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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Pac-12: UCLA's search will define program's status

Even with Arizona and Oregon advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, the biggest news in Pac-12 basketball this past weekend was UCLA's firing of coach Ben Howland.

The move drove home the point that failing to reach the Sweet 16 for five straight years trumps playing in three consecutive Final Fours. Howland, a former Weber State player, was dismissed after the Bruins lost badly to Minnesota in the round of 64.

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It's a bold move by UCLA's administration, and what comes next will be very interesting. This coaching search will serve as a gauge of what UCLA - "those four letters," to use one of Howland's expressions - mean in the marketplace these days. It's a test of the program's status in college basketball. If the Bruins can lure one of the profession's rising stars or another proven coach, they can re-establish themselves as a Pac-12 power.

Wait. They won the conference championship this year, right? That's not good enough in Pauley Pavilion, where the only banners represent NCAA titles. But the quality of coach UCLA is able to land undoubtedly will affect everybody else in the conference.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Photos: UA sports Throwback Thursday Chase Budinger
» UA fall sports carry big expectations into 2014
» UA announces 2014 sports Hall of Fame class
» UA football: Notes and quotes from Wednesday's practice

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Ex-ASU star Carson signs with Australian team
» ASU selects captains, awards 5 scholarships
» Boateng taking reins at hybrid LB spot
» Photos in lockers inspire players

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal football: Safety Lowe shapes up, holds job
» Cal's goal in Dykes' second season is to establish running game
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado feels fortunate to have avoided a rash of preseason injuries
» Colorado senior receiver D.D. Goodson: not overlooked by coaches
» Colorado redshirt freshman Phillip Lindsay: two touchdown runs in scrimmage gave me confidence
» Buffs offense to "move guys around," says receivers coach Troy Walters

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Former Oregon Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart scores twice for Carolina Panthers against Kansas City
» Marcus Mariota praises Royce Freeman, then explains the importance of Oregon Ducks' redshirts
» Who starts at tight end for Oregon? It's too close to call at the end of fall camp
» Oregon Ducks practice quick hits: Scrimmage No. 2 is in the books as camp conclusion nears

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford football: Defensive coordinator learns from 49ers counterpart
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll
» Stanford football: Tailbacks Kelsey Young, Remound Wright miss scrimmage

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Freshmen Brayden Lenius, Dante Pettis expected to contribute for UW's receiving corps
» Video: UW offensive lineman James Atoe
» Huskies morning links: UW offering a new cheap ticket option (with beer!)
» UW football live chat at noon today

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Ewu sports chat Aug. 21 (noon)
» Football season has officially begun
» Eastern football links
» One more week



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