Friday, June 30, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BOY!

Big happy Birthday to the leader of the greatest Cougar Blog in the history of ever. 36 years strong on July 1. Have a great one!

The question on the mind of this leader of CougarNation is "will it be 36 years until the Cougs once again play in Pasadena on January 1?"

Like I wrote in the commnets, this season comes down to two road games: @ Auburn and @ Stanford.

There is little question that this Cougar team has the talent and schedule to win 8 games this year. But there are two barriers to reaching such a reachable plateau: injuries and confidence.

With no bye weeks during this season's tilt, the health of both lines is going to be of premium importance. Using the past five seasons as a barometer, almost all of our key injuries have happened before the second weekend of October. But with tilts against SEC powerhouse Auburn in early September and USC at the end of the month, September will tell a lot about the season's health, methinks.

But, perhaps even more than injuries, this season will depend on the team's start. Will this team show early that it has what it takes to win close games? Or will it develop the "here we go all over again" type mentality that brought about the first definition of "Cougin' It?"

In Brinkhater's view, both the Auburn and Stanford games will be close games. Both will come down to Brink's ability to lead a late drive and/or the corners'/defenses' abilities to make a key stop. Will they come through or won't they?

For me, a 3-1 start is a must heading into SC--which is going to be a winnable game. If we're 2-2, the season is toast. Plain and simple.

Two months til kickoff.... Read more ...plus comments

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oregon's new uni's with THREE helmets?? Just stop it Nike.


First of all, I hope all of you are well. I say that because yesterday I got some bad news about a friend of mine from high school who died a slow, horrible brain cancer death. She was a few years younger than me and Brandon and I used to hang out with her and a few of her friends. She was always very nice, a fun gal who liked to party and have a good time. She went on after high school to do extremely well at Santa Clara, even graduating with honors, and got involved in the software industry, climbing the corporate ladder with good success. She was diagnosed in 2002, fought it off, but it came back hard this spring and just destroyed her. Very sad. She leaves a husband and two golden retrievers who no doubt are missing her this very moment. I guess when someone that young loses their life, it puts you in a weird state of mind where you think about your life, your family and friends, and how you will be remembered. Things like that make me want to be a better husband, father and friend to all, know what I mean?

Anyway, enough of the gloom. Anyone see the new Oregon uni's? Forget two helmets, they now have THREE versions! Geez. Oregon is Phil Knight's baby, no doubt, and they are going to always be on the cutting edge in Nike trends, but it just seems odd. They will always beat us in the "arms race" so to speak, that's just what they do down there, and hey, if Phil Knight is willing to write the checks, why not have plasma's and state of the art facilities and uni's the only 18-22 year olds could love?? Check it out. The weirdest thing is the numerals. Look at Dennis Dixon's #10. Looks like #70 to me!:



I guess I'm just partial to our old school, clean looking uni's. Although I'd be thrilled to see those fire-engine red pants disappear!!

Read more ...plus comments

Saturday, June 17, 2006

K-State QB transfers to WSU; CFN.com previews the '06 Cougs



Kevin Lopina was a well-regarded QB out of De LA Salle in 2005, and he ended up going to K-State. Well, things didn't work out as K-State did have him as their top practice squad player as a frosh. But in a major upset the Wildcats stole a much-hyped QB recruit from Nebraska at the last second, and all of a sudden Lopina wasn't going to be "the guy" as was promised when he moved out there from CA. With Snyder stepping down, and Greg Peterson, the new recruiting coordinator from - you got it - K-State, it was a natural deal.

Lopina actually liked WSU somewhat in high school, but K-State had more to offer, including an immediate shot at playing sooner vs. his chance at WSU. Now, he'll sit out 2006, but he'll be eligible next year with Brink as a senior. Basically this is a shot to get two years out of him as a starter, 2008 and 2009 since it's virtually guaranteed he'll compete for the backup job next year.

This also more or less speaks to what many are claiming is the disappointing career of Arkelon Hall, at least at this point. I've read a few things here and there that claim he hasn't lived up to expectations, and even has had some weight issues. He showed up this spring in great shape, but still the reviews haven't been good. Makes you wonder how the heck he ended up being the #7 or #8 rated high school QB by ESPN when he signed?? Who knows, as we ALWAYS say, recruiting is such a crapshoot! The list of examples is far too long to get into, but you know what I mean.

