I haven't passed along any of my writing from Cougar Sports Weekly lately, so here's an excerpt from my most recent edition. I wondered aloud just how close WSU is to being a lot better than they've appeared, then dove into the quarterback situation, attempting to steer clear of the pitfalls outlined by Brian a couple of days ago:
Personally, I didn’t see enough on Friday to convince me that Connor Halliday should leap Jeff Tuel in the depth chart when Tuel is again healthy. Halliday was good, but not great. And I would say that Tuel was generally been good, but not great, in the first two games. So, if things are relatively equal, this is my tiebreaker: Tuel was the starter coming out of camp, which means Leach saw something then that led him to choose who he did. And if that’s the case, someone (Halliday) would need to show some pretty overwhelmingly convincing evidence that he should have the job, a la Russell Wilson with the Seahawks. That just doesn’t seem to be the case after Friday’s performance.
In fact, if I was a completely disinterested fan who was watching the two quarterbacks in Friday’s game objectively, I’d probably conclude that UNLV’s Nick Sherry – not Halliday – was the better quarterback. He threw more passes than his counterpart but his completion percentage was 10 points higher, and he threw one fewer interception. Additionally, while he struggled with his accuracy early, he found a groove in the second half, delivering a very catchable ball to all parts of the field. I thought he was impressive – marginally more impressive than Halliday, who had less to worry about in terms of a rush and more weapons to throw to.
I know that will come off as sacrilege to some. And yes, 80-yard touchdowns are great. But in Halliday, you’re also talking about a guy who has thrown seven interceptions – SEVEN! – in his past nine quarters. Not nine games – nine quarters. That’s unacceptable, no matter how many big plays you get, never mind the fact that it’s tough to imagine Halliday having similar success down the field against Pac-12 defenses. But even if you’re willing to assume this production will continue and put up with it, that still doesn’t present a clear-cut case for him to become the starter, especially if you’re a person who abhors turnovers.
So, we’re left with people setting up shop in certain camps based on personal preference.
Of course, there’s only one person whose preference matters, and he ain’t talkin’.
This is just a short snippet of the more than 2,800 words that were delivered to subscribers today, touching on where the team stands at the quarter pole, just what to make of Mike Leach's depth chart shuffling, and a preview of Colorado. Oh, and there's a roundup of WSU's Olympic sports.