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2011 winds down for WSU in Spokane

COUGARS

Not many of these WSU-centric blog posts remaining – blog posts, yes, but they'll be more well-rounded – so we better fill them up with interesting items as often as possible before we pass the baton. Luckily, today we can do that. Read on.

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• Washington State: We actually have some Cougar news today and some personal information as well. No, not my Social Security number which, despite what my kids think, isn't so old that it's just three digits. No, we're going to not only begin the New Year as the S-R's sports online producer, but we're also going to fill-in on a semi-regular basis on the Patchin, Osso and the Wingman show on Spokane's ESPN 700 radio. Yep, if you want to listen to me spout off a few times a month, you will be able to here. I'll let you know in advance when I'll be on. I will be talking Cougars, of course, and other Northwest sports. It's all part of my master plan to emulate Jim Moore. Spend five years in Pullman drinking and rarely going to class? Check. Leave print journalism behind? Check. Blog? Check. Radio? Check. Have some odd nickname and persona built around WSU? Well, no, we're not going there. ... As for real WSU news, our Dave Trimmer covered the local women's college basketball scene today and the Cougars are included. ... Washington State opens men's Pac-12 action tomorrow in Spokane by hosting Oregon, then turns around Saturday and hosts Oregon State. The Ducks will still be without big man Tyrone Nared, whose knee injury will keep him out at least another week. Oregon State is optimistic entering conference play, though the Beavers haven't won in Seattle in a decade. ... WSU has some media availability today, so we'll have a couple items in tomorrow's S-R to pass along, possibly this evening.

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• Around the Pac-12: With conference basketball beginning this weekend, we'll pass along stories related to that sport first. ... Who is going to win? It's a tough question this year, one Bud Withers tries to answer in print and online. ... The unbalanced schedule – WSU doesn't host Colorado and Utah and won't travel to Stanford or California – will help some teams and hurt others. ... UCLA travels to the Bay Area this weekend, a place that hasn't always been kind to the Bruins. ... USC is just trying to improve. ... As is Washington, which has been playing a different lineup. ... The biggest football news yesterday? In some quarters it was the unveiling of the uniform Oregon will wear in the Rose Bowl. Not for me, mind you, but I pass it along in case you are interested. ... Cal faces a Texas team tonight in the Holiday Bowl that is eerily similar. One Bear would like to have a big impact. ... Tomorrow's Alamo Bowl – or the game pitting Robert Griffin III against the maligned Husky defense – will conflict with UW's conference basketball opener, so there will be big screen cut-ins and a post-game watch party for hoop fans. Their top question: Is Chris Polk coming back? ... There are no Jan. 1 bowl games this season because it falls on a Sunday. My dad used to say it was for religious reasons when I was young, now it seems to be because of the NFL. Oh, so my dad was right? ... Utah's highly touted run defense will be tested by Georgia Tech. ... Though Stanford has Andrew Luck, don't count out Oklahoma State and its quarterback. ... UCLA's new offensive coordinator is familar to the Bruins. 

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• That's it for now. We'll be back either this evening or in the morning. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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