Sure hope you freed some time this morning. As weekday mornings in December go, I can't remember more good stories to read than the ones grouped on the link. From Mike Leach's public coronation in Pullman to San Diego State becoming part of the Big East – yes, I just typed that – it's a morning filled with stories you'll want to make time for. Read on.
• Washington State: Leach will be on his way back to Key West sometime this morning and it certainly seems he'll take the hearts and minds – and quite possibly the wallets – of Cougar fans with him. When he returns, he should have filled in some of the blanks on his staff, have made contact with a handful of recruits and prepared to move in to his Pullman offices. If Bill Moos has his way, Leach will be the last coach to fill those Bohler Gym digs and the first to occupy the new ones in the football operations building. ... Here's what we can pass along: Our main story on Tuesday's party in Pullman; a look at Leach from the point of view of someone who knows him well; and John Blanchette's column. From other websites around the state, there is Bud Withers' column in the Times, freelancer Howie Stalwick's story and Dave Boling's column in the News Tribune and this Brian Floyd piece on CougCenter. ... ESPN.com has this short summary of WSU's football season. ... Could Robert Griffin III have played at WSU? Maybe. Then he would have been running the 400-meter hurdles as Jeshua Anderson's teammate (they ran against each other in the NCAA finals as freshmen). ... Finally, lest you forget, there is a WSU basketball game tonight, as the Cougars travel down the road to Moscow to face the University of Idaho for the 392,123 consecutive year (OK, that's a slight exaggeration; it's just the 107th consecutive year).
• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller ranks the excitement factor for each of the conference's bowls. ... Jon Wilner sums up the news from yesterday concerning Big East expansion into the greater West for football, meaning San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk, the former AD in Pullman, is back at a BCS school without even having to move. ... With Leach on board in Pullman and Rich Rodriguez the guy in Tucson, that leaves Arizona State and UCLA still looking for coaches. The Bruins might be turning to a fellow well known in the state of Washington while ASU's search seems to be casting around for someone to fill what's not the dream job you might have thought. ... Will Oregon be looking for a new coach someday, because its current one has moved to the NFL? Could happen. ... Stanford gets ready for a bowl game, though it looks as if the Cardinal won't be featuring a Heisman Trophy winner. But they still have Jim Plunkett. ... The Beavers have enticed one of the best running backs in the nation to play in Corvallis. ... Speaking of recruiting, how's it going in Tucson? ... Jake Heaps is leaving BYU for, well, who knows. But how this came about is an interesting story. ... On to basketball where we start with our latest in an ongoing series of links to UCLA's Reeves Nelson being suspended. ... We then move to stories about college players making their upcoming season debuts against Fresno State, one from Oregon and another from Colorado. ... The Huskies come within an eyelash of posting an upset in New York, losing to Marquette, 79-77.
• And that's all for this morning. We'll be back later today from the wilds of Idaho – the Kibbie Dome transformed into the Cowan Spectrum – with a pregame basketball post. Until then ...