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It’s time to start raking

A GRIP ON SPORTS

You know what I hate? Raking leaves. But when you have four huge old deciduous trees in your yard, not to mention two big pines and assorted big bushes, it's hard to avoid. Read on.


••••••••••

• Why am I writing about raking leaves? Because I have to do it every year at this time. Like clockwork. But the past few years I've come up with a new deal with Kim. I don't have to touch a single leaf until Washington State's football team is eliminated from bowl contention. So guess what I was doing yesterday afternoon? Yep, you got it. Raking leaves. Big old Norway maple leaves. Pine needles. Little leaves from bushes. What a pain in the neck. And shoulders. And lower back. Last year, when the Cougars were still in bowl contention until the last couple weeks of the season, I didn't have to do much. Kim was stuck as, every Sunday, I would play the “they-still-could-go-to-a-bowl” card. While Bill Moos was in Key West wooing Mike Leach to come to Pullman, I was avoiding the tough yard work. And, after Leach had taken over the good ship Cougar, it seemed as if there was a chance I may not have to rake at all this year. But that was not to be. The dream, along with some semblance of civility, died Saturday in Utah and the rakes came out Sunday. Someday, someday.

•••

• Washington State: Last evening an email arrived in my mailbox. No WSU practice on Sunday, canceled for the second consecutive week. But the Cougars did hold a workout and according to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Marquess Wilson walked out early on in the conditioning session. And this morning it was reported Wilson has been suspended.  Follow Christian Caple's Twitter account (@ChristianCaple) and stay with SportsLink for more on this. … Christian had this story in today's paper, along with a blog post from this morning with links and notes. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Leach's post-game tirade is the subject of this SportsPress Northwest column. And Jon Wilner looks back at the weekend. So do the guys at ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog, which also posts its power rankings.

• EWU: Jim Allen switched from football mode to basketball mode Sunday as the Eagles unofficially opened the 2012-13 season with an exhibition victory. Here is his story.

• Idaho: The Vandals leave WAC play this week, facing a BYU team in Provo that's coming off a bye. … The WAC title race will probably come down to the showdown down South between Utah State and Louisiana Tech. The Aggies have a bye while Louisiana Tech, coming off an easy win over Texas San Antonio, travel to Texas State.

• Seahawks: If you missed the second half of the Hawks 30-20 win over Minnesota yesterday, you missed quite possibly the best all-around half they have played this season. Russell Wilson was accurate, the offensive line, despite dealing with some injury issues, opened holes for Marshawn Lynch when they were needed and the defense stepped up after a sub-par first half. … The win may not have satisfied some – Adrian Peterson did run for 182 yards, though most of them were in the first half – but it was a win, which is what the NFL is all about.

• Sounders: The draw with Real Salt Lake? It could have been a loss very easily. … If Seattle bows out in the first round again, is it time to remake the team?

• Mariners: Wouldn't this be nice?

•••

• Mondays are odd days. Not a lot going on – usually. But today has already been different with rumblings of a sea change in Pullman. That's for others to worry about, though. I have to rake leaves. Until later …


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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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