Clover Park High. I talked with his uncle Jack Thompson late last night in the hotel and he smiled when Pritchard's name came up. His assessment: Pritchard is a hitter. He loves to deliver a blow. He'll help the defense. And he loves the Cougars. ... CougCenter has a guide to today's game in the Rose Bowl (12:30 p.m. on FSN).
• Around the Pac-10: Which of the conference's four 4-0 teams is the most overrated? You decide. ... The best matchup today (5 p.m. on ABC where I am at) is in Eugene between Oregon and Stanford. ... Washington: Homecomings are one thing. Wins are the one true thing for Steve Sarkisian. ... Revenge is the thing for the opponent. ... ESPN.com's Ted Miller has a Q&A with Nick Holt. ... Oregon State: It's time for the Beavers to start winning, according to their best player. ... To accomplish that goal, they'll have to be better on third down – on both sides of the ball. ... Oregon: So, will the winner today go on to win the Pac-10 title? Discuss among yourselves. ... The Cardinal will throw multiple looks at the UO offense. ... Cal: A bye this week. ... Stanford: Want to know what's rare? The Cardinal playing in a game featuring two top-10 teams. That's rare. ... USC: The Trojan defense didn't look all that stout last week, and today they'll face Jake Locker. ... UCLA: Kevin Prince will be a game-time decision. ... He doesn't believe there will be a letdown today, but really, you follow Texas with WSU. How could there not be at least somewhat of one? ... But will it matter? ... Especially when you can hand the ball to Johnathan Franklin. ... Arizona State: Can the Sun Devils be part of the Pac-10 race? ... Arizona: Nick Foles took it one throw at a time this week.
• That's all for this morning. We'll be back before the game with thoughts about the WSU defense and the pistol's option attack. Until then ...