Some things to like about Lopina? First of all, size. 6-3, 220, right in the Rosie mold. He's also got serious quickness, clocked at 4.6 in the 40 and regarded as a great athlete overall. He was regarded as a very huge "get" for K-State, to pluck a QB with his skill set out of CA to come to Manhattan. Had a very productive, all-around senior year for De La Salle, and that's saying something! He had offers from most of the Pac-10, plus Nebraska and Northwestern. Also regarded as being a very intelligent kid, per Bill Snyder:

"Kevin is a young guy that I think has just got all the potential in so many different areas that quarterbacks truly need," says former coach Bill Snyder. "I really like his command of the game."

When it was announced he'd transfer, lots of schools popped into the mix, including Wisconsin, Utah, CAL and ASU. The biggest thing was he wanted to be on the west coast, wanted a chance to compete for a starting job pretty quickly, and wanted to be in the right offense renowed for QB success. And, for some reason, he wanted a smaller campus atmosphere. Sounds like Pullman to me. Some things to note:

His senior season at De La Salle, Lopina threw for nearly 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also piled up 750 yards on the ground, with 10 rushing TDs. Named first team All-CIF, first team all-league and named the No. 2 player in the Bay Area, regardless of position, by the Contra Costa Times and All-Metro by the San Francisco Examiner.

At first glance, not a huge "stat" guy. But, then again, neither was Jake Locker. Just regarded as very gifted, athletic, smart, a leader, and a serious all-around threat that you love to have as your QB.

I'll throw it out there right now - Kevin Lopina WILL start whenever Alex Brink is gone from Pullman. (I say whenever Brink is gone, because IF he has just a gigantic season this year, certainly not out of the realm of possibility, and with the guaranteed loss of Jason Hill, Chris Jordan, probably Bumpus, and Cody Boyd, it's at least worth the conversation that Alex Brink will turn pro after the 2006 season?? Call me crazy, but come November the speculation might really build).

Finally, CollegeFootballNews.com has a decent preview on the Cougs for 2006. Not earth-shattering, but they do say that we have a real shot at contending this year based on the schedule alone. The best Pac-10 opponents are in Pullman this year, for the most part. A good analysis of what went wrong in 2005, and a good look at the depth for this year. And they also point out the Oct. 7th game at OSU as being the key game of the season (didn't we say last year 10/1 was the biggest game of the season?? Sounds familiar). Read more ...plus comments

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Kevin Kooyman - Who the hell is this kid??

Don't know if it's caught your eye the last few days, but super-athlete WSU recruit from the SPSL, Kevin Kooyman, has been winning athlete of the year awards left and right. First the News Tribune, then the Seattle Times followed suit (even over Jesus Christ Junior, Jake Locker?? To read the Times gush on Locker, ugh. Talk about man-crush!).



Here's what I've found out about this kid, some saying he could blossom into the next Rien Long:

3.9 GPA, wants to get an MBA.
Family very important in his life.
Wrestled and won two straight 215lb state titles.
Now at 6'6" and 235lbs but "doesn't plan on stopping there". Some project he'll get to 280-290 and barely miss a step once he gets into an NCAA strength program.
1st Team All SPSL at TE & DE for 2nd straight year.
SPSL OL of year
Seattle Times "All Area"All State
8th in 4A shotput at state track meet. Missed qualifying for 110 HURDLES (!) by an eyelash, was alternate for state meet in 100 hurdles but no one dropped out. 6-6, 235 and almost qualifies for state 110 hurdles?? Wow. That's explosive strength in a gignatic frame.
WSU coaches told him he could play either TE, OT or DE but he feels his future is at DE (he's that athletic). His own goal, stated in a few interviews lately, is to be an "All American".
A three sport star who feels that football is his best sport and that he will improve by being able to now focus entirely on the sport.

My UW "source" claims he's going to be big-time, and is tremendous off the field. While UW has been happy with their recent classes in regards to in-state talent, no doubt they know they missed on him. For some reason TW wasn't thrilled with him.....I won't get into the reasons why. Compares favorably to Mkristo, but is even better at this stage. Remember Mkristo was a QB in high school and was only projected as a top-flight D-end in the right situation.

