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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)
» Transcript: Fan chat during the Arizona vs. California football game
» UA football: WR Jones honored by Pac-12
» UA football: Your stories from the 'Hill Mary'
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Caldwell's pin count goes into record books

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football has a new enemy: Drake
» ASU-USC to be late-afternoon or night game
» ASU's rivalry with UCLA takes center stage
» ASU football practice report from Sunday

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal's game at Washington State on Oct. 4 to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
» Jeff Kent provides women's scholarship endowment to Cal athletics
» Cal athletics store celebrates football victory prematurely
» Cal coach Sonny Dykes to players: 'Hang in there'

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Devon Allen and Keanon Lowe appear to have a bottle thrown at them during Oregon Ducks' win over Washington State
» Is Oregon's Marcus Mariota the nation's best player? His coaches are biased, but say so
» Oregon Ducks shut out in Pac-12 Player of the Week awards and nominations

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Local sports digest: Stanford, Cal in water polo showdown
» Stanford coach David Shaw goes digging
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors

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)
» UW senior running back Jesse Callier out for the season
» Video: UW's Danny Shelton previews Huskies' Pac-12 opener vs. No. 16 Stanford
» Pac-12 schedule released, Washington and Washington State open play on road
» Huskies morning links: Kasen Williams on Stanford: 'It's going to be a showdown'

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Cal game set for 7:30
» Grading the Oregon game
» Wilson's ability can stand on its own
» Utah week



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