It's bad. Really bad.
There's no defense. There's little offense. The personnel isn't performing, and the coaching staff doesn't seem to be making the most of what they do have.
It's times like these you think about giving up on WSU football and moving right on to basketball season (which, thankfully, is coming up very soon). So why should you still show up at games and turn on your TV? Here are five reasons to keep going:
1. Brandon Gibson - Of all of the players on the roster, only one seems to show NFL potential on a weekly basis. Gibson appears to have shaken off his case of the dropsies from the Oklahoma State game and is rounding back into form as one of the conference's elite receivers. He is on pace for another 1,000 yard season, although he probably won't repeat his outrageous 17.6 yards/catch average from 2007. And he's doing it while being the focus of the defense, and without current Seahawk Michael Bumpus at his side.
2. Marshall Lobbestael - First there's the nickname factor. You can call him "The Lobster", "Rock Lobster", "Ocho Rojo", or "The best FBS quarterback in the state of Washington now that Jake Locker is hurt". Either way, he has more good nicknames than Brink, Rogers and Lopina ever had, combined. Also, it turns out he's a decent QB. We may have a slightly unhealthy pseudo-obsession with Ocho Rojo here, but he's backing up the hype: he's the only Cougar QB with a positive TD/INT ratio (4:3), and is averaging 6.2 yards per pass attempt (remember, per attempt, not completion). Which begs the question: why the heck aren't we throwing it more?
Also, credit where credit is due: I called out ESPN's Ted Miller for ranking Gary Rogers 10th among 10 conference quarterbacks in the pre-season. Although Gary won't get a full year to prove him wrong, it looks like Ted got it right.
3. The Keith Gilbertson Factor - Hey, remember those awful Husky teams that beat decent Cougar teams? It could very well be the other way around in '08. Especially if a) Jake Locker's injury is on the lengthy side of things and b) Willingham's game plan is as awful as last season. [although there may be an interim coach involved by the time Apple Cup rolls around]
4. Martin Stadium - If you haven't checked it out this season, along with the new CUB, you need to. The new East end zone concourse and scoreboard are glorious. There's a giant bronze Cougar on the way (if it's not there already - I'm not in Pullman right now to check). Now that the phase one renovations are complete, Martin Stadium makes Husky Stadium's concourses and bathrooms look like a homeless person's cardboard box. It's wonderful.
5. Jeshua Anderson - Sorry, defense. I thought about throwing you a token reason, but it's not right. When you hold a conference opponent under 60 points in a game we'll talk. For now, Jeshua Anderson is worth watching on every play. He's been forced to take on more responsibility in the offense, and he's making the most of it, becoming an early end-zone favorite of Lobbestael's (the 'Ocho Rojo' to 'Ocho Cinco' connection). There's also the fact that he would have gone to Beijing for any other country in the world in the 400m hurdles, but happens to run in the U.S. where the current gold, silver and bronze medalists reside. Keep an eye on Jeshua. It's only the beginning for the sophomore. Tremendous upside potential here.