A GRIP ON SPORTS
Saturdays come and go during the fall, each blending into the next until, before you realize it, the college football season is almost over. And the leaves are so high in your back yard, the beagle disappeared yesterday. Read on.
• Honestly, though, if the leaves get so high in our backyard our dog disappears, we're all in trouble. Our younger dog is half Great Dane, so if he is lost in a pile of leaves, I am in danger as well. But about half the football season has passed us by already and I am hard-pressed to remember much of it. Maybe it's our penchant for always looking to the future – the number one question on every college football show seems to be who will be playing in the BCS title game – or maybe it's just because I am getting old, but each high-scoring, up-and-down game seems to blend into the last. Rarely does a game stand out anymore. They all seem to blur together. Maybe that's why I remember Washington State's upset of USC. It was an old-fashioned, battle-of-the-trenches type of game, with the Cougars outmuscling USC for the win. You don't see many of those anymore. No, not Cougar wins. There have been a few of those this season. I'm talking about three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust games. Maybe it's because so many teams play on turf, so it's three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-little-black-rubber-pebbles, or maybe because the rules favor passing offenses so much it makes little sense to run student body right anymore. I know I caught the passing-game bug way back in the Don Coryell days (no, not when he was at Whittier, I'm not that old) so I can't complain. But I do miss the days when USC vs. Notre Dame would feature two great running backs, grass the height of my backyard leaf pile and only an occasional pass, with one usually deciding the contest. Wait, that might happen today. Never mind.
• WSU: It's funny. A couple times in the past few years, when Washington State had one of the worst FBS programs and Oregon had one of the best, the Cougars have hung with the Ducks for a while. To do that today, Jacob Thorpe writes, they will have to keep their head up and not panic. That just part of Jacob's pregame report today. It also includes a short summary of the matchup along with the keys for WSU. ... It's Saturday morning all right, which means we pass along ESPN.com's Pac-12 mailbag. And the site's things to know about today's games. ... If you are an Oregon fan and are confident your team will win easily today, who do you root for between UCLA and Stanford?
• Gonzaga: BYU's Tyler Haws is the Cougars unquestioned leader and one of the better basketball players in the country.
• EWU: It's homecoming in Cheney, but the Eagles are more interested in a win over Southern Utah than any of the activities. Jim Allen has an advance of the contest here on the blog while the Eagles' matchup also leads our area roundup of games. ... Southern Utah knows it has its hands full with the Eagles' offense. ... Weber State needs a win in the worst way.
• Chiefs: Want to know the hottest team in the area? It just might be the Chiefs, who won again Friday night, this time 4-2 over Everett in the Arena. Chris Derrick has the story and more in this blog post. ... The Winterhawks have won three consecutive games. ... Tri-City snapped a short losing streak with a 4-2 win over Victoria.
• Preps: Just when you think it might be a dull night of high school football, you are proven wrong once again. A couple upsets, a rivalry game and a while bunch of surprises made last night a typical prep football night. ... Greg Lee was at one of the upsets, where Lake City pounded Washington's third-ranked 4A team, Chiawana, 33-26. ... Not to be outdone, Coeur d'Alene routed Skyline, 54-14. Jim Meehan has that story. ... West Valley scored 13 unanswered fourth-quarter points and pinned a 39-26 defeat on rival East Valley. Thomas Clouse has the coverage. ... Ferris won its South Hill rivalry game with Lewis and Clark, 34-6, at Albi. Jim Allen has the story and Jesse Tinsley the photographs. ... Mt. Spokane handled U-Hi 42-10 in the nightcap. Jesse has more photos and Kevin Dudley the words. ... Central Valley routed Mead, 41-14, before a large crowd at CV that included Mike Vlahovich, who has the story. ... We also can pass along a football roundup, a scorelist and box scores. ... There is also this roundup of other prep action from Friday night.
• Seahawks: There were three main themes coming out of the Hawks' win Thursday night in the desert: The Seahawks supporters were so loud it was confusing at times; the Hawks are relatively healthy afterward despite losing a few players during the game; and there were improvements both on offense and defense.
• Sounders: Once more into the playoff breach for the Sounders, who head to Dallas for another chance to clinch a playoff berth. They'll do it without some key players – again – but Dallas has been struggling.
• Mariners: Uh, this isn't good. Not for team morale, not for anything.
• There is a lot of football to be watched today, culminating in the Cougars game at Oregon that will finish sometime just before the NFL kick offs tomorrow. We'll be on the post, post-game show, call-in show variety, with our friend Dennis Patchin sometime early in the a.m. You can listen if you have the Tunein Radio app for your digital device. Hope you can join us. Until then ...