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Here are the results of this year's preseason media poll. As expected, Oregon has been tabbed to win the conference title, with UCLA selected as the South division champion.
Washington State was picked to finish sixth in the North.
Here's the poll (first-place votes in parentheses):
1. Oregon (14) — 139
2. Stanford (11) — 134
3. Oregon State — 91
4. Washington — 81
5. California — 45
6. Washington State — 32
1. UCLA (12) — 130
2. Arizona State (9) — 124
3. USC (4) — 113
4. Arizona — 73
5. Utah — 58
6. Colorado — 27
Here's the schedule for Pac-12 media day on Friday. As you can see, Washington State's contingent will lead things off.
You can watch it all live here.
|9:00 a.m.||Welcome- Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner|
|9:15 a.m.||Washington State - Coach Mike Leach, Elliott Bosch (OL), Deone Bucannon (DB)|
|9:30 a.m.||California - Coach Sonny Dykes, Bryce Treggs (WR), Nick Forbes (LB)|
|9:45 a.m.||Washington - Coach Steve Sarkisian, Keith Price (QB), Sean Parker (DB)|
|10:00 a.m.||Oregon State - Coach Mike Riley, Brandin Cooks (WR), Rashaad Reynolds (DB)|
|10:15 a.m.||Oregon - Coach Mark Helfrich, Marcus Mariota (QB), Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (CB)|
|10:30 a.m.||Stanford - Coach David Shaw, David Yankey (OL), Shayne Skov (LB)|
|11:00 a.m.||Lydia Murphy-Stephans, President, Pac-12 Networks|
|11:05 a.m.||Colorado - Coach Mike MacIntyre, Paul Richardson (WR), Chidera Uzo-Diribe (DE)|
|11:20 a.m.||Utah - Coach Kyle Whittingham, Jake Murphy (TE), Trevor Reilly (DE)|
|11:35 a.m.||Arizona - Coach Rich Rodriguez, Terrence Miller (WR), Jake Fischer (LB)|
|11:50 a.m.||USC - Coach Lane Kiffin, Marqise Lee (WR), Hayes Pullard (LB)|
|12:05 p.m.||Arizona State - Coach Todd Graham, Taylor Kelly (QB), Will Sutton (DT)|
|12:20 p.m.||UCLA - Coach Jim Mora, Xavier Su’a-Filo (OL), Anthony Barr (LB)|
Pac-12 media day begins Friday in Los Angeles, and we'll have our usual coverage once the festivites begin at Sony Studios.
Until then, here's the Pac-12 preseason ballot I filed last week …
As noted here last night, Pac-12 coaches are in Bristol this week for an ESPN media tour before the conference media day in Los Angeles on Friday.
One of the stops for WSU coach Mike Leach was ESPN's First Take, where he was asked about the new targeting rules that could lead to ejections for hits that were previously deemed legal.
The hit that comes to mind, of course, is South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney's massive takedown of Michigan running back Vincent Smith during last season's Outback Bowl.
Folks are upset because some higher-ups in the football officiating community have said that Clowney's hit likely would lead to an ejection if it occurred in 2013.
Count Leach among those protesting the new rules.
"I'm getting tired of everyone apologizing for playing football," Leach said, also calling the ejection rule "ridiculous."
Mike Leach: “They should teach a clinic on the Clowney hit, not the other way around.”— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) July 24, 2013
I'm sure this will be discussed at more length on Friday. It should also be interesting to hear senior safety Deone Bucannon's take on the matter.
Also, if you're interested in Leach's portion of a live chat conducted by ESPN, go ahead and click this link.
Washington State will spend the first portion of its preseason training camp in nearby Lewiston, a source close to the program confirmed Wednesday. The Moscow-Pullman Daily News was the first to report the move.
Exact dates haven't been established yet for WSU's trip to Lewiston, though an official announcement is expected after coach Mike Leach returns from media-day obligations on the east coast and in Los Angeles this week.
Construction at Martin Stadium is likely the primary factor in moving practices from Pullman. Only half of Rogers Field is available for use, and WSU split its team between Rogers and Martin Stadium during spring practices.
That's not quite as feasible during camp with more newcomers on hand, a time when coaches would likely prefer to keep the whole team within one, visible range.
Camp opens Aug. 2. A full schedule will likely be available next week.
The official, for-real Pac-12 Media Day, in all of its capitalized glory, doesn't commence until Friday in Los Angeles (or Culver City, if you're into specificity).
We'll be in attendance and will pass along the usual fare, but also wanted to point your attention in the direction of ESPN's so-called "car wash" of Pac-12 coaches on Wednesday.
Essentially, the conference's football coaches are all in Bristol on Wednesday and Thursday for a fairly expansive tour of ESPN's many outlets.
Mike Leach, along with five other coaches, is scheduled to go through said car wash on Wednesday. The other half will buzz through on Thursday before heading back to the west coast.
