Got out of bed this morning and looked outside. Nope, it wasn't 74 degrees and sunny. It wasn't raining chocolate. And there wasn't an In-N-Out on the corner. Nope, Pullman was Pullman. Or was it? Read on.
• Washington State: Really, the only difference in a week or so? There will be someone living here making more money than, well, as much as any public employee in the state. More than the guy in charge of the university, that's for sure. But I will say this. Last week, he was living in Key West. Hemmingway country. Sun, surf and margaritaville. Next week it's 40 degrees – at best – for the next three months. Let's move on. … Yep, Mike Leach is the new Washington State football coach. He'll be introduced next Tuesday at a press conference in the CUB. I bet it will be packed. Meanwhile, a few of you are asking in comments if I wish I were sticking around. Not sure about that. Besides all the personal reasons to take early retirement, Washington State has always been a great place to be a beat reporter because of the openness of, and the access with, players, coaches and administrators and the open nature of practice. I fear that's about to change. There should be a lot more wins in the future, sure. But game days are one-seventh of our workload. If the other six days are tougher, then it would make the job tougher. And it's tough enough already. … That being said, as I was doing my research yesterday, looking back at what Leach's teams have done, my jaw dropped. Cougar fans should be looking forward to Saturday's next year and the four years after that. WSU will be fun to watch. With two quarterbacks that can play the position well enough to power Leach's offense, a bunch of receivers that can go get the ball, and a whole crop of young offensive linemen, the Cougars are positioned perfectly to exploit Leach's offense. Expect four-hour games and 54-49 scores. … On to the links. … Here's our story on the hiring, along with some reaction from the players. … And here's John Blanchette's column on WSU's changing culture. … From the Northwest, we have this Steve Kelley column from the Times along with the news. Dave Boling has this column and freelancer Howie Stalwick has the news in the News Tribune. CougCenter has these thoughts from Brian Floyd. … From around the country, there is ESPN.com's Ted Miller and his coverage, a question on another ESPN portal and, from the New York Times, this interesting blog post. … In other WSU news, the men's basketball team pounded an over-matched Grambling team, 69-37, while the women's team fell to Gonzaga 71-69 on a coast-to-coast layup as the clock expired. … Back to football, the Cougars' Jared Karstetter was the conference's scholar-athlete of the year. And, no, there isn't a $2 million prize. … And that's it for this morning from Cougarville, except this video from the athletic department.
• Around the Pac-10:The Pac-12 championship game is this Friday night and there are a lot of interesting elements to it, despite the obvious mismatch. There is the bowl situation (yes, UCLA is going to one if it wants) and the Rick Neuheisel situation. And how does it fit into the BCS mantra that every game counts? … Steve Sarkisian is becoming a Pac-12 veteran. … Tragedy at Stanford yesterday when assistant coach, and former NFL player, Chester McGlockton died. … ASU and Arizona will finish the season each year, according to UA's athletic director, but who will be playing for the Sun Devils is still a question now that Dennis Erickson is out. … Will Matt Barkley be playing for USC next season? … In basketball news, Oregon has lost a couple of star freshmen players, USC does something WSU couldn't do, defeat UC Riverside and Colorado loses to Colorado State.
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back as events warrant. Until later …