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WSU's win at Washington, the morning after

COUGARS

The plan was simple. Sleep in this morning, head to SeaTac and blog from there. Then Seattle's downtown traffic took care of the first part. So we got out of bed and decided to take care of the second part. Read on.

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• Washington State: I'm quite sure Sybil has nothing on the Cougars right now (and if you don't get the reference, Wiki it). Any one of 12 teams could show up on any given night. Last evening, in Hec Ed, it was the version that looks a bit like Russell Crowe, all muscles, ego and confidence. And it put on a performance probably unequaled this season. Some of the catches and plays and finishes the Cougars made in the second half were catches and plays and finishes they couldn't make in other games this year. So it seems all they had to do was concentrate. Who knew? Well, they did. That's why they spent so much time this past week trying to get themselves locked in, to get their minds right before the trip across the state. For this one game, they did. ... One thing came out of last night's game for me. It cemented a thought I've had for a while now. As Reggie Moore goes, so goes the Cougar offense. And as the Cougar offense goes, so goes the defense. Moore is the unquestioned leader of this team, even if it is a role that surprises even him. Earlier this year when I asked him about it, you might recall, he laughed at the thought of the least experienced starter with that type of influence. But it's true. When he's ready to play, ready to assert himself, ready to attack – as he is every game against the Huskies – the team is ready to do the same. When he's lackluster, so are his teammates. I know that's way too simple and way too touchy-feely, but it seems right. When Moore is at his best, this team is pretty good. Anything less and it isn't. ... OK, enough of that. On to the stories, including mine as it appeared in the paper and on the web last night. We also had some notes late last night as well. ... The Times had two columnists, Bud Withers and Steve Kelley, in attendance and both had their takes, Withers on the Cougar side of things, Kelley from the Husky perspective. Plus Percy Allen had his game story. ... Don Ruiz had his gamer for the News Tribune. ... Jim Moore, probably riding a Segway, was able to run down the WSU bandwagon and climb back aboard. ... CougCenter has some in-depth statistics from the game. ... And our last WSU link is somewhat ironic. The worst coach in the history of my alma mater (UC Irvine), Rod Barnes, was fired yesterday at Georgia State. He was replaced by Paul Graham, who most of you probably believe filled the same role for Washington State.

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• Around the Pac-10: Not a lot. ... Arizona finds itself back home for the Oregon schools and, despite the lost L.A. weekend – wow, we've had a few of those in our life – still are in the driver's seat in the Pac-10 race. ... UCLA faces a much tougher road this week. ... By the way, here are the standings. ... The Ducks are trying to catch the Cougars for sixth place. If both split this week, it's WSU's. If somehow Oregon is able to pull into a tie, it comes down to tiebreakers. They split, so the performances against the teams above them come into play. The Cougars sweep over UW could be crucial, if the Dawgs can hold on to third place.

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• That's all we have this morning. We'll return if events warrant. Until later ...




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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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