Monday, August 03, 2009

Stadium Update (Really!)

Hello followers. Hope you all had a very calming and relaxing weekend.

Well, as brother Sean alluded to last week, I've been in deep conversation with the WSU Athletic Department over the past week or so about our campaign to help raise money for Martin Stadium. (This truly is not a joke!)

And here is the latest news:

First of all, many of the fine details of the overall effort are still being worked out, and for that reason, I really can't give you all any specifics about the ins and outs of the whole deal.

What I can tell you is that the campaign is going to be much bigger and much more central to the overall Stadim development plan than we could have ever realized when we launched the idea of a campaign earlier in the year. In fact, the effort portends to be so big, that I am giving our brethren at the Athletic Department, four solid Carma Chameleons for all of their work and vision in putting this whole thing together!

I can also tell you that REAL time line for the launch of this campaign is the first two weeks in September.

With that in mind, we have two requests of the faithful over the coming weeks (again, this is NOT a joke):

1) Take some real time with your family members and business partners and budget out what you can give to this campaign. We want to make an early splash to generate publicity with the media, so please be ready to give whatever you can in the campaign's early days.

2) Start to identify people who have not yet frequented the WSU sports blogosphere who might be willing to get involved. Currently, we think we have about 700 who frequent this blog regularly. Out of this 700, we'd like to generate anywhere from two to three thousand donors for the effort. Translation: that means that each of us is responsible for getting three or four others on board with us.

So, over the coming weeks, get your contact lists together. In no uncertain terms, we all have a chance to make history here. Lets makes sure we take advantage of the opportunity to move our university and football program into the 21st Century!

Now, onto football....

Followers, as training camp nears, I wanted to take a moment to talk about our beloved position of Quarterback. And believe me, I'd like to approach this subject with a bit more maturity than I did when I had a different incarnation.

So, with that in mind, I want you all to know that I am going to broach the issue of Kevin Lopina DIRECTLY only one time this season: Today.

As those who followed this blog during the Alex Brink era know, I was much too quick and harsh to blame Alex for all of the things that he couldn't do on the football field. And that was a big mistake on my part. Instead, I should have blamed the coaches, and not Alex, for not recognizing that other options needed to be explored sooner-rather-than-later in order for us to shake our losing ways. So, I want to be particularly sensitive in how I approach the possibility of another QB controversy that again could threaten the welfare of our beloved program.

Anyhow, where Kevin is concerned, I have been FEVERISHLY researching stats that WSU and the Pac-10 keep on quarterbacks in order to find Kevin's current place in both Cougar and Pac-10 Lore. And, while I did not find what I was looking for (they don't keep much on futility), I am also pretty confident in saying that through his 8 starts last year, a solid case has to be made that Kevin Lopina is on track to be the worst quarterback with a near season's worth of starts in Pac-10 history.

Now, before this turns any more negative about Kevin, there are two really big things that I want everyone to remember about Good Ole Number Nine.

1) Kevin led the good ship "Don't Quit" last year when everyone else on the team and university was driving out of town. IF this program ever gets turned around, Kevin Lopina will be known as one of the principle leaders who made the program's return happen.

2) After exhibiting one of the single WORST performances of any quarterback in Apple Cup history, Lopina nutted up BIG TIME on that last drive to save the game, the season, and possibly the program.

Seriously all, think about it: What would we all be talking about right now if Lopina hadn't come through in that game? Would ANYONE who even sniffs this Blog pick us higher than 10th if we had finished last year 1-12? Would we have lost most of our incoming recruiting class??

So, Kevin, Fans and Supporters of Kevin, and others in the Kevin Cosmos, please know that on one hand, your back is totally covered on this blog. And for that, four Carma Chameleons for you, my brother.

At the same time, the sample size is large enough to know that Kevin doesn't have the goods to be a good Pac-10 Quarterback. And, while I sense that the coaching staff would suggest that Kevin does a good job now of making reads and not turning the ball over, I am also pretty certain that "not turning the ball over" also means not trying to make a whole lot of plays (e.g. LOSING). Furthermore, when you're trying to hit a WR on a 10yard "in" and he runs a 12 yard out--well, it doesn't really matter much how talented you are, does it? And trust me, faithful, we're going to see a lot of W-T-F routes run by our WRs in the first six weeks.

In short, as we all head toward the start of Fall Camp, it is important to remind ourselves about what this season is about:

1a) Improvement
1b) Improvement that leads directly to having a real shot at winning NEXT year.

Because Kevin is a senior, there's not much that he can do as a starter to contribute to 1b--at least in my book. So, with that in mind, let me say the following for the first and last time this year:

1) Kevin should not start
2) We will not win more than one game if Kevin starts
3) We will not build for the future if Kevin starts
4) Wulff will find himself unneccesarily with VERY unstable job security at the end of the year if Kevin starts.

