It's Monday morning, and I think the fans are STILL ON THE FIELD.
As we bask in the glow of another Apple Cup triumph (now four out of the last five), even in this worst-ever season, it never gets old to win your rivalry game. The beer tastes better, food tastes better, hell, the mundane like going to work or school gives you a little pep in your step.
Now, sure, no crowd has probably ever stormed the field after beating an 0-11 team.....at least I doubt it has ever happened.....but does it even matter? Look, if you are a Coug, you have suffered this year. You have been there debating on message boards and leaving comments about what is wrong today, how difficult this change has been on the players and coaches, and maybe even more so, you have dissected when and how it all went wrong. We all have our theories or sources or whatever. It has been that kind of year.
But all that frustration of 2008 came rushing out late Saturday afternoon. After all the hard work, all the embarrassing blowouts, all the local and national talk of WSU looking like one of the worst BCS teams of all time? That all went away - at least for a while - when Grasu calmly drilled his third and final field goal of the day.
Quick side note....what did I tell you about taking the underdog in a rivalry game?? Especially when the teams are relatively even in terms of record, etc. Said underdog has now covered the spread in seven of the last eight Apple Cups. It's no fluke. But I also have to raise my hand to say that yes, I called UW to win this thing, 17-16. ON a field goal by UW! Whoops. Never, ever been so happy to be so wrong.
Speaking of predictions. Brinkhater and I were talking, and decided to actually tally up our picks from 2008 Football Friday on Thursday, and how we stood up to the experts. And who better to compare ourselves against? How about the top local guy and national guy who do these things on a weekly basis, in the people's choice, Vince Grippi, and ESPN's Ted Miller?
Even if you aren't curious, here are the updated numbers, through Saturday's games (note that these are NOT against the spread, only winners/losers):
Ted Miller: 54-15
Vince Grippi: 53-16
Note that we've picked more games than they have, as we usually make a national game pick outside of the Pac-10. But still, not bad for a few hacks in blogger-ville.
But seriously, now what? There is, after all, a game this Saturday night over on the island. Will coach Wulff get them excited to do more than hang out at the beach? It's pretty clear, at least what Wulff said yesterday in his Sunday presser, that he has his work cut out for him.
Maybe that's at least part of the reason they are a 28-point underdog to a 6-5 WAC team?? However, WSU has now covered the last three games, so we've got that going for us....but let's face it, college football is one of the most emotional sports on the planet. As Keith Jackson has famously said, trying to predict what 18-22 year olds are going to do on a weekly basis will drive you crazy.
"It can be (difficult) if we don't handle it right," said Wulff, the WSU coach. "The other thing is, you come off a big, emotional game, then you go to a place that's historically challenging to play at for anybody.
"So yeah, this is going to be a tough, tough test for our psyche."
That said, maybe, just maybe, this Apple Cup win, a game they pulled out in the face of adversity, will be a turning point? A game in which the team had so many chances to just give up, when it looked like UW was going to salt this thing away, yet someone kept stepping up to keep it close? Maybe, just maybe, some of these guys are starting to believe?
We'll take a closer look at Hawaii later this week, in our usual way. And the Wulff radio show will air TONIGHT, so we'll have our usual recap up tomorrow morning. As always, ENJOY YOUR MONDAY, and GO COUGS!