FROM PULLMAN — Sunday marked the first official day of the offseason for a whole bunch of college football teams. It also marked the beginning of a period that is likely to cause some consternation in Pullman for the foreseeable future. Let's explain. Read on.
A few notes before the links … If you monitor Twitter as frequently as we do, you surely saw some of the rumors and reports yesterday linking Mike Leach to the head coaching vacancy at North Carolina State. FootballScoop.com reported that N.C. State had contacted Leach, but Leach later told Bruce Feldman, as well as FootballScoop, that he's happy at WSU. And don't be surprised if this isn't the last time Leach's name pops up in connection with a coaching search. He's Mike Leach. He's a big name. He's going to get mentioned. That's just a fact of life when you hire a coach with a proven pedigree. For the record, Leach answered a very direct and certain “yes” when asked a couple weeks back whether he would definitely return to WSU next season. So while this time of the year might not be good for your nerves, it's more or less unavoidable. … A WSU spokesperson said yesterday that while the school doesn't plan to release a statement regarding the Austin Seferian-Jenkins incident following the Apple Cup, it will meet today, as it does on each Monday following a home game, to review gameday safety procedures and find ways to improve. … A different WSU spokesperson said the swelling in sophomore guard DaVonte Lacy's left knee hasn't decreased enough for them to determine a more specific timetable for a return other than the 1-2 weeks estimate already given. … Howie Stalwick writes a bit about Leach and a bit more about former WSU players and coaches who might be on the move this offseason. … Jim Moore stormed the field on Friday and writes about it here.
Around the Pac-12 … A bit of a surprise in Boulder yesterday, as Colorado fired coach Jon Embree after he led the Buffaloes to just four wins in two seasons. The firing is being criticized by some as too hasty. (And no, Leach hasn't been named as a potential candidate to replace him yet.) … Oregon is stuck behind a logjam of SEC teams at No. 5 in the most recent BCS standings. … Oregon State still has another game to play before its bowl game. … USC's coach might be “embattled,” but at least he still has his job (for now). … UCLA wants its quarterback to run more in this weekend's rematch against Stanford for all of the Pac-12 marbles (it's actually for the Rose Bowl, but whatever). … A breakdown of what went wrong for Utah this season. … Arizona's biding its time until it finds out where it's headed for the holidays. … So, too, is Arizona State. …
In basketball action … Cal Poly managed what UC-Irvine couldn't (sorry, Vince), toppling No. 11 UCLA in the Bruins' annual upset loss to a team it should beat. … Oregon State beat Montana State, 78-65. … Colorado beat Air Force, 89-74. … California hammered Pacific, 78-58, and how ironic is it that a Pac-12 team won the DirecTV Classic? … San Diego State slipped past USC, 66-60.
We'll be back today with notes from Ken Bone's press conference.