So, given the above four parts of the Sutra's "Number 9 Axiom", I have 100% convinced myself that because the above seems so completely obvious to me and the rest of the universe, Kevin will NOT play much this year.

Consequently, as you all read my predictions and opinions for our team this year, please know that #9 is not figuring into my plans or visions for our beloved team.

With that all in mind, please stay tuned tomorrow for a great DB preview by Sean and then I'll have Lucas' takes on the upcoming schedule and season on Wednesday.

And to all, a harty "Coug-De-L'Amor."

-Osho Rojo


Anonymous said...

Finally some news on the stadium! I greatly look forward to hearing what the plan is and have already saved money to donate!

Great take on the quarterback situation. I have nothing but respect for Lopina for sticking with us, playing with a fractured spine (!!!) and running for his life from opposing defensive linemen for the better part of one of the most forgettable seasons in pac-10 history. That being said, he is not the best quarterback in the stable at this point and therefore does not get the starting job; simple as that.

btw... did anyone notice that former bellevue high star keith rosenberg aka keith parr jr. is not on the roster? does anyone know what the deal is with that?

TiltingRight said...

I've read on a couple of message board posts that he's turned up at Boise State?

Sean Hawkins said...

It is exciting that things are moving with the stadium deal. Sutra's the man with sticking with it and sticking with it! It will be pretty cool once it's up and running, at least it sure sounds cool so far. Great work Sutra!

Parr left right at the end of August camp last year. Kind of weird, but after a tough training camp, right before the season started he quit. I haven't heard a thing about where he ended up, but I think Tilting is correct there.

CougTat said...

Yes! I'm so glad to hear that there is finally some movement of the Stadium Fundraising issue.

Hopefully this can spawn a huge fundraising effort and put this project into motion.

WSU91 said...

No one in Cougar Nation will ever forget Lopina to Karstetter (who deserves some credit too).

Now that it's August, I'm guessing we can all feel it - football is just around the corner. So nice to be out of the dearth of July.

Brian said...

Excellent write-up. I completely agree with all points that you made both positive and negative about Lopina and why he should not play next year.

Any update on Lobbestael's recovery progress though? Unfortunately, if he's not healthy than I think we'll have to stick with Lopina because Levenseller didn't look anywhere near ready last season.

'03CouveCoug said...

By all accounts from Wulff and Sturdy in the recent weeks, it seems that Lobbestael will be considered to be 100% healthy for the opener, assuming that no injury occurs during camp (big assumption, of course). Because Ocho Rojo will be sporting the yellow no-contact jersey, barring freakish circumstances, we can reasonably assume that by Sept. 5th, #8 will be all-systems-go from a health standpoint.

As a result of that, I’ve got to believe that Lobbestael will be the starter vs. Stanford and beyond. The many reasons that Osho-aka Mike Seaver-mentioned in making a case for Marshall to be the man to start (or, was it actually more of a case for Lopina NOT to start?) are quite accurate. The most important is for the future of the program. I’ll look forward to Lobbestael getting comfortable with the no-huddle this season with a great team player like Lopina helping him to do that in every way possible from the sidelines, in practice, and in film study.

The real battle for starting QB will begin NEXT season, between Lobbestael and Tuel! We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it…

The Coug-A-Sutra said...

C.C: I think you are right, from what we've heard about our incoming frosh, having him sit on the bench for two years waiting for Marshal to graduate might be a waste. So, it may be a real competition between him and either of the two L's (Lobster and Levy) come spring ball.

In the meantime, the point that Brian brings up is a good one. What happens if el Ocho comes up lame in camp? Or, perhaps more likely, what happens if he goes down sometime during the season--particularly early on?

In both cases, I think Levy becomes your option, or if Tuel picks things up, then burn that redshirt.

But, if you take a look at the Hawaii game film, Levy and his supreme happy feet was our best option to move the football.

Moreover, Levy shows promise for fulfilling goal 1b for the season.

But I'm very interested in hearing about Tuel during camp.

kaddy said...

All I want for my birthday is Phase III.

Anonymous said...

As a current student, I am unfortunately unable to financially support the Stadium fund (unless you count my mandatory stadium renovation fee attached to yearly tuition), but i will reach out and encourage all of my coug friends and family to donate whatever they can!

Also, your coverage on the quarterback situation was insightful. since I only have 2 more years in Pullman, I'm really hoping Wulff can pull off a miracle.

Sean Hawkins said...

Don't sweat it anonymous, you are clearly doing your part. We'll have enough people to help out, just do whatever it is you can. Thanks!