FROM PULLMAN -- Going by Mike Leach Time, it's actually Tuesday morning. And with Washington State returning to the practice field this afternoon to continue its preparation for Brigham Young, we can safely say that game week is upon us. Read on.
Leach met with the media yesterday, holding court for 33 minutes or so on a wide range of topics, some of them actually pertaining to football. We have a story for the newspaper about the contrast of experience between the Cougars and the Cougars, and also have this blog post with a partial transcript of Leach's press conference, and another with the second half. Also, we have a post with some video of the inside of the Martin Stadium renovations. ... The Seattle Times published its college football preview section today -- the Spokesman's will be available on Thursday -- and Bud Withers has this lengthy look at Leach's celebrity and personality, as well as a look at the projected depth chart and five keys to WSU's season. You can read the rest of the section here. ... Howie Stalwick has a brief story leading off with Leach's declaration that if the season started today, Jeff Tuel would be WSU's starting quarterback. Also, if the season started today, Felix Hernandez would be the Mariners' starting pitcher. ... SB Nation has a preview of the WSU-BYU game.
As mentioned on the blog yesterday, we spoke briefly with WSU associate athletic director John Johnson on Friday about the athletic director job at the University of Montana. He's been named one of four finalists, and will interview for the position in Missoula on Wednesday.
Here's what he had to say, in part: "I have a fondness for the Big Sky Conference and I played in the conference, worked in the conference for sure, and spent a lot of time in the Missoula area. When I was on the 1-AA national championship committee, Montana hosted many events there and I spent a lot of time and it’s just a great institution. Coming to Washington State from Weber State, I’ve wanted that Pac-12 BCS experience because I didn’t get it because I was an AD at such a young age. Had the opportunity to work with a couple of great ADs, Bill Moos and Jim Sterk, and I think you learn every day. I got that experience and now I think I’d like to run a program again.
"I’m a Northwest guy, always have been. I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted to stay in the west, and this opportunity came up and I’m excited to look into it."
Around the Pac-12 (and BYU) ... Arizona State coach Todd Graham is under pressure to turn things around quickly. ... Five football players are continuing a legacy at California. ... USC wants to hold onto its No. 1 ranking all season. ... A freshman defensive end is turning heads at UCLA. ... Here's a preview of Utah's season. ... More fallout from the announcement of Oregon's starting quarterback. ... And Oregon State player is toughing it out. ... BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall thinks this could be the best team he's had, but that might not translate to a better record.
All for now.