Finally, he was named Seattle Times "Male Athlete of the Year" for this year, AND the News Tribune Male Athlete of the Year. Don't undersell what that means, as thousands of kids play high school sports in Washington, but he was the best by both news organizations (and a WSU recruit as well? That must have been extremely painful FOR THEM!)

Check out the Cougfan story on him. As the headline says, he is one fo the most decorated WSU recruits of all-time, approaching Rypien in regards to high school "fame". While it's doubtful he'll play much, if at all, his true frosh year, the more you read about him, the more it seems possible he could at least be a special teams guy. And in 2007, there will be a gaping hole when Mkristo moves on to the NFL, so if he shows what they think, he'll be starting by next fall. A lot can happen, of course, but you have to be excited about what is coming!

http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=137&p=2&c=538728

Read more ...plus comments

Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Wonna 'yer guys was holdin' wonna our guys"

Ths home town calls are alive and well down south. Check out the video, after Texas scores a TD and see the reaction of the ref. I think the graphic on the video is right, he must have had money on the game!

http://media.putfile.com/Happy-Ref

Couple of other notes - the "most important recruit since Bledsoe" has commited to the Cougs....the BYU Cougs that is. The Morman influence all the way was just huge for Munns, from everything I've read, and he does fully plan on doing the full mission. Better to have him commit there now instead of coming to WSU and then leaving to where his religious heart truly lies. Sad, though, as I read one unnamed college recruiter in a story label him the "right-handed Matt Leinart" in regards to poise, touch, leadership, etc. I have also read that the Cougs are going hard after many QB's for this next year, so we'll see who shakes loose.

Hill and Mkristo are getting more preseason love, making a few pre-season all-Pac-10 teams. Both are highly rated as well, even by something like EA Sports! Jason Hill is the #4 WR in the entire country per EA's NCAA 2007, ranking right behind Dwayne Jarrett. The game is to be released in late July. Check it out:

Ratings
Overall: 94
Speed: 92
Strength: 65
Awareness: 93
Agility: 92
Acceleration: 93
Catch: 93
Carry: 65
Jump: 93
Break Tackle: 59
Stamina: 94
Injury: 95 Read more ...plus comments

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Painful, but BOY did the Hawks get screwed!

I know, it's been rehashed too many times, analyzed to death, blah blah blah. But, this is the best thing I've seen yet on JUST HOW BAD the Hawks were jobbed in SB XL. When you see the visual evidence backed up with strong analysis, well, you'll just be angry all over again....but I encourage you to take a look!

http://www.lunaranomalies.com/XL-officiating.htm Read more ...plus comments

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Greatest Martin Stadium wins - Video included!

VERRRRRYYYYY cool site, showing the best Coug home wins in the modern era. I love the '88 Apple Cup. My God was Rosie a hell of a QB! They only show a couple of highlights, but man, his throw to Stallworth on a fade was amazing, and he had great feet on the bootleg TD. Just makes one wonder what could have been if he came back in 1989. Ah well. Still cool to see Erickson getting excited about the win too!

I also liked the Stanford highlight, and I'll never forget seeing Leaf do that Heisman pose. The funny thing about that, and maybe a sign of his immaturity, was that he did that right in front of the Stanford bench at the end of the game! It pissed a lot of players off when he did that. I was sitting right there when he jogged over and did it, it was funny and cool at the time because he was a darkhorse Heisman guy at that time.

Anyway, enjoy!

http://wsucougars.cstv.com/school-bio/martin-greatest-games.html Read more ...plus comments

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It NEVER gets old!

http://media.putfile.com/Apple-Cup-05-winning-TD

Ever notice how bowl-legged Harvey is? Look at the part where they replay the TD from the endzone perspective, and look at his legs from the knee down. Kind of weird? Or maybe it's just me.

This one works for me too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuUR6CPGDIc

I'll never, ever forget the roar in that stadium. And I'll always remember Delhomme literally PEEING DOWN his pants that whole game! Man he was bad. Read more ...plus comments