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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

January 5, 2014 at 7:49 PM

What’s ahead for the blog as basketball heats up . . .

Just a heads-up on what you can expect on the Pac-12 Confidential blog as league games get going in earnest:

I’m reviving something I did about a decade ago in the paper. Back then, it was a Northwest 10 — a ranking of the four Division 1 schools in Oregon (Oregon, OSU, Portland, Portland State); the four in Washington (Washington, WSU, Gonzaga and Eastern Washington) plus, from the state of Idaho, Idaho and Boise State — composed of the schools one generally thinks of in the geographic Northwest. Since then, Seattle U. has returned to D-1, so welcome back, guys, and now it’s a Northwest 11.

The Northwest schools outside the Pac-12 tend to be out-of-sight-out-of-mind (save for Gonzaga, obviously) for most of us, but there’s a considerable alumni population of those programs in the Puget Sound area — especially collectively — and I think it’s worthwhile to see where those squads stack up compared to the Pac-12 outfits. Beyond that, there’s a good deal of non-league action in November and December among the 11, so it’s another reason to assess them alongside each other.

The Northwest 11 will run on the blog every Monday. Later in the week, on Thursdays, we’ll have a national look at the week ahead — primarily sort of a TV planner for the armchair fan, often accompanied by some national notes. This will include the key Pac-12 games in what should be a rugged, contentious season in the league. With so much college action on virtually every day but Friday, it’s debatable which is the best day to look ahead, but I picked Thursday because it’s a big night for college hoops, essentially kicking off the weekend, and this preview will go beyond each weekend to the best of what’s out there from Monday through Wednesday as well.

We may throw in an occasional Pac-12 rankings (though I think the standings do a pretty good job of that). And in the meantime, there’s always a stream of football news in the conference to weigh in on as well, so climb aboard. We’re glad to have you.

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