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Grip on Sports: Now it’s official. Football season is here

Coeur d’Alene quarterback Colson Yankoff received his first recruiting letter arrived when he was in eighth grade. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Coeur d’Alene quarterback Colson Yankoff received his first recruiting letter arrived when he was in eighth grade. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • If you need another sign football season is here, we have one for you this morning: The Spokesman-Review’s annual football preview section. Only one word describes it: wow. Read on.

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• One of the things I try to do each morning is read every story I pass along to you. Maybe not all of each one, mind you, but enough to understand what they are about and whether or not you need to read them.

That wasn’t possible today. Not in the time we had.

So set aside some of your day. Whether you are a high school football fan, or an Idaho enthusiast or a Pirate aficionado, there is something for you.

Heck, all you have to do is like quarterback play. Or believe you know who were the best five quarterbacks in Washington State’s history. Or Eastern’s.

So we will get out of your way today. And get you right to the links.

As always, we’ve broken the links into sections below, based on the subject.

Or, if you prefer, you can browse all the college and pro stories here and the high school ones here.

Have fun.

•••

WSU: Any section that is centered round the quarterback position has to feature Washington State, right? As John Blanchette wrote today, Jack Thompson is the pater familias of the most recent wave of talent. … The current Cougar quarterback is Luke Falk and he may end up being the best. Theo Lawson has his story. … The guy in charge of Falk’s offense? That would be Mike Leach. Rob Curley checks in with a column about the Washington State coach. … The top five WSU quarterbacks of all time? It’s possible we all have a different list. … There is also a preview of the season and a look at the difference maker. … The season begins Saturday with Montana State coming to Pullman. Jeff Choate, a former WSU assistant, is the Bobcats’ head man. Theo also has his story. … The Times’ Stefanie Loh, whose story on Luke Falk we linked yesterday, looks at the Cougar schedule today and a look back to 2013. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Washington’s schedule will have something unexpected. But Jake Browning doing something special won’t be a surprise. Either is Chris Petersen's success. … Harvey’s impact is being felt everywhere, including at Oregon State. … With a new coach in charge, Oregon hopes to bring back recent memories of success. … California has a decent quarterback tradition, including Aaron Rodgers. ESPN did an in-depth profile of the double-check guy without even mentioning that commercial. … We interrupt this list of Pac-12 football stories to bring you one about instant replay. When I heard the conference was going to a centralized site for replay, it seemed smart. Replace on-site guys with a group doing all the games in the Bay Area. Nope. The conference added another level. Really? Utah seems to love its Thursday night games. At least it has a lot of them. That and new offensive coordinators. The Utes open tonight against North Dakota. … Colorado has built success up front. … UCLA has a new offensive coordinator too. … USC has some depth on defense. … The battle for Los Angeles, college division, starts with the quarterbacks. … Arizona State unveiled a statue to Pat Tillman outside its stadium and started a new tradition. … There is another scholarship player at Arizona.

Gonzaga: We interrupt this college football-laden column to bring you the news another transfer has decided to come to GU. Jim Meehan has the story on Brandon Clarke, who starred at San Jose State.

EWU: When his career is over, Gage Gubrud may be the most prolific quarterback Eastern has ever had. Jim Allen has a feature on Gubrud. … He also has a list of the five best Eagle quarterbacks of all time as well as a season preview and this year’s difference maker. … Eastern travels to Texas Tech on Saturday and Jim has an advance. … Around the Big Sky, North Dakota is reasy for a big season, starting tonight at Utah. … Northern Colorado kicks off its season Saturday at home. … Southern Utah has a tough opening assignment. … Northern Arizona will rotate players on its defensive front. … Portland State will need a better showing offensively to defeat Oregon State. … Idaho State has an assistant coach that tries to keep things fun. … A Montana State senior wants to do something special in his final season.

Idaho: Matt Linehan is a legacy who may just end up surpassing the results of his dad Scott, who was a Vandal star in the 1980s. Peter Harriman has Linehan's story. … Peter continues his Idaho coverage with a list of the five best Vandal quarterbacks, a season preview and the difference maker. … UI begins tonight, hosting Sacramento State. Peter has an advance.

Whitworth: Though he may not be as high-profile as others in the area, Ian Kolste’s passing number stack up with anyone’s. Ryan Collingwood has this story on the fifth-year senior as well as the Pirates’ all-time best at quarterback, a season preview and the difference maker.

Preps: Greg Lee profiled Colson Yankoff, the Coeur d’Alene quarterback who is the best in the area right now. … Jim Meehan has a list of the all-time best quarterbacks in the GSL/IEL, and Shadle Park's Brett Rypien is No. 2. No. 1 is his uncle, Mark. … Around the area, Greg, Jim Meehan, Jim Allen, Whitney Ogden and Ryan have previews of all the area leagues. In Washington, there is the GSL 4A, the GSL 3A, the GNL, the Northeast A, the Northeast 1B North, the Northeast 1B South, and the Northeast 2B. In Idaho, there is the 5A IEL, the 4A IEL, the Intermountain, the Central Idaho, the White Pine and the White Star.

Indians: OK, that’s it for our football preview section – except for the stories in the Seahawks’ area below. But in baseball, by completing a five-game sweep of Salem-Keizer 10-5 last night, the Indians moved into first place in the Northwest League’s North Division second-half standings. Spokane finishes at home against Everett starting Friday. … Elsewhere in the NWL last night, Eugene won a game Everett had to have. … Hillsboro struck a blow to Tri-City’s playoff hopes.

Mariners: As the Spokane Indians were winning five consecutive times, the M’s were doing the opposite. They head home for September on a five-game losing streak and four games out in the A.L. wild-card standings. … Jerry Dipoto has changed the roster considerably, including adding veteran starter Mike Leake (and his large salary) yesterday, but has he made it better? … The gopher ball bit Ariel Miranda and the M’s again yesterday in the 8-7 loss to Baltimore. They also may have lost David Phelps again.

Seahawks: In keeping with our theme, John has a list of the five best Seahawk quarterbacks ever. It’s not a really deep list. … The difference maker is Eddie Lacy. … There are reports out there the Hawks are trying to cull their wide receiver herd by trading Jermaine Kearse. … For now, he’s on the roster for tonight’s preseason finale against Oakland. It’s a last chance for a lot of the 90-man roster as the cut to 53 has to be made by Saturday. … The offensive line seems set. Justin Britt is the unquestioned leader of that group.

•••       

• My cholesterol and blood pressure are way down. My weight? Not so much. Well, as Meatloaf – ooh, a meatloaf sandwich sounds really good right now – once sang, two out of three ain’t bad. Until later … 

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