Hello Cougar Nation! Hope you all have had a terrific week!
As for me, well, it’s been a really busy summer, one that has been filled with a whole lot of this type of stuff.
But, thankfully, Fall Semester is nearly upon us, meaning that it’s nearly time for some FRICKING FOOTBALL!
And so, with Game Week now officially upon us, I found myself aghast by all the sissy, wishy-washy ness that has surrounded Cougar Nation. So, as you click on the jump, please join me is saying “B-Y-WHO?”
Nation, those of you who have read this blog for the past few years know that this week is typically the time where Sutra provides his “Hope or Nope” column. But, since our very own Huddy stole Sutra’s tea leaves on Wednesday (AWESOME!), that silly piece instantly became obsolete (AWESOME!).
And because of all that, I was able to direct my focus and attention this week to all the wonderful comments on this blog and elsewhere. And when I’m talking about comments, I’m talking about COMMENTS like:
“I don’t think we can beat BYU.”
“We’re not going to be beat BYU”
“Our D-Line isn’t good enough to stop BYU”
“As long as we’re 3-1 heading into Oregon, I’ll be excited,”
“Prepare Yourself for Starting 2-2,”
Blah, blah, blah…
And so, with all that hand wringing firmly in mind, let me provide a few answers to all of your sissy angst in a statement-as-question format.
1. If BYU were in the South Division today, where would they finish?
With BYU entering this first game as a nearly 2 touchdown favorite, one would think that they’re firmly in line for a top 15 ranking and a top tier bowl invitation. But where would you rank them today if they were in the South Division in a newly minted Pac-13?
Personally, I would rank them fourth, behind SC, Utah, and UCLA. I mean, I know that the football world is trying to market Brady Nelson as some sort of play-uh. And I know that BYU’s offensive line includes a bunch of dudes who might qualify as Clydesdales.
And I also know that their running back is currently weighing in at about 242.
But after that, when you think about their talent relative to just about everyone else on our schedule, I think you’ll find that they’ll rank only somewhere in the middle. In fact, let’s put em in rank order: Oregon, Utah, Stanford, California, Washington, UCLA, BYU, Oregon State, Arizona State, Colorado, UNLV, and Eastern Washington.
And so, I say to all of you, if you don’t think we can beat BYU, then we should all be prepared to be home for the holidays...
2. Where Does the WSU offense rank right now relative to ALL other teams in the Pac-12?
For the past several weeks, just about everyone and their brother has been who-ing and haw-ing about how suspect our defense is. And to be sure, losing Mr. Laurenzi didn’t help matters much...
I'm Small Time Now
But, I ask you, what makes you think that this year’s defense is going to be any worse than last year’s?
Moreover, as I noted on this blog a few years back, one of the biggest challenges this program has faced during its rebuild has stemmed from the fact that, for many years, we lacked the talent within the program to improve during practice and camp. But this year, well, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.
I mean, if YOU had to rank the Pac-12’s best offenses right now, how would you rank them? Personally, I think just about everyone would have USC and Oregon ranked 1 and 2.
But after that?
Well, while some out in the cyber world might make a case for Washington…
But Mike Leach's history would suggest that WSU should probably be third or fourth. And so, while our defense previously practiced against a host of unknown or under-talented group of kids, this year’s defense has been going up against a top tier offense that, frankly, has a good chance of ranking in the top 10 Nationally.
So, when we line up with 9 in the box on Thursday night with Horton and Washington standing on their own respective Islands, you think they’re going to fear BYU after chasing Marks and Marquess around for the last four weeks of camp + summer?
3. Does Practice Make Perfect?
One of the reasons why everyone and their brother are often so fearful of opening with the Blue Cougars concerns BYU’s experience. I mean, not only are many of their players grown men (as a result of mission work)…
… but their two-deeps tend to be laden with four-year Juniors and fifth-year seniors.
And clearly, this year is no exception.
At the same time, one would figure that if you’re going to prepare to play the Air Raid (and Hair Raid) version of WSU, you just might want to strap it on a few times before the season starts.
But, because of injuries to their offensive line, BYU hasn’t been able to do that much. In fact, BYU has enjoyed full contact drills a whopping TWO TIMES heading into game week.
So, yeah, they’re old...
And yeah, they’re experienced.
But are they prepared for what it is that we’re going to throw at them in six short days?
And so, with that all in mind, on we go into game week. I’ll be back next Thursday afternoon with a prediction for the opener.
But you don’t have to work too hard to know which way I’m leaning...
Buck up, Cougar Nation. You have a football team to watch this year.
All for now. Go Cougs.