One more day before Pac-10 basketball begins, though the story behind that is pretty interesting. For more on that and other happenings around Washington State and the conference, read on.
• Washington State: The Cougars were originally scheduled to start Pac-10 play on Thursday like everyone else. But when the Diamond Head Classic opportunity arose, playing Thursday/Sunday (Saturday is New Year's Day and only Arizona State and Oregon were scheduled to play that day) didn't seem like a good idea for a team that had been on the road since mid-December. So a request was made to move the games to Wednesday/Friday. UCLA, USC and UW all had to agree and they did. So WSU gets home Saturday instead of late Sunday or Monday. ... Hope we make it to Pauley. As a cost-saving measure, we are traveling to most Pac-10 games on the day of, instead of a day early. With 8 to 10 inches of snow forecasted for the Inland Northwest between now and tomorrow evening, it might be white-knuckle time at the airport. ... Tomorrow's game starts at 8 p.m. on FSN, so it will also be white-knuckle time for the game story. ... A couple of links, including Bud Withers' WSU advance prior to conference, focusing on the improvement of the defense. We'll have our story tomorrow and will touch on that, but the maturity of this team is what intrigues me. It reminds me so much of the team from 2006-07, when Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver and Robbie Cowgill were juniors and the Cougars went from last in the Pac-10 the year before to second behind national-runner-up UCLA in the Pac-10. ... The always interesting Nick Daschel has a look at the week ahead for Cougfan. ... And CougCenter examines Abe Lodwick's role in WSU's modified blocker/mover offense.
• Around the Pac-10: Again, there are football and basketball stories to cover. Which should we do first? Anyone? Anyone? OK, Bueller, what do you want? Basketball it is. Hey, are you feeling better today? Good. ... The Register-Guard's Bob Clark looks at the conference on the eve of league play. ... He also has capsules on each team. ... There's a similar preview in the LA Times. ... UW's Justin Holiday is hoping for a better homecoming weekend this year. ... Washington is favored, but Arizona has played just as well in nonconference action. ... USC is better and one reason is Fordham transfer Jio Fontan, who has two names that look like misspellings. He was Pac-10 player of the week. ... On to football. ... The Huskies are hoping httpfor better against Nebraska's defensive secondary this time around. ... Arizona is in San Antonio and has three keys to victory. ... One of them is defensive end Ricky Elmore. ... A lot of money can ride on one player's foot in college football these days. ... Cam Newton is a load practice, so how about during the game?
• That's all for now. We'll be back this evening with our Pac-10 preview on the Cougars. Until then ...