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From Pullman — Just like that the Cougars are 20 percent of the way through spring football practice. They're also just a few hours away from officially introducing Ernie Kent as the new men's basketball coach. Keep an eye out for our coverage from that. Today we'll be having another live chat at noon to talk about both football and basketball. Brush up with yesterday's practice report and our story on WSU's visitor. We've also got our weekly college baseball notebook featuring coach Donnie Marbut's return.
From Pullman — The pads went on Tuesday’s and the Washington State football team had easily its most spirited practice of the spring. There was constant hollering from the sidelines, a few light scuffles broke out and the coaches didn’t seem to mind a bit.
Our practice report is after the jump.
From Pullman — The Cougars were up early Saturday morning for their second practice of spring football. Here is our practice report and a story on the offensive line. More notes and quotes from practice after the jump.
From Pullman — Hope you didn't sleep in on Saturday. If you did you missed a flurry of Cougars news, not to mention some pretty great cartoons. The day began with Washington State's second spring football practice. We've got a practice report and a story on WSU's young offensive line. Soon after, we learned that the Cougars were making a second run at Boise State's Leon Rice. By mid-afternoon, however, we learned the Rice was going to stay put.
From Pullman — The Washington State Cougars recently wrapped up their first practice of the spring. The defense shined early but the offense won the day. Follow the jump for today’s practice report
From Pullman — Today marks the final day before the Washington State football team puts the pads back on and takes the field for spring practice. Head coach Mike Leach met with the media this afternoon to preview the upcoming 15 practices and also gave his thoughts on Daquawn Brown's standing on the team and efforts by Northwestern University football players to form a union.
All that after the jump.
From Pullman — Washington State athletic director Bill Moos joined Bud Nameck on KXLY 920 for Cougar Calls this morning and it was a pretty eventful show. Spring football starts on Thursday for WSU so the duo hosted both defensive coordinator Mike Breske and head football coach Mike Leach.
Highlights from those interviews, as well as some information from Moos regarding his search for a new basketball coach, are after the jump.
Mike Leach addresses state Senate.
OLYMPIA — The Washington Senate elevated the 1915 Cougar football team to the status of National Champion today, honoring the team that went undefeated and won the 1916 Rose Bowl.
With current WSU Coach Mike Leach at the rostrum, the Senate passed a resolution honoring the 1915 team as the first West Coast team to win a Rose Bowl, beating Brown University 14-0. That victory “helped restore the nation's faith in college football and put an end to the practice of celebrating the Pasadena Tournament of Roses with events such as ostrich races, polo matches and chariot races, beginning the annual tradition of the Rose Bowl Football Championship”, the resolution said.
Technically, Cornell University was the national champion in 1915 — at least according to CollegeFootballPoll.com, which lists champions recognized by the NCAA. That team went 9-0, but didn't play in a bowl.
Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, acknowledged that the practice of naming a national champion didn't take hold for decades after the 1916 game, but for much of the last half century, any team that went undefeated AND won the Rose Bowl would have been declared the national champion.
Leach started his remarks by saying he watched “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” in preparation for his visit to the Senate chamber. “So I stay up here and talk until I collapse,” he said.
But he didn't. Leach thanked legislators for everything they do to support higher education and said he hoped “to put a team out that everybody can be proud of” in the fall.
From Pullman — With all due respect to Mrrs. Bielema, Calhoun and Saban, there does not seem to be groundswell up support arising for their proposal to guarantee college football defenses time to substitute.Yesterday morning we put up a blog post that quotes WSU head coach Mike Leach who uses no uncertain terms to profess his disdain for the idea, and the Seattle Times' always excellent Jerry Brewer calls the idea “inane” and “laughable.”
Not so long ago Mr. Brewer said the same thing about my skills as a bus boy, so you can be sure he knows what he's talking about.
