This doesn't feel like a big game, but it is.
Maybe it's because WSU/California isn't really a heated rivalry. Maybe it's that we're staring down yet another Cougar road game. Maybe it's the fact this game will be played at a baseball stadium.
This just doesn't have the feel of a marquee matchup. California is paired with the Cougars in the Pac-12 North cellar... both sitting at 1-4. Both teams barely squeaked by Colorado on the road and are nursing slim bowl hopes following a rough start to conference play. Cal basically needs to win their next two, against WSU and Oregon State. WSU has to win 3 of 4 against Cal, Utah, ASU and Washington.
Looking at it from a desperation standpoint, it is a huge game. Possibly an elimination game if you assume neither team will defeat a ranked opponent the rest of the way.
Unfortunately, this isn't a setting where a moral victory will feel worthwhile for WSU. This is a game where anything short of a win could be another nail in the coffin of the Cougars' bowl hopes. This is a victory this football team needs, and needs badly.
I'd love to find some interceding storyline here. I'd like to find a way to think a heartbreaking come-from-behind-but-fall-just-short loss could be considered a pyrrhic victory for the program. But I can't. This is a bottom-line business, and a bottom-line game. This is a game best summarized by a legendary figure from across the bay in Oakland.
Just win, baby.
Recommended Local Activity - It's cliche, but why not? Alcatraz.
Recommended Food - In-n-Out Burger. I will recycle the heck out of In-N-Out as a food choice until I actually get to spend some quality time in the Bay Area and come up with some higher-end recommendations.
Gametime Snack of the Week - I'm still on a halloween candy kick, but let's kick it up a notch. The Dairy Queen Butterfinger Blizzard. Oh yes. [Queue Arlo White's voice: "It's redeeee-que-lousss"]
Gametime Cheap Beer of the Week - My favorite Pharmacist blog comes from the Bay Area (or so I presume from clues in the posts), and it got me thinking about Big Flats Beer. Big Flats is the 50 cent beer produced by Walgreens: The Pharmacy America Trusts (TM). This makes Walgreens America's first pharmacy to openly support its patrons de-toxing and re-toxing in the same location.
Gametime Premium Beer of the Week - We'll stay local with Anchor Brewing's Old Foghorn.
Gametime Song of the Week:
Cold War Kids - Something Is Not Right With Me (via StoraroVit)
A California band - and something about this just seems appropriate for Cougar fans who have followed this team closely since 2004.
Prediction: California 28, WSU 25. I don't mean to be a pessimist. I just can't find a compelling reason why WSU can win this game. I hope the team can find one for me.
As always, go Cougs.