So it's early. VERY early, as in, it's not even Easter yet. But is it too early for a preview or two? Hard to say, I mean spring practice sessions are still in full force all over the country, and fall camp? Can't even fathom it, it's so far in the distance.
That said, CollegeFootballNews.com has rolled out a semi-kinda-sorta preview. In a semi-kinda-sorta preview, I mean it's basically a paragraph on each PAC-10 team. But it does it in such a way that it looks at the schedules of each program in the PAC-10, and at least attempts to project a best case/realistic/hide the women and children, 2008-WSU TITANIC disaster. So what do they say about the Cougs?
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
Realistic best case record for this schedule: 7-5
Barring total disaster worst case record: 2-10
Realistic record: 3-9
You can get the rest here, including their logic behind the numbers. HOORAY previews.
3-9 is realistic? Ain't that a kick in the ass. But they are way, WAY OFF here. I was thinking at least 4-8!
In all seriousness, it's nice to look at now, but it's just too early isn't it? We've still got Phil Steele, Athlon's, Lindy's, and all the rest to show up starting in June or somewhere in there to carry us through the summer. Let's at least let teams finish spring before we start going off on this kind of thing.
Moving on to other stuff....
Teddy "Football" of ESPN gives some details on USC's Bush-Mayo-Gate, now conveniently rolled into ONE JUICY NCAA INVESTIGATION! Just makes it easier to streamline the efforts, doesn't it? But as Miller says, this isn't good news for SC:
What does this mean?
If you're a bigger fan of USC football than basketball, it should feel worrisome.
By connecting the two cases, the NCAA appears to be now reviewing these investigations as systemic problems within USC's athletic department.
Yes, we're talking about the dreaded "lack of institutional control."
You think about the Paul Wulff issues from EWU, they were things that the NCAA deemed should have been under control by Wulff, the athletic department, the university as a whole (hole??). But Miller's reasoning is strong, in that the Bush case is more about Bush and the guys feeding him cash, and that the coaches and athletic department could play pretty dumb on this one. But NOT the Mayo case. Combine them into one stinking mess, AND a new PAC-10 commish takes charge on 7/1? It might be example-setting time for the boys from Troy.
So has the law finally caught up to USC? Will "Rome" fall?
Well, whatever happens with the Trojans, at least we can thank USC for a wonderful showing last fall that led to a temporary change to our Blog header:
Martin Stadium was a Field of Dreams that day...."The memories will be so thick, they'll have to brush them away from their faces." - James Earl Jones
69-0? 69-0?? Did that really happen?? Simply A"meh"zing.
Finally, our first opponent in 2009, Stanford lost a backup QB. Not a big deal on the surface, sure. But it's QB Alex Loukas, and he should be out until mid-October (clearly not available for the opener vs. WSU on 9/5).
The issue here is that losing Loukas leaves the Cardinal with just two QB's, Tavita Pritchard and Andrew Luck. There is an incoming frosh, Josh Nunes, who will be available this fall, but as the article says, this likely leaves just two QB's on their roster "who are capable of making important throws in game situations."
We'll get into Stanford later, as well as every other team on the WSU schedule with our "spring fish wraps" beginning in early May. We'll tackle two teams a week, taking a look at them post-spring ball style and see what we're in for this fall.
ENJOY YOUR FRIDAY, and GO COUGS!