Joining spring football action on Thursday: the Idaho Vandals, Mississippi St. Bulldogs, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Washington St. Cougars and Wisconsin Badgers. Lots of medium-sized critters in there, along with an East Germanic tribe that now plays in Moscow.
The biggest story, of course, is new Wazzu coach Mike Leach, who says he'll have "a pretty good semblance of" his Air Raid attack installed in four practices flat. His system focuses on a short list of deliberate assignments for each player, rather than asking each receiver to know how to play four different spots. He'll spend the rest of his time dazzling the media with his charming quotes. As for his quarterbacks:
It helps that quarterbacks Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday both started last year before being knocked out by injuries. The pair will split repetitions evenly in spring drills as Leach and his staff evaluate their talents.
"The most basic is, `Does the guy make good decisions?''' Leach said, when asked how he evaluates quarterbacks. "The second is, `Is he accurate?'''
In limited action, Tuel certainly fit both bills, throwing for 64 percent and no interceptions in 45 attempts. Halliday's numbers weren't quite as sterling, but he was just a freshman last year. Primary starter Marshall Lobbestael was a senior.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, replaces offensive coordinator Paul Chryst with Matt Canada, formerly of Northern Illinois. Montee Ball returns after a Heisman finalist campaign, and the world waits to find out whether Maryland transfer quarterback Danny O'Brien likes what he sees during his visit this weekend. I'm sorry I don't have quite as much to say about this as I did about Mike Leach, but come on man. Mike Leach!