Good morning Coug fans, and welcome to June. Fall, and the accompanying football season, still seems a long ways away, but we can now see it beginning to take shape on the horizon. Before we delve deeply into into all-things-football in the next few months, let's take a look at the athletic department as a whole, and talk about what the ideal lineup of varsity sports at WSU would look like. More specifically, if there were NCAA sports you could add or subtract from the athletic department, what would they be?
Currently, there are six men's varsity sports, and nine for the women. Since there are already three more sports on the women's side, you are free to add as you please, but for every women's sport you add, you must subtract one. We're all about fairness here at CougCenter. Keep in mind, these additions/subtractions are in a vacuum (it is a fantasy-type draft after all), which means the infrastructure would be in place in time for the games to begin. Without further adieu...
Any time the Seattle Sounders or the USA Men's National Teams take to the soccer field, my Twitter feed is perpetually filled with Nusser and Preston's live tweets on the events taking place. Jeff seems to predict and/or hope for a tie every time, while Preston often laments the ineptitude of whichever goalie is playing for his team. (Note: These observations are not supported by any actual data).
I will never be confused for anyone who cares the least bit about soccer, but judging by the passionate MLS fan bases in Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland, it seems like a men's soccer team at WSU is a no-brainer. I also think the popularity of the sport has generated a pretty good pool of young talent in the region, which would help WSU get off the ground fairly quickly. We know soccer can be successful at WSU, given how well our women's team has done recently.
This led me to check out the current state of Pac-12 Men's Soccer, and I was very surprised to learn that there are only five Pac-12 schools with men's soccer teams (UW, OSU, Cal, Stanford, UCLA). They even include San Diego State as part of the conference for soccer. Want to guess who the best team is? Yep, it's the Huskies. Are you telling me that there isn't enough talent in the region to support a competitive soccer team at WSU? So on the men's side, that is the one varsity sport I would add. I thought about Lacrosse, but it seems that there really isn't a market for that out west. That is surprising, given how popular lacrosse has become in the last decade.
On the women's side, it didn't take me long to decide which sports I'd like to add. WSU is one of just three Pac-12 schools that does not have a softball team. USC and Colorado are the others. It is curious that a school with an athletic budget as big as USC's has neither a men's soccer team nor a softball team. Washington's softball team has been good for a long time, as has Oregon's. I'm not saying we'd compete with them every year, but if Oregon State can field a team, can't we?
I'd also add lacrosse as a women's sport. There are currently five Pac-12 schools that participate in women's lacrosse. Stanford, Cal, Colorado, Oregon and USC are a part of the Mountain Pacific Sport Federation. The group consists of those five schools, plus St. Mary's, Denver, San Diego St, Fresno State and UC Davis. I have no solid evidence as to whether we'd be any good, but it sure seems more exciting to watch than tennis or swimming. Not coincidentally, those are the two women's sports I would drop. It isn't because I don't care for those two sports, but rules are rules, and I don't recall ever hearing anything of note from either the swimming or tennis programs.
So those are my picks. Which sports would you add if you could?
Pac-12 schedule analysis: North Division - ESPN
Missing UCLA is good; missing Colorado probably isn't. Can the Cougs go 2-2 in conference play on the road? That might be the key to the season.
No. 56? Please. ESPN says we're No. 49. Take that, Athlon!
Track and Field
Cougars Wrap Up NCAA West Region Prelim Action - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Washington State track and field competitors wrapped up the Cougars’ competition at the NCAA West Region Track & Field Championships Preliminary Rounds Saturday at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark.
Are These The Best Home-Brewed Beers In America?
I'm merging into Powers' lane a bit here, but the thought of Pineapple IPA intrigues me.
I was genuinely surprised that the 9/11 Museum has a gift shop. I shouldn't be surprised that the 9/11 Museum has a gift shop, because America.