Cletis here. I am a special assistant to the Coug-A-Sutra and a proud graduate of Indiana University.
I am writing my first post because Sutra is currently in jail after being arrested for stalking Vince Grippi while he was on vacation. So, he asked me to step in for him for this week--or until we can resolve how it is that his bail check bounced.
So, without further ado, click on after the jump to see the top five things that are hot topics of conversation around Sutra's NY compound.
1) American Idol. Obviously, I don't know how many of you out there watch Idol, but we love it here at Sutra's compound. Personally, I was
crushed when Tia Magia was elimintated in the Round of 10. But, I was even more agahst when both Casey and Pia were eliminated before the top
five. I mean who'd have thunk THAT? Even worse, it now seems to me that the odds on favorite to win the whole damn thing is none other than
James Durbin. YUCK! Don't know about you all, but James has got a chance of post-Idol stardom that hovers right around negative pi percent. So, count me in as a guy that will be rooting HARD for James to go home tomorrow night-- although us Hoosiers are betting that little Lauren is the next casualty. What do you think?
2) NBA Playoffs. When the playoffs started, I was really hoping to see another Epic battle between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. Well, now that the Lakers are gone and the Celts are on the brink, does anyone even care anymore? I mean, does anyone get excited about the prospect of a Mavs-Heat final? Does anyone get excited about the prospect of watching a Dallas-Clay Bennett Western conference final? Didn't think so.
So, for me, when I think about how lame life may be without the NFL, I haven't yet found anyone who is fretting much about the prospect of an NBA lock-out. And for guys like Klay Thompson--who will probably be a final lottery pick--that just can't be good news.
Now more than ever, it appears that the NBA is officially broken. And unless the Clay Bennetts can find a way to steal the national imagination, my sense is that the NBA is closer to the delayed broadcast days of 1977 than ever before.
3) Gus Johnson. Lots of hoopla around Mr. Johnson's decision to announce Pac-12 football and basketball for Fox. But really, doesn't this all seem overblown to you? I mean, are his frantic wails something that would translate well to College Football? I am not so sure. And where basketball is concerned, are we even going to hear him announce Cougar games? And if so, is he gifted enough to make a Brock Motum reverse lay-up seem important? Again, I'm not so sure. So, while I am sure that the Zona's and UCLA's of the conference are thrilled to have Gus' presence on the mic for their games, I am not sure it is going to make a difference for a program like WSU.
4) Butler and Bennett. Don't know about you all, but nothing has made Sutra more edgy lately than the failure of Brad Stevens to leave Butler for a higher profile job. I mean, you look at Butler's success--decent athletes who buy into a system that takes them to National Championship games--and its hard not to see a parallel between what Butler has accomplished and what WSU was poised to do under T-Bone Bennett. Of course, the only difference between the two is that Stevens refuses to leave Butler for jobs like Maryland, while T-Bone bolted for Virginia and left Sutra's Cougs in apperant shambles two short years later. While I tried mightily to convince Sutra that losing Bennett might not be such a big deal when it all went down, last year's NCAA tournament changed the minds of all at the compound--including me. In fact, I would venture to say that the 2007 Cougar group would have been in the Final Four this year. And THAT has to be painful to the Cougar Faithful, doesn't it?
So, count me in as a guy that is really hopeful that Stevens will complete a head shaker and bolt toward A&M in the next week or so. Otherwise, I expect him to a painful reminder to Sutra et al. of what a huge blunder Bennett made in leaving a place like WSU.
5) Pac-12 Revenue. I know that Sutra was going to talk about this subject next week, so I'll include just enough of his perspective here to piss him off. Anyhow, lots of folks around Cougar world appear to believe that the new revenue streams are going to do something to enhance the competitiveness of Cougar sports relative to programs who are at the top of the Pac-12 conference. Well, take this bit of wisdom from your good friend from the Mid-EAST, Cletis:
YOU ARE WRONG!!!!!
What the new Pac-12 revenue will do for Washington State is help you all become more competitive with the types of programs that currently are kicking your collective kitty butts. Meaning: The increased revenues from this new TV package will help you develop football facilitities that will be better than those Blue Smurfs to the Southeast. Where hoops are concerned, those enhance revenues will also help you develop basketball facilitites that will help you gain traction over schools like Gonzaga, St. Mary's, and even Utah State. In my view, those schools are painfully well positioned to erode your profile on the West Coast.
So, in the short term, I expect that the new contract will help schools like WSU rise above those meddlesome Mid-Majors--and overtime--help erode THEIR prospects for exposure and success. But at least where WSU hoops are concerned, I expect those Mountain West and WCC programs (which now has BYU) to be stealing post-season bids and exposure from programs like Washington State and Oregon State for at least another three years.
Okay, back to my meds. Hope you all have a good week. Sutra will be back soon.