FROM PULLMAN — Another drive to Spokane and flight to Phoenix await. First, we want to add a few more thoughts to a story that ran in today's newspaper, and also pass along our usual links. Read on.
In today's paper, we took a look at what went into the attrition at WSU since the hire of Mike Leach. The conclusion: it's probably not all that alarming, given how many players left for pretty benign reasons. But it should be noted that in addition to the 19 scholarship players who have left — we're counting Kyle McCartney, who was placed on scholarship last season and chose not to return for his fifth year after graduating — there have also been a number of walk-ons who have left, too. Some of those, such as Jordan Simone, played last season and were more than just practice players. Some were recruited and invited as preferred walk-ons by Wulff. Some were brought in by Leach and wound up leaving, being cut, etc. … Of course, there are also a few Wulff recruits who have wound up on scholarship and in contributing roles under Leach — Leon Brooks and Elliott Bosch come to mind. … Didn't have room for it in the story, but Blair Bomber said something that stuck out to me. He said people sometimes ask if there's any part of him that enjoys watching WSU lose now that he's left the program. And though he spoke only for himself, he likely speaks for most players who have left when he says that's not the case at all. “That’s going to be your school forever,” Bomber said. “You don’t want to leave. A misconception people have with guys that leave and guys that are disgruntled for whatever reason is that they root against their school. It’s not like that. It’s one of those things where regardless of how you feel about a coach or guys on the team, every guy that’s left still keeps the Cougs close to their heart.” … We had some notes from offensive line coach Clay McGuire on the blog last night, and also had this note in the paper about the football operations building vote set for today in Spokane. … Howie Stalwick reports that Washington has returned another 600 Apple Cup tickets. Stalwick also has a story we missed last night on new WSU walk-on basketball player George Hill. … Art Thiel offers an interesting perspective on the Leach/Wilson saga. … SeattlePI.com offers a very positive opinion of Mike Leach, one the message-board crowd is sure to enjoy. … CougCenter writes some more about the pending vote on the football ops building. … From Arizona State: Todd Graham wants to put his focus on defense. ASU's senior running back is about “class and dignity.”
Around the Pac-12 … USC isn't where it wanted to be, but the Trojans can still make the Rose Bowl. … UCLA's cornerbacks are up against it this week. … Utah isn't an easy place to play, and it won't be for Arizona, either. … Aaron Rodgers doesn't want to see his former coach fired. Some Cal players will miss their home finale due to injury. … A freshman quarterback is a big threat to Stanford this week. … Oregon State's quarterback is just trying to throw strikes this week. … Oregon has developed depth quickly this season, and it's paying off. … Utah is glad it's playing at home against a team that struggles on the road, like itself. Utes seniors are preparing for their final home game. … A Colorado defensive end is about to set a school record.
In basketball, UCLA routed James Madison, 100-70. Arizona cruised past UTEP, 72-51. Colorado rallied past Dayton, 67-57. Oregon State lost to Alabama on a late 3-pointer, 65-62. And Stanford beat Alcorn State, 69-51.