A GRIP ON SPORTS • Now that was impressive. And a little unexpected. If you tell me now you had last night’s Pac-12 early season showdown finishing in a Washington rout, I wouldn’t believe you. Not one bit. Read on.
• It’s not that you couldn’t see a Washington win coming. The Cardinal were beat up, the Huskies have been aiming for this game all season and it was in Seattle. On a Friday night. But a beatdown? A 44-6 rout? Not on your life.
No one handles Stanford like that. Not these days. Not in the post-Harbaugh world. And yet the Huskies did. They dominated from start to finish. The more than 72,000 in attendance never quieted down. Why should they? They were watching Washington do something it hasn’t done in a while: dominant a nationally respected foe. Heck, a foe many thought could play in the national semifinals.
And yet, after the game ended and the Husky fans incurred the financial wrath of the Pac-12 by rushing the field, the first thing I saw on social media: Something about the win won’t matter if Washington doesn’t defeat Oregon next week.
Not this is great, we are on our way, the world is our oyster. Nope. It’s “if Pete doesn’t defeat the Ducks ...” Then what? This one doesn’t matter? Really? OK, so winning against Oregon hasn’t happened in 13 years. That’s important. I get it. But a 44-6 win against one of the West Coast’s recent powers needs to be savored, to be celebrated, to be enjoyed.
The Ducks can wait.
• Speaking of the Ducks, they are in Pullman tonight for a game with Washington State. They aren’t happy. Why not? Oregon is 2-2. That’s not good enough for the entitled Duck fans. And it shouldn’t be. The players aren’t happy either. They held a players’ only meeting this week and talked about, well, a sense of entitlement. The older players feel the younger ones think they are entitled to way too much.
After all, the older players had to deal with the dark days of only 107 uniform combinations. And just one fountain in the locker room. Oh, the humanity. Just kidding. Winning comes with a price for every program. Sometimes it’s also accompanied by fans who don’t have a clue. But it doesn’t come for anyone without hard work, no matter how talented they are. The older Oregon players were trying to impart this wisdom to their teammates.
Will it work? For one week at least. I see an angry Oregon team winning tonight, 35-24 over the well-rested Cougars.
But don’t worry WSU fans. Next week your team gets to travel to Stanford. And the Cardinal probably won’t be too ticked off.
• WSU: It’s the Pac-12 opener for the Cougars and Jacob Thorpe has a preview in today’s paper. And his 2-minute warning. ... There is an interesting story in the paper today on the speed zone that is Colfax. ... Stefanie Loh has her advance of today’s game in the Times as well as a look at the special teams. ... The Ducks will try to bounce back from the Colorado loss this week, but their team meeting isn’t a good sign according to the Oregonian’s John Canzano. ... Elsewhere in the Pac-12, USC tries to stop its season’s decay when it hosts 4-0 Arizona State in the Coliseum. ... UCLA has to bounce back from the Stanford game better than the Cardinal did. Lucky for the Bruins, a beat-up Arizona team is the foe in the Rose Bowl. ... No. 24-ranked Utah travels to the refurbished Memorial Stadium to face a somewhat refurbished California team. The stadium remodel is the main reason why the Cal athletic budget is in big trouble. ... Colorado is a heavy favorite in it home game with Oregon State. That’s different. ... ESPN.com has Ted Miller's mailbag on the Pac-12 blog.
• Gonzaga: A couple of Zag-related stories, one I missed yesterday (sorry). ... Jim Meehan has a look at the replenished GU roster as the Bulldogs began practice Friday. And, on Thursday, the school broke ground on their new basketball practice facility, which also includes an academic component as well. ... If you love college basketball as I do, this piece on the officiating emphasis this season is not to be missed.
• EWU: The Eagles, coming off a September to remember, opens October by hosting UC Davis at Roos Field. Jim Allen has the game advance and John Blanchette catches us up with the guy whose name is on the field, Michael Roos. ... Elsewhere in the Big Sky today, Montana needs to bounce back when it hosts Southern Utah. ... North Dakota is a little beat up but still must host Cal Poly. ... Idaho State travels to Portland to face the Vikings. ... Montana State hosts winless Sacramento State.
• Idaho: The Vandals are at home again, opening up the Sun Belt schedule with Troy, who makes the long trip from Alabama. Josh Wright has a preview of the contest.
• Whitworth: The Pirates are on the road, in Oregon to face George Fox in a Northwest Conference battle. Tom Clouse has the particulars.
• Preps: Friday night was filled with lights from football stadiums, including Joe Albi, where Greg Lee covered Ferris’ 13-10 win over Shadle Park and Mead’s 35-12 rivalry win over Mt. Spokane. There are also a bunch of photos from Colin Mulvany accompanying both game stories. ... Gonzaga Prep traveled to University and picked up an easy win. ... We also have a roundup of other football action.
• Mariners: Well, look at this. The M’s won again, this one 5-1 over Oakland, which is only playing for the second pick in the draft. Meanwhile, Boston rallied to get past Toronto. Which means Seattle is just a game out of the wild card spot with two to play. In front of them: The Orioles, the Blue Jays and the Tigers. They have two pass two of the three this weekend. ... The Mariners picked their best minor leaguers of the season. ... Larry Stone has his memories of Vin Scully and they are quite similar to the ones I shared recently.
• The Ryder Cup? Well, the U.S. blew out to a 4-0 lead in the morning (something the U.S. team hasn’t done in a long time), then the tires blew out a little in the afternoon. When the first day was done, it was 5-3 U.S. We have some images to share. Until later ...