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As my dad used to say, there is many a slip between the cup and the lip, whatever that means

Washington State players celebrate after a 42-16 win over Stanford on Saturday. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
Washington State players celebrate after a 42-16 win over Stanford on Saturday. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • So what’s on your reading list this Monday morning? No Seahawks game story, that’s for sure. But how about some more college football? The Pac-12 teams in Washington seem to be doing pretty well. Read on.

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• The last two weekends have been pretty darn good for Pac-12 fans in the state of Washington. The behemoths from Oregon and Northern California have been vanquished, twice, and the two Evergreen State schools have ascended to the top of the conference standings.

Is this the zenith of the season?

Let’s hope not. After all, Washington is in the conversation for the national title – and being compared to the greatest team in the school’s history. Washington State is eight points from being undefeated and it has buried the memory, somewhat, of the two season-opening three-point defeats.

And the two guys in charge of the offenses have earned accolades.

Yet all this talk of an Apple Cup showdown for the conference title or even more seems, dare I say it, a bit premature. There is a lot of football left. And who knows what crouches beyond the next bend.

The Pac-12 isn’t the best conference in college football. But it is as deep as any. A game with the worst team in the conference, whoever that might be, is fraught with danger. Heck, Washington is a failed two-point conversion away – wait, Rich Rodriguez decided to play for overtime – from having a loss to lowly Arizona on its resume.

So don’t get too excited just yet. Revel in the Pac-12 standings today, sure. Enjoy the fact the two Washington schools are the only ones in the conference without a loss. But stay in the moment. It may not last. And marking off wins down the road is the surest way to build resentment if they don’t occur.

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• WSU: As for news from Pullman, there isn’t a whole bunch. Jacob Thorpe posted the videos following the game with Stanford – it looks as if the Cardinal actually have a spot for them these days, instead of holding the postgame outside the locker room under an overhang with the band playing nearby – from Mike Leach, Shalom Luani, Hercules Mata’afa, Luke Falk, Gabe Marks and Tavares Martin ... Jacob also has a story on where the Cougars stand in the conference race. ... The WSU volleyball team suffered its first conference loss, falling at Oregon.

Around the Pac-12, UCLA, headed to Pullman on Saturday, is unable to run the ball. That makes it hard to pass as well. ... Oregon has to regroup mentally and physically during its bye week. ... Washington has a bye as well. ... The Stanford offensive line has been porous the past two weeks. ... California is also in the regroup mode after a road loss to resurgent Oregon State. ... Colorado must put the road loss to USC behind it. ... Arizona State and Arizona are both dealing with major injuries at the quarterback spot. ... Utah has a great record but still is dealing with slow starts. ... Bowl games are in the picture for most of the conference's teams. ... As are awards.

• Gonzaga: The men’s soccer team opened conference play with a loss.

• EWU: Receiver Shaq Hill earned a national award for his play against Northern Colorado. ... Speaking of the Bears, their basketball program is in trouble with the NCAA. ... The Eastern soccer team earned a Big Sky win yesterday.

• Whitworth: The Pirate golf teams competed in a tournament in Oregon over the weekend.

• Seahawks: The Hawks had yesterday off and Russell Wilson took advantage of it by resting. Not. Now they face an Atlanta team that is better than folks thought. Meanwhile, the Seattle offensive line is doing better than expected.

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• Just a heads up. I have family in town this week, so the schedule may just be a bit convoluted at times. If it looks as if I need to run away and hide, I’ll let you know. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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