The WSU women beat Utah, giving June Daughtery her first 7th Pac-12 win as the WSU coach. The Cougars are within shouting distance of March Madness, but still have a ways to go. Charlie Creme projects just three Pac-12 teams will make it to the women's NCAA tournament in his latest Bracketology, and Stanford and Arizona State seem like sure bets. The Cougars also have to overcome their 13-12 overall record, despite some impressive out of conference performances.
The WSU men will take on Stanford today … Arizona State beat rival No. 2 Arizona in double overtime in one of the best games of the year thus far .. The baseball team lost its season opener against top-ranked Cal State Fullerton.
*We regret not being able to bring you Ted Miller's Pac-12 Mailbag. It's Vince's thing, and he jealously guards it like a mama bear whose only cub is the rightful heir to the entire Grizzly Kingdom.
From Pullman —
Earlier this week WSU coach Mike Leach spoke to ESPN’s Ted Miller about a proposed NCAA rule change that would prevent offense from snapping the ball during the play clock’s first 11 seconds to allow defenses an opportunity to substitute player.
On Thursday he joined Matt and Scott on WJOX 94.5 FM in Birmingham, Ala. to further explain why he would be, “prepared to debate anybody on the subject because it’s so ridiculous on its face.”
More after the jump.
From Pullman — For a day with no game, Thursday was surprising eventful in Cougar country. The Washington State football team is in the middle of Midnight Maneuvers and the athletic department released a video with some highlights from the late night workouts … Former WSU safety Deone Bucannon's agents also put out a video about their client's road to the NFL draft … There are some new pictures of the Football Operations Building, which athletic director Bill Moos says is nearing completion … The day capped off with the news that running back Jeremiah Laufasa will transfer … The Crimson Flag is Flying at the Winter Olympics.
From Salt Lake City — Last night we reported that backup quarterback Austin Apodaca has decided to transfer from Washington State and has left the football program … Today the basketball team will take on Utah and should be prepared for a hostile environment … The WSU women came very close to earning their first-ever win over Stanford … Here's a nice profile on WSU football (and basketball?) signee Jalen Canty … Cal suffered a tragedy yesterday when a player collapsed during conditioning … Ted Miller answers questions in his Pac-12 Mailbag … The Ducks need a win tomorrow at Arizona State to keep even the faintest postseason hope flickering … USC and UCLA are set to rumble for the second time this season.
From Pullman — The 2014 WSU football class is almost if not entirely signed and it's drawn good reviews from its architect … We've got a list of the signees, along with coach Mike Leach's evaluations of each, right here … The men's basketball team fell just short on the road despite a career night from DaVonte Lacy … Stanford avenged its earlier loss to Cal … Washington finished with a respectable class on a tight deadline … But a pair of Huskies might be in trouble … USC finished with a bang on signing day, showing that the new staff will be able to at least recruit well … And recruits are still impressed by all that is Oregon … Stanford also brought in a good class.
You can view the video of coach Mike Leach's signing day press conference here.
From Pullman — Members of the Washington State football program's 2014 class will be faxing in their letters of intent throughout the day. As the signings become official we'll update them in this blog post with some information about the recruits. Follow the jump to see who the next crop of Cougars will be.
Last letter received: Sulaiman Hameed, Cornerback, California
With signing day fast approaching, college football coaches are scrambling to fill out their 2014 recruiting classes. While these last couple weeks can be a whirlwind of activity, Washington State has received verbal pledges from a number of recruits, and only have a few spots remaining. With that in mind, I invited a couple WSU recruiting experts to come fill us in on how the class is shaping up. Braulio Perez, a Senior Correspondent at Cougfan.com and Britton Ransford, the publisher of WazzuWatch.com, were kind enough to answer some questions about WSU recruiting and the upcoming class. Part 1 of that interview is after the jump.
On Monday we reported that the Washington State football team was set to welcome six new student-athletes who enrolled for Spring semester. Today, the school formally announced the new roster additions.
“This is a very good start to our 2014 signing class,” said coach Mike Leach. “We have added some size along with skill positions on both sides of the ball. Having them begin classes and adjust to college life, while also participating in winter conditioning and spring practices, will benefit them going forward.”
