With the first week of the Pac-10 schedule spread out all over the calendar and football still going on – How many of you had the Huskies in their bowl pool? You in the back, with the glasses, I have your pool sheet right here. Put your hand down. – there is a lot to get to this morning, so read on.
• Washington State: Next up for the Traveling Cougburys is today's battle with USC in the Galen Center. It starts at 3 p.m. and can be seen on FSN. If you are in LA, I'm sure there are plenty of tickets available. It is USC basketball, after all. ... If you remember, the Cougars pulled out two close ones against USC last year. Under Kevin O'Neill, the Trojans play a physical brand of defense which bothered Klay Thompson – he was 0 for 12 in the Pullman win and 7 of 27 in the two games. But the WSU defense really stifled USC as well, holding the Trojans to 38 percent shooting in Pullman and 37.3 in LA (Nikola Vucevic did not make a shot in the first game down here). So it seems this one should be a defensive battle, as both teams have improved on that end. Knowing my track record, that means the final will be something like 84-80. ... We had our advance in this morning's paper. There is this preview from CougCenter and this blog post from Ryan Collingwood in Lewiston. ... The LA Times has a preview box and an advance.
• Around the Pac-10: We're putting football front and center after UW's 19-7 smashing of the disinterested Nebraska Cornhuskers. Is this the beginning of a golden age of Husky football? Well, Jake Locker won't be there, so we'll see. ... Stanford's players aren't worried about Jim Harbaugh's future. After all, they are part of the best team in Stanford history. ... LaMicheal James says he's coming back for another year. ... On to basketball. ... Here's a quick summary of the activities around the conference. ... The last couple games in Mac Court don't seem to be drawing a lot of interest from the fans or the Oregon players as UO lost to Arizona 76-57. ... Oregon State may have turned a corner at the end of the nonconference season, because the Beavers blasted Arizona State 80-58 last night. ... UCLA rookie Josh Smith faces his local college team for the first time today. Another freshman, Terrence Jones, has come on for the Huskies.
• That's about it for this morning. We'll be back before the game with more. Until then ...