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HOT COUGAR ACTION: Less Links, More Thoughts

I don't have time to chase down links today, nor do I want to think about football after the weekend in Seattle sports. Combined, the two college teams -- WSU and UW -- lost 83-0. Add in the Seahawks losing 33-3 and the Sounders -- in a game I attended -- dropping the first leg of their playoff matchup and you have a tired writer. Instead, you get some things to think about.

Can WSU answer the bell or are they down for the count?

The Cougs got worked in Tempe. They more-or-less took the game off and walked out of the desert with a 42-0 drubbing. I'm not that upset because I thought there would be a let-down at some point, but it was still disappointing.

The loss to ASU does not, however, define the season. This weekend's game against Cal does. Will WSU heal up, both physically and mentally, and play above their heads again? Against a Cal team that's terrible on the road, has an offensive line that is incredibly porous and is playing without starting quarterback Kevin Riley, the game is there to be had. Whether WSU can step-up and play some ball will say alot.

Is this game pivotal for the coaching staff?

I don't think there's any way around this question. How the staff handles the loss and gets the team ready to play in front of a home crowd against a reeling team will say a lot. Bill Moos will make whatever decision he feels is best for the program at the end of the season, but I get the feeling this game will have a lot to do with it.

The backup quarterback for Cal is not Beau Sweeney, it's Brock Mansion.

Sweeney won the job out of camp, but Mansion quietly won it back a few weeks ago. Mansion took over when Riley went down last week against Oregon State and will be the starter against the Cougs this weekend. Sweeney may have the higher upside, but Jeff Tedford appears to be more confident in Mansion, a junior. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we won't get a Sweeney-Tuel matchup this week.

In other broken quarterback news, Jake Locker has at least one fractured rib.

Don't take this statement as Husky schadefreude. It's not. The fact is Locker has been playing banged up for most of the year and the shots he took behind a less than mediocre line finally were too much. What's it mean for us? With a month until the Apple Cup he should be back in time.

If the Huskies go to Oregon and lose, which seems likely, they'll need to win their last three to become bowl eligible. It makes me wonder if they'll rush Locker back in an effort to win out, perhaps putting his health in jeopardy and ending his UW career before he gets to the Apple Cup.