Another Saturday morning on the road, but this one is different. The Rockies loom in the background as Washington State prepares for its first Pac-12 game. Read on.
• Washington State: There were two new venues added when the Pac-10 expanded to the Pac-12, here in Boulder and over the mountains in Utah. And guess which schools get to play in them first? Washington State and Washington, the two northernmost outposts of the conference. Instead of giving the Washington schools the Herculean task of playing in the schools' first-ever conference home games, why didn't the Pac-12 send the two newest conference members, Arizona and Arizona State here? Just wondering. ... There will be two junior college transfers making their first college starts for the Cougars today. On offense, center Matt Goetz, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound sophomore center who started his college career at Texas Tech, spent a year as a redshirt, then transferred to Navarro JC when a coaching change occurred. Goetz played a little center at Texas Tech and at Navarro, but has been working mainly at guard this season. When Andrew Roxas went down with a bad ankle sprain, Goetz moved over. On defense, Lenard Williams, a 6-2, 250-pound junior who played at Iowa Western CC last season, will start at d-end, taking Adam Coerper's starting spot, but actually playing the other side. Travis Long will move into Coerper's left end position. ... We have our advance of today's game, along with our two-minute drill, which examines the keys to today's game. ... By the way, we also had this short on D.J. Shelton's MIP (it's at the very bottom of the linked story). There was a lot of misinformation floating around about this and it took us some time to get to the bottom of it. But the final word from the Whitman County court is Shelton paid his fine on time. ... Is today a must win for Paul Wulff and the Cougars? It's early but Bud Withers says it just may be. The Times also has a short preview. ... Freelancer Howie Stalwick has this advance in the News Tribune. ... A big win last night for WSU's quarterback recruit. ... CougCenter has a couple things worth reading.
•••• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller has his Friday mailbag and asks if you knew these facts. ... Washington: The Huskies will face a Utah team giddy to start its Pac-12 experience. ... Oregon State: The Beavers are still beat up as they head to Tempe to face ASU. ... Oregon: Though the game isn't until next Thursday, the Ducks are looking forward to meeting Cal. ... California: Bye week. ... Stanford: A couple features as the Cardinal prepare to face UCLA at home. ... Colorado: Thanks to a lot of injuries, some are afraid the Buffs dream of playing in the Pac-12 could be a nightmare, starting today. ... Their backup running back seems to always have a smile on his face. ... Utah: It's also a really big day for the Utes, probably even bigger than for Colorado, considering where Utah started. ... USC: The Trojan secondary hasn't been all that good. It's needs to be better today against Arizona. ... UCLA: The Bruins face one of the most complete football teams in the nation today at Stanford. ... Arizona State: How good is the ASU defense? It's been hard to figure out thus far. ... Arizona: A strong start would do wonders for the Wildcats.
• That's it for this morning. As usual, we'll have more thoughts from Folsom Field before kickoff. Joins us then, and keep up with the action via Twitter at vinceg55. Until then ...