Sunday, March 18, 2007

Football What?

Well, following yesterday's let down, the one thing that comes to mind is THANK GOD we'll have a distraction from next year's football season!

Next year's hoops will be the most anticipated Cougar sports season since the 2002 football team was predicted to win the Pac-10 and DID. This Cougar hoops team will face similar expectations.

Of course, it will be interesting to see how it all develops. Certainly, Baynes and Cowgill will improve which will make us that more dangerous...but the loss of Clark will make us considerably less athletic...we'll see how that all unfolds.

Finally, we have to see what happens with young Mr. Bennett. My sense is that it would be much more of a surprise for him to leave than the other way around. Dad Bennett didn't come out of retirement to build a program so that his son could leave. Dad Bennett came to build a program so that his son could stay. And when you think about it, when you've built a program into a major conference conteder why do you leave? Especially when that conference is improving and has 3 teams in the Sweet 16! It just doesn't make sense to leave.

The only caveat is what happens if Tubby Smith leaves Kentucky and takes the Michigan job. What happens if Kentucky comes open and calls Bennett?

That my friends is the ONLY type of job that makes sense: leave for one of the top 7 or 8 best jobs out there...

We will see.

In meantime, we can watch next week with dissapointment. An Ivory Clark led Cougar team would have been real dangerous next week.

But, next year with an improved Lowe, Weaver, Rochestie, Baynes, and Cowgill proves formidable. Ditto another year of Harmeling, Mathews, and we'll see about the two reported new comers--all of which can shoot...

Bottom line: it was a GREAT year. And Kudos to Bennett and the Kids for a magical and memorable ride.


Sedihawk said...

What's kind of funny/sad about the whole Bennett thing? Everyone just assumes because he's 1) young 2) successful and 3) from Wisconsin that he'll be ready to run for a better paying job the moment it's offered. Nobody knows for sure what's going to happen, but all we know right now is Sterk and others in the administration are saying they are going to do what they need to do to keep him happy in Pullman. And we have Tony saying all the right things thus far, about how they'll talk about these sorts of things after the season (now).

But here's the thing. Why is it so easy to just lump in Bennett with guys like Erickson? Erickson and Jackie Sherrill are really the only two that bailed as fast as they could to move to a better job, but other WSU coaches have stuck around. Walden, Price, even Kelvin Sampson gave SEVEN years to WSU. Everything we've been told is that Bennett is a great human being, great values, very grounded and humble, and loves being in Pullman. Why should we believe anything else? If anything, the Erickson move of bailing ASAP is actually far and few between at WSU. Never let facts get in the way of a good story, because right now everyone will have you believe that being a coach in Pullman is like serving a jail term, and the better your behavior, the quicker you can get the hell outta Shawshank! But if that was the case, wouldn't Price have left back in the early 90's when he had Bledsoe and then that great 1994 defense, and of course, the 98 Rose Bowl? Wouldn't Sampson have left in 1992 after leading the Cougs to 22 wins and the NIT? Wouldn't they ALL have just left as soon as they tasted success and got another job offer?

Anyway, fantastic season that ends in a tough way. But what team that loses this time of year is ever HAPPY about it? That's the tragic thing about the tourney, because when "one shining moment" plays, there's only ONE happy team left because everyone else's season ended with a loss!

As I told Duckhater all year as this season was unfolding and it looked like we'd make the tourney, you really understand now the heartbreak nature of losing in the tourney, and/or blowing winnable tourney games like UW did last year vs. UConn or the year that Rip Hamilton made that crazy layin, or Gonzaga losing that thriller to Arizona a few years ago or blowing the game vs. UCLA last year. Now I understand.

Sedihawk said...


What's weird is not that Michigan is interested, but that the AD would actually acknowledge him by name and elaborate a bit on Tony? Doesn't that seem odd if they haven't asked permission - yet - to talk to him, and at last check, he IS still the head coach? Maybe I'm freaking out over nothing, but man, usually when a high-level search is on, the AD conducting the search might say "I can neither confirm or deny that we have interest" or, more specifically, "we can't talk about someone under contract at another school." But to acknowledge the name? That's gotta piss of Sterk to no end! All I know is they better get this thing resolved sooner rather than later, like Sterk says they want to do, or it could turn into a real mess.

Anonymous said...

No reason to freak out, my friend..

Tony isn't gonna leave...and if he does, then so be it..

Its really that simple.

If he bolts, he'll fail, cuz the only reason to bolt at this point is because you doubt your ability to sustain what's been built.

If I'm Tony, I spend this summer recruiting my you-know-what off in preparation for a HUGE loss when Weaver and Low leave. Then, IF he decides to leave after next year, he leaves Baynes, Harmeling, Rochestie, and change (which could still be an NCAA type team).

But, why do you leave a major college conference contender for a school that has no chance of contending next year? Why try to lay the groundwork against Izzo, Ohio State, Wisc, Alferd, and company when you've already done it HERE...when you already have all the players you want HERE...and where you don't have em, you can go out and get em now, cuz you were a top 10 program this year...

Again, if he leaves, so be it...But this is when you just have to trust that he's a good guy..and if he's not, then see ya..