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Friday’s pre-trip morning post

COUGARS • UPDATED: NOON

We're headed off to Eugene today, but before we get on the road, we have to put together our morning post, don't we? Read on.

• UPDATE: We're not at the Pac-12 media day today, but we wanted to pass along the writer's picks (I didn't vote as I will be leaving this job prior to almost all the conference games). The Cougars were picked to finish tied for 10th with Colorado. Understandable with the loss of Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto but it might be a bit low.


••••••••••

• Washington State: We have our obligatory story this morning on Oregon and the Ducks speed. We tried to spice it up a little bit by bringing in the stark contrast UO presents to the other really good Pac-12 team, Stanford. Those two meet Nov. 12 in California. … We've been waiting a while, ever since Billy Witz spent time in Pullman earlier this season, for this story, then it appears earlier this week and we miss it. Nice. But you can read his piece on Paul Wulff now. … Will Oregon's stars play this weekend? ESPN.com's Ted Miller reads the tea leaves. … Not a lot to share out of practice yesterday – that, and a World Series game that was riveting, kept me from blogging. Starting offensive lineman Dan Spitz was fine and reserve defensive lineman Toni Pole watched, though he still may play Saturday.

•••

• Around the Pac-12: Miller also has some questions for you. … The NCAA passed a series of reforms yesterday, which you can read about here and here. Though everyone agrees the money aspect will help the rich schools, the academic changes may be as big a deal for them as well. … Washington: Arizona didn't wait to change coaches and in that regard, makes them different than UW. … Oregon State: The Beavers prepare for Utah. … Oregon: The Ducks have a couple of teammates from the Coeur d'Alene area who are tight. … It looks as if Darron Thomas will play but probably not LaMichael James. His backup, Kenjon Barner, was knocked out last year against the Cougars. … California: The Bears have at least one player with the wow factor. … Stanford: Though both teams this week (the Cardinal and USC) have great quarterbacks, Stanford has a great running game as well. … Colorado: The Buffs have lost their best linebacker, though at the beginning of the year no one knew it. … Utah: Are the Utes out of their league? … USC: Robert Woods tore up Stanford last season. … The Kiffins help each other out. … UCLA: Two brothers will be on opposite sidelines. … Rick Neuheisel earns respect from an unlikely source. … Arizona State: Needing depth on the offensive line, the Sun Devils welcome back a “retired” player. … Arizona: Chris Polk will try to run over the Wildcats. … The Wildcat basketball team gets upset by Seattle Pacific in an exhibition game. If the school sound familiar, its two previous head coaches were Ken Bone and Jeff Hironaka (WSU assistant).

•••

• That's what we have for this morning. We'll be back as events warrant. Until later …


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