Friday, November 09, 2007

Game Ten Football Friday

So here we are, Coug fans. We're standing at the edge of potentially one of the strongest finishing kicks to a season that we've had in a long time, and maybe the strongest finish in the Doba era. As well-documented this week, if we can win out and finish at 6-6, the odds are extremely good that we'll see postseason play. The Spokesman broke it down earlier in the week, so take a look if you are so inclined.

Ask yourself this - after the 53-7 loss to Oregon, who the hell would have possibly thought we'd be in this position right now? I know I didn't, and I was with Brinkhater, that perhaps it would have been the proper move at the time for Doba to step down during the bye week! That's how dire things looked. But to Doba's credit, these guys are playing their butts off right now. The UCLA victory in dominating fashion was sweet, and even in losing last week, they gave it everything they had against a superior Cal opponent. Who knows, just one or two more plays and we come out of Berkeley with a win. The point? We're not really as far away as we thought, and clearly these guys are getting better (OK, not the QB, and yes, I'm done with the whole Brink debate. He is who he is and nothing will change until he's gone, so just leave it at that).

Anyway, we'll keep it short-and-sweet this week. I watched UW and Stanford last week, and let me tell you, the eyes don't lie - Stanford is BAD. Really bad. They have a program-wide talent gulf that isn't even at our level. To put that UW game in perspective, you have to remember that the Huskies are on pace for one of their worst defensive seasons in the last 30 years. They are that bad. And Stanford could muster only 9 friggin' points against them, at HOME no less?? Unbelievable. They are also beat up, too, losing some key guys along the way, including their top DT in Udofia, and now their leading WR is out for tomorrow on a suspension. They still have WR's Evan Moore and Mark Bradford, both fairly talented guys who could still scare us a little. And then you think about the USC upset, and the fact that they did go to Arizona and beat them as well, both on the road and in places that we just got throttled....But Ostrander and Pritchard, his WSU ties be damned, are NOT good players. We are a much better team right now, and they are much worse since those upsets, and that's the bottom line.

I told Brinkhater earlier this week that I would be a lot more worried about this game had we actually won last week, but given the circumstances, I'm not. We're at home, we're a team that's played hard, inspired football, and Stanford has run out of gas. Momentum can mean everything in college football, well, momentum and health anyway, and right now we're somewhat healthy. At least we're a lot healthier than we were a year ago! I think we'll be nice and balanced offensively with the return of Ivory to the backfield, and remember that magic number of 100+ net rushing yards, where we're 7-3 since the beginning of 2006. We'll make it 8-3 this Saturday. I'm going WSU 26, Stanford 10.

Other Pac-10 games:

USC 23, Cal 20 - The Berkeley Bears are a wounded unit right now. Their o-line is great, but Longshore can't move right now and that's USC. USC isn't all that great on offense right now either, but with their punishing defense, I think they'll take care of business.

ASU 31, UCLA 17 - Dennis and company get it going in the right direction again. UCLA's fade can't be stopped now.

OSU 33, UW 20 - UW is back-slapping quite a bit this week based on a win over a bad Stanford team. OSU losing Canfield might be the best thing to happen, because half their team has thought Moevao should be the guy to start all along. But Yvenson Bernard will be the difference, and of course, the Beaver D is as good as it gets in the Pac-10. Corvallis is one of the most underrated home field advantages in the conference, and their defense can run and hit better than anyone out west. You have to wonder how many more big hits Locker can withstand, and believe it, the Beavers will attack him from all angles.

As always, enjoy the game, and GO COUGS!


Brinkhater said...

I'm with you on the W, just not the score...they score less, we score less.

But, gosh darnit, can we just hang about 50 on these scrubs? Then again, if we're going to erupt, maybe next week is the game to do it?

Cougs 21 Trees 7

USC 35 CAL 17 Cal is still going in the wrong direction...USC is going to put a hurt on them in a big, big way..Booty won't miss the deep balls that Brink missed last week.

ASU 41 UCLA 10 UCLA is done...without a doubt they lose can I rhyme or what?

OSU 18 UW 17....this is going to be a realy close one...Think about last year's WSU-Beavs game and that's gonna be this one...don't watch, it will be UGLY....

Sedihawk said...

Hmmm. Check this out (scroll down a bit):

Will Doba Do?

"A good source tells TSN's Tom Dienhart that Bill Doba is fine at WSU. A big deterrent in making a change is money, which isn't plentiful in Pullman."

Hmmmmm. Maybe we ought to hold off on those "prospective coach profiles" after all! :)

Brinkhater said...

I don't buy it...he's gone..

If there was an intent for him to stay, then Sterk would have given him a full vote of confidence.

Simply put: IF there's a question about him being back, then there's money to take care of it.

If there is no money to make a change, then Sterk needs to give a public vote of confidence and state that under no conditions would there be a coaching change before 2009. Its just smart...

And you can say what you want, but the guy that brought in Dick and Tony is NOT a dumb man...

Doba's gone.

longball said...

If Doba is indeed safe, then we MUST win out. OSU is the only game left on our schedule that it would be even somewhat acceptable to lose. Bottom line, a loss to Stanford, or UW this year is completely unexceptable, but it will happen. We'll drop one of those for sure, probably the AC. Can you imagine us not making any changes if we lose to another horrible Husky team?

Sedihawk said...

You are both right. Brinkhater can collaborate on the rumors we've heard as having some "meat" to them on Doba's ouster, so that could be part of his confidence. I bet that if we get to the postseason then all is forgiven. But I would hate to see a "Mission Accomplished!" style press conference, and everything returns next year if we go 4-8 or 5-7. Because, uh, 4-8 or 5-7 is not accomplishing anything when half the country is bowl-eligible.

Then again? Next year we might be pretty good, especially on defense. All four starting LB's will be back, and three out of four in the secondary will be as well. That's at least seven starters on a 3-4 defense, an improving unit that could be pretty good with another year on the field. Doba has coached 'em up and they have improved ten-fold since early in the year.

Oh, and of course, Brinkhater-Nation will be popping the champagne the second the season is over and #10 has exhausted his eligibility. Then we can finally play the Heisman candidate QB's languishing on the bench (just kidding!).

Seriously, maybe the President and AD Sterk will fully analyze it and decide that it's acceptable to keep things status quo until the contracts run out. If things do stay the same? I hope he's prepared for the sound of phones slamming down when Sterk calls and says "Hey, it's Jim Sterk, we'd love to get your money for our stadi...."

longball said...

Ha, so true Sedi. If we hang on to Doba he needs to win 3 AND get a top 25 recruting class or there is going to be a complete meltdown in cougar town. The message boards and other chatter out there is getting pretty ugly.

Can you imagine if our basketball team was crappy right now? How did we survive in a year like 2000? Now we are on the "Brink" (wokka, wokka!)of our longest bowless streak since 1982-87. I dont even think we've fired a coach since Lonestar Dietz got caught in that brothel in Uniontown in 1916, but i may have my history wrong.

longball said...

Great read about the history of the Stanford/Wazzu rivalry over the years...

Thorough, to say the least! ITs a Stanford piece, but still has loads of great Cougar memories in it. I mean, when is the last time you thought of Richie Swinton! or Samoa Samoa from, wait for it... SAMOA! Also some great reminders that the Cougar nation should be eternaly greatful that we never have to play Troy Walters again! That little dude was a nightmare.