Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Hello Followers. Hope you are having a great week.
Well, with training camp now almost half-way in the books, I thought it high time to remind you what a perfect 10 looks like:
Oops~ What I meant to write was "I thought it high time to remind you what a Perfect 10th looks like."
Much better, right?
Of course, being the bright Cougar fans that you all are, you all know what happened to those Crimson Hoopsters of the 2005-2006 season: A young group of freshmen and sophomores finished DEAD STINKIN' LAST in the Pac-10.
But along the way, those merry young lads also managed to have a few nice W's over the Puppies of then Sweet 16 fame; and the tough learning and development they encountered that year set the stage for two MAGICAL runs into national prominence in the two years that followed.
And now, after being the laughingstock of the Pac-10 conference for nearly a decade, we have a SOLID basketball program.
So, today we stand at the cusp of what could be either a very interesting rebuilding campaign; OR we could be about ready to embark on what could be an apathy building, disgust and disdain filled losing season.
And so, in view of those two possibilities, I bequeath upon you all, the faithful, to allow me the following MEGA RANT:
Followers: Last year, when describing the nuances of our total stink fest of a season, our very own Hooty McBoob situated the campaigns of this year and the year past as follows. He said: "Next year (2009-2010) will be a rebuilding year for our program. This year (08-09) is a transition year."
For the past nine months, I have wholeheartedly believed that Hooty was right. And I took a great deal of solace in his (however temporary) infinite wisdom. But alas, there are troubling signs that another year of transition may nonetheless be on the way for the Crimson Company...
For example, there is a very troubling sentiment out there that Coach Paul has to win this year--e.g. sniff bowl eligibility--to keep his job. And, as I have noted here before, the ONLY way that Coach Paul loses his job after this year is if we LOSE, LOSE BADLY, AND SET OURSELVES UP TO LOSE AGAIN NEXT YEAR in the process. So, when you read what notables like Longball are saying about the strength of our young talent, it sure seems like Coach Paul and company will have to do A LOT wrong to put Coach Paul in any hot water this year.
At the same time, there are also troubling signs that Wulff and company might be prepared to find ways to have it all unravel by trying to "go for it" this year. And, while there is at least some evidence to suggest that we can be a non disaster this year, there are also some grave and lingering fallacies (however implicit) that need to be addressed by the Blogfathers. Here's the first:
"Kevin Lopina is as good as Alex Brink"
Okay, so maybe no one is saying that directly. Hell, maybe no one is even actually thinking that. But, when I continue to read that Kevin Lopina is slated as our #1 guy, I feel as if that is stated implicitly. And when I start thinking that other people are thinking along those lines, well, I return to the Todd Sturdy and Paul Wulff sponsored fallacy from last year:
"Kevin Lopina is as good as Gary Rogers"
That all said, for the sake of argument, let's say that Lopina IS as good as Little Alex was his senior year at WSU.
So, with that assumption in hand, let's ask ourselves the following questions:
1) Are our WRs as good as what Alex had in 2007? Nope.
2) Are our TEs as good as what Alex had in 2008? Nope.
3) Is our offensive line as good as what Alex had in 2007? Maybe.
4) Are our running backs as good as what Alex had in 2007? Could be.
5) And, is our defense as "good" as the group in 2007? Maybe.
So, in view of these questions, I think it is fair to say that we MIGHT have some aspects of our team that MIGHT be as good as 2007. And, of course, all of that ASSUMES that Lopina is AS GOOD as Alex Brink. Now, lets take a good look at what that 2007 team did that season:
THEY WENT 5-7.
In other words, even if we seriously believe that we are as talented as that group, we STILL would have a hard time coming up with a convincing rationale about how we could possibly have a winning season--especially since the league slate top-to-bottom this year is better than in 2007.
So, if you feel what the Sutra is cooking, then you'll know what I've been getting at for 10,000 words now: WE'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE A WINNING SEASON THIS YEAR. So, if we're not going to win, then what are we trying to accomplish this year by playing dudes who can't build the future of the program?
Consequently, I implore you all to join me in sending the following questions out to the Cougar Cosmos:
1) Are we trying to take our lumps this year and set ourselves up to be bowl eligible next year as Howie Stalwick suggests?
2) Or, are we trying to implement our "system" this year with the hope of winning so we can later see how Wulff's "real guys" mesh NEXT year?
For me, taking lumps now means "rebuilding" now. Conversely, implementing our system now, feels like an inevitable path to transitioning AGAIN, which pushes rebuilding off for yet another painful year.
Personally, I'm looking forward to the possibility of a perfect 10th THIS season (and who knows, maybe even a perfect 7th!)--a dream I am clinging to that has at its center a VISION of watching Jeff Tuel develop THIS season along with a cast of characters that could be good next year AND really good the year after that.
So, to make sure we're all clear, if Ocho Rojo can never become a Coug legend like Osho Rojo, then so be it.
But please, spare us all from the "we can win this year" mirage and lets start building toward next year RIGHT NOW.
Start Jeff Tuel on September 5th. We'll all be glad we did.