Here's Leach's itinerary (and a link to the whole thing), which you will miss if for some reason you prefer to sleep until noon on Wednesdays:
10:00 a.m. ET/7:00 a.m. PT – SportsCenter Tonight radio show
10:15 a.m. ET/7:15 a.m. PT – GameDay Radio
10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT – ESPN.com Chat
11:20 a.m. ET/8:20 a.m. PT – First Take
12:40 p.m. ET/9:40 a.m. PT – Highly Questionable
1:20 p.m. ET/10:20 a.m. PT – SportsCenter
2:20 p.m. ET/11:20 a.m. PT – College Football Live
2:40 p.m. ET/11:40 a.m. PT - ESPN social media shoot
(As this story notes, Leach's segment with Skip Bayless on First Take likely qualifies as the day's primary entertainment.)
With Washington State set to lose both of its scholarship kickers after the 2013 season — Andrew Furney and Mike Bowlin are both seniors — it stands to reason that coach Mike Leach might want to offer a kicker a spot in his 2014 recruiting class.
And as recruiting maven Braulio Perez reported yesterday, Tristan Vizcaino, a kicker from La Verne, Calif., has given a verbal commitment to sign with WSU. That's now eight known commitments in WSU's 2014 class, according to Scout.com.
You'll likely see these lines in a few other outlets today, since the Golden Nugget sports book just released betting lines for 250 college football games earlier this afternoon. DonBest.com was kind enough to list all of them, so we've sorted through that listing (which you can view here) to pull out the eight WSU games with lines posted.
None of them favor the Cougars. Actually, none of them suggest the Cougars will lose by less than double-digits. But, as always, it's worth noting that Vegas lines simply intend to force as much betting action as possible, and don't necessarily intend to predict a margin of victory.
With that in mind, here's what WSU is looking at, via the Golden Nugget:
Washington State at Auburn (-11.5)
Washington State at USC (-21)
Stanford (-18.5) at Washington State
Oregon State (-13) at Washington State
Washington State at Oregon (-35.5)
Arizona State (-15) at Washington State
Washington State at Arizona (-19)
Washington State at Washington (-14)
Washington State's list of known committed players for the class of 2014 is up to six after the news broke yesterday that Sacramento receiver Calvin Green has committed to the Cougars.
Green, who is listed by Scout.com as 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds and attends Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, is another player who lines up primarily at running back for his high school team but reportedly projects as an inside receiver at WSU.
Here's a story about his commitment from Braulio Perez, who reports that Green has been offered scholarships by more than 10 schools.
CougCenter's Kyle Rancourt breaks down the commitment here.
Here's a list of WSU's known committed players, according to Scout.com.
And here are some highlights:
Make it five known commitments for Washington State in the class of 2014, as multiple outlets reported Thursday that Keith Harrington, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound prospect from St. Petersburg. Fla., has committed to play football at WSU.
Here are some highlights. You can watch a higher-quality clip here.
The Pac-12 released its early television schedule today, and with it, three kickoff times for Washington State games this season.
— 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 at USC (FOX Sports 1)
— 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31 vs. Arizona State (ESPN)
— 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29 at Washington (FOX)
— WSU's Sept. 14 game against Southern Utah will be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks, though no kickoff time has been announced yet.
I've seen some consternation over the fact that the Aug. 31 opener at Auburn hasn't been selected for TV yet, but I wouldn't read too much into that. Since it's an SEC home game, the TV information will be dictated by the SEC and its television contracts, not by the Pac-12. So a kickoff time and/or TV listing should be available when the SEC announces its own TV schedule.
Here's the rest of the conference's early TV schedule:
Washington State picked up its fourth known verbal commitment of the 2014 recruiting class, as multiple outlets reported that receiver Zaire Andre of Inglewood, Calif., has said he will play for the Cougars.
Interestingly, this Scout.com story notes that Andre committed without taking a visit to Pullman. His highlights are posted below.
CougCenter expands a bit on Andre's commitment.
Pullman Police announced in a press release Wednesday that charges will be recommended against Idaho receiver Roman Runner and former Washington State receiver Mansel Simmons for their involvement in an altercation in the early hours of March 24.
PPD recommends a second-degree felony assault charge for Runner, 21, and a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for Simmons, 20. The Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney will decide whether charges will be filed.
Simmons announced in April that he is retiring from football due to head injuries sustained in the fight. He suffered a severe concussion and multiple facial fractures.
Here's the full release from Pullman Police:
PULLMAN – Pullman Police Detectives have concluded their investigation of an assault that occurred on March 24, 2013 at about 12:50 am at NE Ash St. and NE Maple St. in Pullman. Pullman officers had been dispatched to that location and found Mansel Simmons unconscious, the apparent victim of an assault. Simmons was initially transported to Pullman Regional Hospital and later to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane where he was treated for facial fractures and a concussion.
