When the Bowl Selection Show hits the airwaves on Sunday on ESPN, most bowl forecasters believe the WSU Cougars will have found a home in a game. Whether it's the New Mexico Bowl, the Heart of Dallas Bowl or the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, there's a lot of confidence that the Cougs -- with their six wins -- have one more game in front of them.
But one highly cited bowl projector thinks the Cougs will be home for the holidays because WSU fans just don't travel.
As we told you on Sunday, CBS Sports' Jerry Palm has left WSU out of the bowl picture completely. And he opened up with The Oregonian's Lindsay Schnell as to why: "He reasons that the Cougars' don't have a fan base known for traveling."
Of course, we don't agree with that. We could let Mr. Palm know about the exploits by our fans on the way to UNLVor on the ground at Auburn. And I'm sure we've all got anecdotal evidence from our own trips, including mine to the Holiday Bowl 10 years ago, in which WSU probably had fewer fans than Texas, but still was represented very well.
But we're fans. We're supposed to think we're awesome. Schnell asked Bob De Carolis, Oregon State's athletic director (who also is fighting for a bowl bid), what he thought of Palm's reasoning with WSU.
"We don't know this for sure, but I would guess Washington State would get a bid because they haven't been in a bowl game since (2003), so there's pent up emotion in their fan base," De Carolis said. "They finished pretty strong, and they're going to buy tickets and go wherever."
If you read the whole story, it seems as if De Carolis knows WSU is in a pretty good spot and OSU isn't. But Palm went ahead and projected Oregon State to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., instead of WSU. Yes, his projection came before De Carolis shared his thoughts, but other bowl forecasters have been saying the same for a couple of weeks. This isn't a new revelation.
Now, if you're wondering how much credence to give Palm, by his own account, he gets his bowl projections right "about 75 percent of the time." That seams pretty freaking terrible, actually. And it falls in line with the objective measurement of his NCAA basketball tournament forecasting skills, which rank 38th since 2006.
I have other thoughts about Jerry Palm and his status as an "expert," but I'll leave it at this: I'd pay no mind to Mr. Palm's projection and rest in the knowledge that the people who actually make these decisions know what we -- and De Carolis -- know: We can't be bothered to travel to Pullman for a home game, but we'll sure as hell go where the party is!
However, if you'd like to politely let Mr. Palm know that you'll be traveling to the bowl game, you can find him @jppalmcbs.