You know, even though the last six months haven’t been kind to the University of Southern California football program, in a lot of ways USC is still USC. There is a cachet to the name, a ring to it. Say it just right and images of O.J. weaving through the UCLA defense, Sam Cunningham jumping over Alabama, Ricky Bell in the Kingdome, Marcus Allen playing fullback, Carson Palmer’s bullets, Reggie Bush, Rey Maualuga still dance in the memory. That’s what makes this weekend so much fun. What will Saturday’s game be like? In a little more than 24 hours, everyone will find out. Read on.
• Washington State: We have our story from this morning’s S-R on USC’s last visit here. We also had some notes from yesterday’s practice on the blog. … Jim Moore made a pilgrimage across the mountains to his alma mater and the fresh wheat-scented air must have caused a session of light-headedness, because he has this column up on the P-I site. … Grading the WSU defense three games into the season. … Christian Caple has his weekly picks on his Daily News blog. … Dale Grummert of the Lewiston Tribune has this nice story concerning Marquess Wilson.
• Around the Pac-10: ESPN.com’s Ted Miller opens his mailbag once again. … The Times’ Bud Withers praises the wide-open nature of the college game. … Washington: Other quarterbacks have committed elsewhere, so the Huskies are talking with a JC signal-caller. … Oregon State: There are some similarities between the Beavers and Boise State. … Oregon: Coach Chip Kelly is embracing the Eugene lifestyle and the preferred way to relieve stress. … The tales of two receivers, one who left and one who stayed at Oregon. … Cal: Nothing this morning. … Stanford: The Cardinal pass rush will get after Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist. … USC: OK, this isn’t typical of the USC of lore. Going for two was not in John McKay’s playbook. … No one, not even the players, know who will start at tailback against WSU. … Matt Barkley’s first trip to the Evergreen State wasn’t memorable. … Freshman Robert Woods wants his USC career to be. … UCLA: Akeem Ayers can seemingly play anywhere on defense, and play well. … Arizona State: The red zone has been a bit bloody for the Sun Devils. … Arizona: The Wildcats’ corners play aggressively. Oftentimes, too aggressively.
• That’s all for this morning. We’ll be back later with links to our Saturday items and some notes. Until then …