COUGARS • UPDATED: 2:35 P.M.
What a nice day. I don't know what the weather is like, because I have yet to look outside my windows. But I know it's a nice day. It's Halloween and when I was growing up in Southern California, it was always nice on Halloween. So much so, the older boys used to play a trick on us little folk carrying paper grocery sacks. Read on.
• UPDATE: The Arizona State game on Nov. 12 will start at 7:30 p.m. and be televised by Versus. As I said on Twitter, better bring a blanket. Or three. By the way, it looks as if WSU was able to wrangle a TV waiver so that the game this Saturday at Cal can be televised back to Washington. Something official should be coming soon.
• Washington State: Yes, unlike the Inland Northwest, Halloween in the LA area could hit 60, 70 degrees. So one year I sat out on my route – I had to be under 10 because my preferred trick-or-treat route after I turned double digits was in the rich neighborhoods of Arcadia – with a paper sack my mom and I had decorated. I probably was wearing a baseball player costume, that being my go-to one of the time. And at one house – I have no idea which – some #&@%%$ slipped in an ice cube with the candy. Then some older boy must have followed me on my rounds. Because when the ice cube melted, it put a hole in the sack. Viola, a Hansel and Gretel trail of candy. It wasn't until some nice lady pointed out I was leaking chocolate like a '48 Chevy leaks oil did I discover the problem. I backtracked, but gone were the Milk Duds, the Milky Ways, the Good-n-Plenty. Gone was Halloween. The next year I took a pillow case. ... OK, after that brief interlude I'm sure Jane Gross would love to dissect on "Two and a Half Men," we're back with Cougar football. We have our follow on Saturday's game with Oregon, based on a very short Paul Wulff press conference. One other question I asked Wulff was the increased use of tight ends/H-backs and how much that helped in the run game and pass protection. He said it did but that wasn't the main reason behind the formations. It has more to do with the health of Aaron Dunn, the redshirt freshman tight end from Spokane who missed much of the first half of the season with a nagging muscle pull. With Dunn available, the Cougars could game plan more plays with a tight end involved, knowing that an injury to Andrei Lintz wouldn't cause those plays to be tossed from the play list. Lintz stayed healthy, caught two passes, teamed with Dunn and Jared Byers (a fullback/H-back) to add leverage on running plays and gave the WSU offense a different look. ... Here's a first look at California, courtesy of Nick Daschel for Cougfan.
• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller updates the conference race and lists his power rankings. ... Bud Withers looks back at the weekend. ... Washington: Chris Polk has reached an elite level, helping the Huskies reach bowl eligibility again. ... Oregon State: The Beavers have little chance of going to a bowl, and Stanford might make that a certainty this weekend. ... Oregon: So who starts at quarterback this week for the Ducks when they face Washington in Seattle? Coach Chip Kelly isn't saying. ... California: For the second consecutive week, WSU will prepare for a team in flux at quarterback as well. It might be time for coach Jeff Tedford to pull the plug on Zach Maynard. ... Stanford: The Cardinal's win in Los Angeles helped them in the BCS rankings. ... Colorado: The Buffs might rewrite their record book in the wrong way. ... Utah: The Utes held on to the ball, gave it to John White and won a Pac-12 game. ... USC: A least one Pac-12 coach is talking about some questionable calls. ... UCLA: The Bruins have a chance to make a big leap this week. ... Arizona State: Doug Haller with some thoughts on the week ahead. ... Arizona: The Wildcats seems to be always stuck in second gear.
• That's it for this morning. The Cougars practice late tonight and we'll be back after that. Until then we're spending time with Kim. ...