2012 WSU FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Embracing Not Knowing

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Keenan Allen #21 of the California Golden Bears is tackled by Tyree Toomer #15 of the Washington State Cougars at AT&T Park on November 5, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

With WSU's training camp just about a month away, it's time to ramp up the 2012 football coverage and get rolling on our positional previews. But first, a (not-so) brief thought on the philosophy behind this year's series. (Beware, much navel gazing to follow -- go ahead and skip to the end if you're uninterested.)

Ever since I can remember, I have liked to know stuff.

I wish I could say it was because I had some sort of great intellectual curiosity that refused to satiated -- that would be so much more noble than what I'm about to write -- but if I was being perfectly honest, it really was about knowing more than other people. This tends to happen when you're both smart and hypercompetitive but also fat and slow and unable to beat very many people at sports.

In fact, like most fat kids, I was picked on a great deal. At least, it seemed like a lot to me. So, I simply made sure that I could always foist my intellectual superiority on anyone who crossed my path. Humility, when it came to knowing stuff, was not my strong suit. I remember being told, upon leaving my first post-college job, that "we really didn't like you very much when you first got here because you were so cocky. You talked like you knew everything." Ouch. But they said they liked me when I left, so I guess that counts for something!

There probably are some -- OK, maybe many -- who read what I write, both here and elsewhere, who would say not a lot has changed since then. And in some ways, they'd certainly be right: I still like to know stuff, and I still like to win.

But, thanks to something I've been reading this summer, I've spent a lot of time recently reflecting on all the things I don't know. And, not surprisingly, they are considerable.

I also read this. It's caused me to think a lot about how I write about things -- the emphasis I place on facts and stuff I/we think we know for sure, and how sometimes I think I give off this impression of a final conclusion because the FACTS are on my side.

Of course, it's almost never that black-and-white, and I'm trying to actively work on incorporating that into my writing. To that end (alert: navel gazing over), I've decided to revamp the positional previews a little bit this year. Rather than attempting to pretend that we can be definitive with how things will likely shake out, I'm going to focus on these two questions:

  1. What we think we know.
  2. What we don't know and need to find out.

We'll get started with the quarterbacks preview in the next couple of days. But before I write about them, I want to put the questions to you. What do we think we know about the QBs? And what don't we know that we need to find out?

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