Jon Wilner wrote a quick story about the Cougars this morning, opining that WSU could have an affect on the race for the Pac-10 title this year. Sounds good, right? Wrong. He likens a road game in Pullman to an extra home game for the visitors, calling WSU a free win.
In that case, they’re basically a gimme win for everybody, which means the teams that play in Pullman have a gimme road win.
If you have five home games and a gimme on the road, you’ve got the edge on teams that play WSU at home and have five non-gimme road games.
I get it, the Cougs have been terrible. We're the whipping boy of nearly every writer out there right now. The only easy choice in the Pac-10 media poll was the Cougs in last place. That doesn't mean this isn't getting old.
If Wilner wants to call WSU a gimme road win, we don't have to take it. If you have the means, get tickets and show up in Pullman. The athletic department has been heavily pushing creating a home field advantage. As fans, we can directly contribute to this. Traveling to Pullman already isn't fun for visiting teams so show up and be loud.
If the rest of the Pac-10 writers want to continue piling on, I welcome it with open arms. It gives the team a bigger chip on their shoulder and makes it that much easier to get up for the game. From the last two years, there's been plenty of reasons for the Cougs to have an "us against the world" mentality. With the talent level finally on the upswing, the mental edge this creates can't hurt.
Then again, maybe WSU will rise up this season and actually provide some resistance. That would certainly make the weekly results, and the league race, a bit more unpredictable.
I hope teams come to Pullman thinking they have a gimme win. I hope visiting teams overlook the young Cougs and look ahead to bigger games on their schedule. This team is tired of losing and hungry to prove the doubters wrong. It's only a matter of time before they reach back and smack somebody in the mouth.
The bulletin board is getting full and I'm sure the Cougs are paying attention. If nothing else, there's been plenty of external motivation for these guys. Don't let our house be a place for gimme wins.