Click here to read the school's press release.
From Pullman — Yesterday was the start of called for Spring semester at Washington State and the students were back on campus. That includes six new Cougars who enrolled for Spring quarter (although apparently Calvin Green is arriving today). In the morning, Bud Nameck hosted Cougar Calls, which you can listen to here or read our recap. Bud Withers of the Seattle Times takes a look at the teams to beat in 2014, and the paper also has a piece on former WSU basketball player Patrick Simon. CougCenter's Kyle Sherwood takes a closer look at the shot charts from the Cougars game against Utah.
Follow the jump for links from around the Pac-12.
From Pullman — Yesterday Bill Moos appeared on Cougar Calls and WSU coach Mike Leach made a guest appearance. We've transcribed some of the highlights. While the call was centered on football, Moos also touched on the men's and women's basketball teams. We've got a blog post recapping the men's weekend in the desert, while the women will take on Washington tomorrow … Moos also reiterated that the Apple Cup won't be on Friday next year … It appears that former WSU football coach Paul Wulff has found gainful employment … The Pac-12 is losing a lot of talent in football this offseason. Both underclassmen and seniors are preparing for the NFL draft … In the true Boulder spirit, Colorado has been climbing the men's basketball polls … Last night was the end of the BCS era, and it went out with a bang.
From Pullman — Like myself, Bud Nameck returned from Arizona today and wasn't around to participate in Cougar Calls with WSU athletic director Bill Moos. But Derek Deis filled in ably, and the duo had a guest visitor in football coach Mike Leach. Moos confirmed that the Cougars won't be playing the Apple Cup the day after Thanksgiving anymore, and Leach called in from Florida to give his thoughts on recruiting. The interview can be listened to in its entirety here.
We've also transcribed some of the highlights, which you can read after the jump.
Washington State football coach Mike Leach will make a guest appearance on Gridiron Outdoors with Mike Pawlawski on the Outdoor Channel. In the show Pawlawski, a former professional quarterback, and his guests venture into the wild to pursuit wild species. Former guests include Urban Meyer, Gerald Sensabaugh and Joe Staley.
Leach has appeared on the show previously and went hunting in New Zealand. A photo gallery from that excursion can be found here.
The new episode will air on Saturday, January 4th at 5:00 p.m.
From Pullman — The Washington State basketball team didn't learn until a couple hours before the game that they would be without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy, who is in the hospital recovering from appendicitis surgery. Fortunate, then, that the Cougars were playing Mississippi Valley State, who they easily beat … CougCenter's Brian Floyd has a nice profile of WSU defensive line coach Joe Salave'a …
In other basketball news Shaq McKissic continues to ball for Arizona State … Oh, wow! The Utes made St. Katherine look like some overmatched sacrifice team! … Down two starters, Cal still rolled … The Pac-12 had its way with the SEC, with Colorado dispatching Georgia and UCLA beating Alabama.
The Pac-12 will resume football action when Oregon and Arizona State will play their bowl games tomorrow.
From Pullman — Another Pac-12 team played its bowl game, yesterday, with Washington defeating BYU in San Francisco. The Huskies may have won the game, but they lost their star tight end, who will enter the NFL draft … In basketball the Huskies beat Mississippi Valley State, who the Cougars will host tonight.
Links from around the conference after the jump.
Our photographer, Tyler Tjomsland, and I spent all day yesterday getting back to the Evergreen State from New Mexico. So of course, all heck broke loose. First, Colorado State forcefully massaged assistant coach Greg Lupfer's wrist for his homophobic outburst directed at Connor Halliday on Saturday. Then, we got word that linebacker Feddie Davey may be done at WSU.
As if that weren't enough, it appears that defensive line coach Joe Salave'a may be mulling an offer to join Steve Sarkisian at USC. We'll pass along more info when we can get it.
