It's football Saturday on the Palouse. The smell from the homecoming bonfire was still quite evident at 1 a.m., which just gave the party noises coming from the apartment complex a different feel than the usual Friday night. Another thing that's different? The town is full of Subarus and Highlanders with Oregon license plates. Green might be a prominent color around Martin Stadium today. By the way, did you like the headline? Spent 1.7 seconds working on that one. Read on.
• Before we get to the links, I just want to thank all of you for the kind notes you posted here yesterday. You touched me – and made some members of our family cry (no, not me, but "some" members). You made a tough day so much better. It's funny, but even though he's gone, I can thank my dad for making me feel good once again, because of the nice things you wrote. That's so cool. I can't thank each of you individually, so this virtual group hug is all you get. Thanks again. Now back to football ...
• Washington State: OK, we've got to concentrate here. We had a preview quickly outlining the daunting challenge the Cougars face today. ... If you live anywhere but Oregon or Washington's Clark County, or are not in Martin Stadium this afternoon, you won't be able to watch the game live on TV. Those of you who live in say, Republic or Sunnyside, you'll have to watch it on tape delay. By the way, Marquess Wilson's Pac-10 statistics are mentioned here. What is more impressive is he's 23rd in the nation in receiving yards per game (91.6), the only freshman in the NCAA stats right now. He's also 46th in receptions per game (5), the highest and one of only two freshmen in that category. ... Bill Moos did an interview with a Seattle radio station yesterday and had a lot to say about the Pac-12. ... Jeff Tuel is in the middle of the Pac in quarterback statistics. ... If you want some basketball talk, you can find it from coach Ken Bone in this rewind of his on-line chat with the Times.
• Around the Pac-10: Yes, ESPN's Game Day finally does like the conference. ... Washington: Arizona State may scare the Huskies, but the prospect of not making a bowl is probably even scarier. The loser of today's contest is probably eliminated from bowl contention. ... Oregon State: Once more into the breach for the Beavers. ... Last year, the Wildcats' special teams won the game with OSU. ... Oregon: The Ducks expect the Cougars to come out throwing, putting the game in Tuel's hands. I guess that makes sense. ... The funniest part of this story are the last three words of the first sentence. It hasn't played that way the past two weeks. ... Cal: The pistol-packing Bruins give the Bears a chance at redemption. ... Will it be awhile before UCLA is back in Berkeley? ... Stanford: The Trojans' pass defense is their weak link. But can the Cardinal exploit it? ... The Cardinal haven't been favored in this game too often. ... USC: The Trojans' season may just be on the line. ... UCLA: The Bruins haven't won in Berkeley since 1998. ... Arizona State: Yes, the Sun Devils' hopes for a bowl game rest on today's outcome in Seattle. ... Arizona: The Wildcats know their reputation won't bully the Beavers today.
• That's all for now. We'll be back before the game – we will be on a Eugene radio show at noon today – with our usual pregame thoughts, then try to keep up with the action on Twitter (vinceg55) during the game – though we know we're always a little behind (blame the crud we have to do for the paper). Until then ...