Pac-12 links: Judge rules against NCAA in landmark O’Bannon case

» In a landmark case that could change amateurism, a judge ruled in favor of Ed O’Bannon and against the NCAA. Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann breaks down the implications of Claudia Wilken’s decision, as well as the legal road ahead.

» A feature on USC coach Steve Sarkisian, by columnist Mark Whicker: “Some coaches have five and 10-year plans. Sarkisian, 40, has lived in a quick-pivoting sports car, not always using signals, barreling down the roads less traveled, looking straight ahead.”

» Oklahoma transfer Kendal Thompson is trying to win Utah’s starting quarterback job — and perhaps help redeem the family name. Continue reading

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Pac-12 notes: Mike Leach thinks Connor Halliday is better than your quarterback

Connor Halliday is the best quarterback in the country, according to Connor Halliday’s coach.

After talking up the Pac-12′s depth behind center on Wednesday, Washington State’s Mike Leach said he would take his redshirt senior over just about anybody else.

“You might be rooting for your guy, and I don’t care what you think,” Leach said. “He’s better than your guy is.”

Some other Pac-12 Media Day highlights from the conference’s most quotable coach (as well as other coaches and players) …

» Asked how he would pick a bear-hunting partner between Washington coach Chris Petersen and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham: “We get a large bag and we stick in Coach Petersen, Coach Whittingham, and we shake that bag up really high and really hard.”

» On his fishing trip this summer: “My staff and I went fishing up in McCall, Idaho on the Snake River and got a huge 9.5-foot, 350-pound sturgeon, probably 95 years old. Of course, turned him loose so he could pull somebody else’s boat around for a while next time.” Continue reading

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Sunday notebook, peek ahead

Here’s the notebook that runs in the Monday paper. Jim Mora, predictably and appropriately, is sticking to the one-game-at-a-time mantra as UCLA climbs up the rankings.

The Bruins finally got love from the Coaches Poll (No. 19) to help bump it into the BCS standings. Lots of shuffling could still happen in the conference, but right now the Bruins are staring at Alamo, Holiday or Sun Bowl — the three games that draw (in that order) after the Rose Bowl. Oregon State’s upcoming visit to Stanford should help clear up the picture.

UCLA is currently a 14.5-point favorite over Washington State, but the Cougars lost road games to both the Beavers and the Cardinal by fewer than two touchdowns. I’m very curious to see how WSU players respond to Mike Leach throwing them under the bus.

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