After speaking with more than a dozen witnesses, investigators concluded that a verbal argument between two groups of men attending a party in the 300 block of NE Ash St. escalated into a brief physical confrontation between Simmons and Roman Runner. Runner was with three other men visiting from Moscow and the group was told to leave the party. As the group complied and attempted to get back to their vehicle parked nearby, they were chased off by a group of about ten to twenty men attending the party. The visiting group later made their way back to their vehicle and was confronted by the local group. At that point Runner displayed a knife in what he described as an effort to protect him from the larger group, and then he put the knife away. Witnesses say both Runner and Simmons were being held back by friends until Simmons broke free and charged Runner. As Simmons charged him, Runner hit Simmons in the face, knocking him to the ground unconscious. Runner fell on top of Simmons and at some point was punched in the face by an unknown person. Runner and part of his group ran away from the scene while one of them remained and called 911. Runner suffered an abrasion on his forehead. Both Runner and Simmons admitted to drinking alcohol that evening prior to the assault.
Investigators will be forwarding the investigation and the following recommended charges to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney who will ultimately determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed:
• Mansel A. Simmons (10/22/92, Pullman resident): Disorderly Conduct (misdemeanor)
• Roman J. Runner (07/08/91, Moscow resident): Assault 2nd Degree (felony)
Two potentially related incidents were also investigated by Pullman Detectives. A pistol was found near the scene, but investigators could not confirm if it was involved in the altercation or who may have been carrying it. Also, the vehicle that the Moscow group arrived in was damaged at some point after the assault, but no evidence has been uncovered to positively identify any specific suspect.
Washington State linebacker/defensive end Logan Mayes was cited Thursday for hit and run, though Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant described the alleged traffic accident as "relatively minor."
Tennant said an eyewitness called the police after seeing Mayes back his vehicle into another car in a parking lot. Mayes allegedly drove away without stopping to examine the damage or leave his information.
After police ran the car's plate number and contacted Mayes, Tennant said, the player admitted that he had bumped into another car and drove away. He was given a misdemeanor citation for hit and run and was released, meaning he wasn't handcuffed or taken to the station.
Tennant said the other car had a cracked taillight lens, but that the damage cost estimate was below the $750 minimum that would require police to file a traffic collision report.
Mayes has a scheduled court appearance the morning of June 4, according to Whitman County District Court records.
News of another oral commitment broke yesterday — though this one is from a player who plans to arrive this season — but some more bad news also broke for the WSU football team. Keep reading for accounts of both.
There are a few news items to pass along this morning from WSU, so click the jump to read the links.
Most college football news that originates in the month of May is centered around recruiting, and that's the topic of today's morning post. Keep reading.
FROM PULLMAN — Depending on which time you looked out the window yesterday, it was either snowing or it looked like a perfect spring day on the Palouse. Which, of course, means it's finally May. I think. Keep reading for a few links.
FROM PULLMAN — With spring practice over, it's time to take a look back. So we continue to have links for you. Fancy that. Keep reading.
FROM PULLMAN — Should be another quiet week on the Palouse, but there are a few links to pass along for now. Keep reading.
FROM PULLMAN — At least two former Washington State football players will have a chance to earn their way onto NFL rosters this season. And the Cougars got a commitment from an in-state player whose WSU career is still ahead of him. Keep reading.
FROM PULLMAN — A late-April Saturday means a quiet day for WSU news. But there are a few former Cougar football players who hope that's not the case. Keep reading.
FROM PULLMAN — There isn't a lot to post this morning, but there's enough to throw a few sentences together. Keep reading.
FROM PULLMAN — Mansel Simmons wrote on his Facebook page yesterday that he has given up football due to head injuries sustained in a fight with an Idaho football player earlier this spring.
Simmons, a third-year sophomore receiver, was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion after being punched during an altercation on March 24 in Pullman.
Simmons wrote, in part: "Although I am saddened and extremely disappointed that I will never have the opportunity to play this amazing (game) ever again because of my faith, I do not question Gods plan for me."
Simmons, a native of Elk Grove, Calif., had already dealt with injury in seasons prior to the fight, which Cmdr. Chris Tennant said a few weeks ago might not result in charges due to conflicting witness statements.
FROM PULLMAN — We have links on the day after the last day of spring. Keep reading for our recap of the final practice.
FROM PULLMAN — Well, it's over. WSU's final spring practice is in the books. It was a good one, coach Mike Leach said afterward. Keep reading for details in the form of words and such.
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State's spring game is behind it, but the Cougars won't complete their spring practice schedule until later tonight. One more workout remains. First, we have a smattering of links, so keep reading.
There aren't a whole lot of links out there today, WSU or otherwise. But we recap yesterday's proceedings nevertheless. Keep reading.
FROM SPOKANE — Only one spring practice remains before WSU heads into the next phase of its offseason. For now, we look back at yesterday's spring game with the following links.
FROM SPOKANE — This post is brought to you by a Starbucks in Shadle Park, where we've sought refuge after the gates of Joe Albi Stadium were apprently on the verge of closing. Keep reading for more notes and such from another riveting spring game, which the Gray team won, 22-21.