Here's the now deleted tweet about Washington State defensive line coach Joe Salave'a: pic.twitter.com/B0gK6gNjbY— Shotgun Spratling (@ShotgunSpr) December 23, 2013
From Albuquerque — Fun fact: It's actually cheaper to stay an extra day in New Mexico than it is to fly out the day after a bowl game with Christmas right around the corner. I guess there was a demand for Southwest Airlines' supply of tickets. But enough advanced Smithian economics for today, you're here for the links.
I've got a story on how Washington State is trying to shake off its New Mexico Bowl loss … It's something that Jim Moore is having difficulty with … Howie Stalwick thinks it will be awhile before the Cougars recover … DCSU defensive line coach Greg Lupfer used profane and bigoted language during a volatile exchange with WSU quarterback Connor Halliday … Lupfer has “apologized” via Twitter and the incident is under investigation by CSU … Also subscribe to the Lewiston Tribune? Check out Dale Grummert's Monday Morning Quarterback.
More links, after the jump.
From Albuquerque — Well, Washington State certainly provided a memorable start to the 2013 bowl season, even it was due to an 18-point collapse in the fourth quarter. The Cougars lost, 48-45, and we've got a game story for masochistic WSU fans and Rams who have wandered over in search of links. It wasn't all bad, however, as Connor Halliday and company wrote their names in permanent ink in the record books.
Tyler Tjomsland has a photo gallery from the game … John Blanchette notes that the Cougars could have benefitted from better clock management at the end of both halves … We've got a notebook from the game, featuring breakout Cougar Theron West … Thomas Clouse filled in for me yesterday, and watched the WSU men's basketball team fall to UTEP, and watched the women's team fall to Gonzaga.
From Albuquerque — The day is finally here. In five short hours, WSU's decade-long bowl drought will finally be in that over. A lot has happened in that decade. Coaches have come and gone, control of the House of Representatives, Senate, and Presidency have all changed hands, and the scourge known as Biebermania has made itself known.
Here is our advance for the New Mexico Bowl, which kicks off at 11 a.m. … John Blanchette may descend into madness if he hears one more speech by a bowl representative comparing the WSU and CSU colors to red and green chilies. But hey, he thinks the Cougars are a lock to win … Some timely quotes from former WSU coaches Mike Levenseller and Jim Walden … Our 2 Minute Drill explains how the Cougars can win the game, just don't show it to anybody from Colorado State … S-R photographer Tyler Tjomsland has a gallery of yesterday's bowl festivities … Yesterday's WSU bowl rewind looked at the 2003 Rose Bowl. Don't miss today's final installment of the series … Bud Withers of the Seattle Times has made a list and checks are involved. Wait, is Withers Santa Clause?
Note: If you're in town for the game, do yourself a favor and check out Rudy's for some excellent BBQ. If you're looking for some Southwestern flavor, you can't beat El Pinto. It's one of those places with a wall full of photographs of the rich and famous who have dined at the establishment, though they somehow seem to have missed Tjomsland, Blanchette and I.
From Albuquerque — Thursday was eventful for the Cougars, who regained the services of defensive end Kalafitoni Pole … It was eventful for us on SportsLink as well, as we hosted a live WSU chat … The Cougars will hope for another big game from senior linebacker Justin Sagote … The rebuilding process appears ahead of schedule for the Cougars … Our WSU bowl rewind from yesterday took a look at Jason Gesser and the 2001 Cougars' Sun Bowl victory.
Links from around the conference after the jump.
From Albuquerque —
On Wednesday it was widely reported that Washington State defensive end Kalafitoni Pole would not play in the New Mexico bowl and had been sent home. However, after practice on Thursday WSU coach Mike Leach said that is not the case.
“He’s here, he just had to take care of an academic issue. But he’s here,” Leach said.
UPDATE: Jessamyn McIntyre, WSU's sideline reporter, tweeted that Pole flew back to New Mexico today and has apparently taken care of his academic concerns.
Update: Toni Pole was on the same charter as I was and is back in New Mexico. Sources tell me he's expected to play in the Bowl #GoCougs— Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynESPN) December 19, 2013
More after the jump.