Hey, did you hear that USC is #1, but we're #10!?!
Uh, dude....#10 in the CONFERENCE.
Well, what do you know. USC #1? WSU #10? We call that a shocker (/sarcasm).
Anywho, lots of obvious fall-out from yesterday's media day festivities, so, we'll sift through it all and spin it in a Coug way for you.....
First, the results:
Points are on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale, with total points in parentheses. First place votes are also listed:
USC (38 first-place votes)...389
Gasp. Yep, that's dead last alright. Some really quick thoughts for me were who the heck voted Cal a #1 vote? Bay area writers, looking in your direction.....ASU is a strong #2, and Oregon is right there at #3. I was also surprised at where UCLA was placed. Fifth after all those preseason injuries and attrition to the offensive line?? Fifth?? Oregon State 6th is about right, and even though they have lost so much on paper, you can almost see it coming that Riley is going to squeeze every ounce he can out of those kids. But I don't know about Arizona at #7. That seems a little low. When you break down the points, you can see they weren't that far behind the Beavs for #6. But there was a big drop down to UW, Stanford and of course, WSU. Funny thing - check out this year's Lindy's preseason mag. 1-10, the results are EXACTLY the same as the Pac-10 media guys. Any coincidence that some of the writers of Lindy's also happen to be Pac-10 beat writers as well? Nah....
For an overview straight outta ESPN, check out the video:
So should we just not show up? Is it time to just lay down, ring the bell that the sky has yes, begun falling, and that's all she wrote? Time to embrace our alien captors, and the like? Of COURSE NOT! For the media day is, simply, what it is. It's a poll of Pac-10 writers in terms of where they think the teams will finish, 1-10. And while they have usually been correct, they are not always right. In fact, the Pac-10 media poll has only predicted the top team 25 out of 47 total attempts. Is that all that impressive? That isn't picking the top two or three in the correct order, that's just picking the champion. It's better than 50%, but still, not exactly stellar in a run-off-to-Vegas-and-throw-down-the-mortgage way. And did you know that in 1997 WSU was picked seventh, and 2001, WSU was picked NINTH? We know what happened in 1997, the first Rose Bowl bid since the 1930 season, and in 2001 Gesser and company broke through in a major way to a 10-win, Sun Bowl winning season. So who the hell knows. But that said, there are some things to take from media day.
Wulff had some good things to say, spinning things in a positive light and that they are mainly just happy to get the season going after a draining off-season. There are a ton of links out there, and you know where to find them. But don't take my word for it. Coach Paul joined KJR's Ian Furness AND, get this - Jason Gesser stopped by the KJR studios and joined in on the conversation. It's a really good listen, so, click here and give it a shot. Note - give it a chance to load in your browser window, because it is worth it. Nice to hear Gesser, and again, Wulff had some good tidbits for your listening pleasure.
First, Wulff mentioned again about how the team will go out of it's way to get the ball to Brandon Gibson. They want to move him around and make it difficult for the opposition to focus in on just #4. In February at the football dinner in Seattle, Wulff slipped it into his stage time that they were looking to do all sorts of things to get him the football, including an off the cuff remark about "even handing him the ball". Hmm. You can just envision Gibson doing a ton of motion before the snap, just to cause a little havoc or confusion on the defense, but might he get handoffs out of the motion?? Maybe that's a big part of Gibson's decision to return to the program. I know he spoke with Ted Miller the other day and said he needed to work on some things before he goes pro, but, maybe another angle are the kinds of things Wulff, Todd Sturdy and Mike Levensellar are scheming right now to get him to have one of those all-WORLD type senior years?
It also sounds promising in regards to Dwight Tardy and, hopefully, Chris Ivory. While I don't think we envision true superstar ability in a Bo-Jackson type for either guy, as a two-headed monster they could be pretty good.
Wulff also mentioned the transfers in Ashley Jean-Jacques, Trever Mooney and in a bit of a mild surprise, WR Greg Walker. We knew about Jean-Jacques and Mooney, but, Walker wasn't one we heard about. Walker was a sophomore WR with decent size (6-3, 175) and I thought he might be in the mix this year for some solid PT, but oh well. Also interesting about Andy Roof, in that the team has done their part in his punishment, but it's all up to the school at this point. Given our lack of depth at the D-tackle spot, while Roof wouldn't likely be a star or anything, he sure could be a big body up front to help keep the interior o-linemen off our linebackers! We do have some JC linemen in Bernard Wolfgramm and Josh Juapo coming in to help out inside, but, as we know that first month of so of JC guys trying to break in can be a real eye-opener. So we'll see.
Finally, Wulff made it clear that our offense shouldn't be lumped into the "spread" offenses that we see all over the country. Yes, we'll be in the shotgun the majority of the time out of the no-huddle, but, we will have many different, multiple looks with the QB under center. We are not an official spread offense. We'll see how it all looks once the season arrives, but it sounds like an offense that is going to be all over the board in terms of what opposing defenses will see on a weekly basis. Being a "moving target" is a good thing, and hey, why not give the other guys something new to think about? I know from some of the EWU game tape I watched from last year via Comcast On-Demand, I saw nothing but shotgun, no-huddle. So maybe it was just a deal where the match-ups and tempo was so good that they stuck with it, but, it also sounds like things will be pretty flexible offensively.
That's about it from a WSU perspective. Again, media day is what it is. Take it with a boulder-sized grain of salt. For the beauty of it all is that, as always, the season isn't over in July. Things will once again be settled on the field.
Moving on, some quick items:
Thanks to our Cougar gal-pal Michelle for the link to the scoreboard web-cam. Have you see the progress? We've added an image from the webcam to the top of the site, so refresh your screen for the latest update. Here's a shot from how it looks on a glorious Friday morning in Pullman:
Starting to look like a scoreboard isn't it? While we aren't in a contest with Oregon State or Oregon to see "who's is bigger", well, our scoreboard will be just fine, thanks.
Finally, geek-alert - Have ya seen the new Batman?
We ventured out among the sweaty summer masses and caught it on Sunday.
But in a word: WOW. I know, I know, this is coming from someone who loved Batman Begins, and I had way-too-high expectations for this one....but I have to say it matched the hype, and then some. The reviews are right, it's an amazing movie. Bale's Batman is great, but Ledger, jeez. What a fantastic portrayal of the tortured, out-of-control maniac. He played it perfectly too. Not too much in a Jim Carrey, rapid-fire, in your face way of let's throw 1,000 jokes against the wall and see if any of them stick. Not over-crazy, yet not understated either. You actually think he's this character, you are never exactly sure what he's going to do next, and you never find a "roll your eyes" cheesy, overdone moment with him.
Words can't do it justice, so just do yourself a favor and go see it. While it's hard to say if he'll win the Oscar, it would be borderline-insane if Ledger isn't at least nominated for the role. And what a damn shame we'll never get to see him do it again, because he does leave you wanting much, much more.
ENJOY YOUR FRIDAY!