Hard to believe that a year ago, I was guiding my Honda Civic down I-84 en route to my new apartment in Pullman. Much has happened since. We reminisce briefly before rounding up our Pac-12 links on this New Year's Eve morning. Read on.
(OK, so it was a year and a day ago. Close enough). Yes, 2012 will wrap up in another 18 hours. It was a year of hope, ensuing frustration, turmoil, and then cathartic elation for the football program (and its fans). A year of transition for the basketball program. And a year of transition in this space, too, as I tried to continue the tradition of quality beat reporting set by Vince during the last five years. … It was never boring, was it? Mike Leach helped assure that. He was as quotable as advertised, though unfortunately for WSU fans, those quotes more often than not wound up being prompted by disappointing play. Whether it's good or bad, I'm not sure a 3-win team at WSU has received more national attention than this one. A big reason for that was the Marquess Wilson investigation (which has still only concluded halfway, the results of the Pac-12's investigation still unknown) Then, of course, there was the Apple Cup, which is likely what WSU fans would consider the school's sports moment of the year. Hey, that sounds like it would make an interesting blog post. … The basketball team disappointed at times, too, but made things interesting by capping an otherwise relatively unremarkable season with a trip to the CBI championship series. Not where the Cougars wanted to be, sure, but they walked away from that season feeling better about themselves than they had in mid-March. And they introduced the new-and-improved Brock Motum to the rest of the Pac-12 world. All he did was lead the conference in scoring in his first season as a full-time starter, establishing himself as a Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate heading into the 2012-13 campaign. He's living up to that hype so far. … Lastly, a call for suggestions: any New Year's Resolutions you'd like to pitch for WSU's athletic department in 2013?
In Pac-12 basketball news … USC held off Dayton, 63-61, in the only Pac-12 game on Sunday. … Colorado starts its Pac-12 season on Thursday with a tough game against No. 3 Arizona. … Speaking of the Wildcats, they might have the easiest league schedule in the Pac-12. … Oregon State hosts Texas Pan-American at 2 p.m. today on the Pac-12 Networks. Oregon hosts Nevada at 4 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.
In Pac-12 football news … USC caps its disappointing season today in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech (11 a.m., CBS). … Key player meetings dotted Stanford's road to the Rose Bowl. … Oregon's star defensive back is a different player this year than he was for Oregon's bowl game in 2011. The Ducks' coach figures to get more attention from NFL teams this offseason. … Oregon State needs its young leaders to step up in 2013. … Arizona State wants to build off its strong finish. … Washington's new quarterbacks coach talks about returning home.