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HOT COUGAR ACTION: Buy The Football Outsiders 2010 Almanac

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I meant to pump this up earlier, but I just kept forgetting. But with actual games -- ACTUAL GAMES PEOPLE!!!! -- starting tonight, I wanted to make sure I threw this out there.

For the second year, Football Outsiders had written a football annual, and while I can't speak to the pro portion of it, I can tell you that the college portion is amazing. These guys are basically the football equivalent of Basketball Prospectus, which, if you've been with us for any length of time, you know we love. Even more cool is that one of the primary college authors is Bill Connelly from SB Nation's own Rock M Nation, and he so graciously sent us a PDF copy of the college section for our review. It's awesome.

If you want the cheapest, fastest way to become a smarter football fan, you can purchase a PDF copy directly from Football Outsiders -- all 600 pages worth. If you like books and don't mind spending a little more to get them, you can buy the book at your local bookstore for $21.95 plus tax. You also can order it here from Amazon, but then you'll have to wait a couple of days to be smarter.

And, lastly, if you want to become a smarter fan but don't want to spend any money, Football Outsiders is running a series this week on understanding their stuff. Check it out:

They'll wrap up Monday and Tuesday with "The importance (and limitations) of watching games on tape" and "Regression to the mean -- what it is and why it is so important when looking at football." Good stuff.

On to the links!

WSU News

Quarterbacks follow different paths to OSU, WSU - SportsLink - - Sept. 1, 2010
I’m surprised how many of the Cougars feel they are going to surprise people this year. The last couple seasons, the words were mouthed at times but it was obvious no one really believed it. I’m not Dr. Cal Lightman, but I do know when kids are blustering and when they believe something. This group believes what they are saying more than the last two squads did.

‘Time, blood & sweat’ | TOP SPORTS - The News Tribune
Now that Tuel (pronounced "tool") has returned to health, he’s determined to help the Cougars return to prominence. "We have a bunch of guys who have put a lot of time, blood and sweat into the program over the last year or two because of these two hard seasons," Tuel said. "They want to make a change. "It’s kind of that time where we all feel it’s time to put our foot down saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ "The team has come together more than I could’ve asked for. We’re close. It can only lead to good things." Oklahoma State 101: Youth abounds
Mike Gundy says he anticipates running a 70-30 pass-to-run ratio, although some of those pass plays will be short screens and pitches similar to runs. Can a Cougar squad eager to issue a national wakeup call surprise Oklahoma State?

It has been an intense camp, perhaps the most intense I have seen the last few years. You can feel a difference this year, and it's a good feeling. Even the drills are intense.

Football Friday on Thursday - Kickoff Edition
There has been so much talk, really since the later stages of last season, that WSU football was going to take a big step forward. That the improvement was happening behind the scenes, improvement that Joe Cougfan wasn't going to see right away, but be assured that it IS happening. The little things that go so far to fielding a competitive product on the field, such as weight training and nutrition and even improved academics, all of it was said to be going on behind the curtain. And Paul Wulff has been leading the charge on this, repeatedly assuring that we would be pleasantly surprised by what we saw. Moos warms to pay-day games, talks Pac-12
Looking ahead to when the Pac-10 becomes the Pac-12, Moos says he doesn’t have a feel for which way his fellow ADs are leaning in regard to how the league will be split into two divisions. He also is uncertain if there will be a change in how television revenue is distributed. Moos, however, is making his stand crystal clear. "If we can get equal distribution of the TV revenue and protect our Northwest rivalries with the Oreogn and Washington schools, I’d be content," Moos said.

Cougar Soccer Travels to BYU and Weber State - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
Washington State (1-3-0) faces its first weekend of the season with two road matches visiting both BYU (Friday, Sept. 3, 6 p.m. Pacific) and Weber State (Sunday, Sept. 5, 11 a.m. Pacific)...Cougars are 0-1-0 on the road this season losing 1-0 to then-No. 9 Texas A&M, Aug. 29.

"We found out a lot of things that can help us going forward. We had the challenge of the environment and that is life on the road. That is not an excuse. That being said, we saw again what we can potentially do, but it wasn't consistent enough so we ended up on the losing end of two very close matches."

The Washington State women's tennis team has been honored by the International Tennis Association (ITA) for their academic achievement for the 2009-2010 season. Elisabeth Fournier, Jessica Gomez, Cara Brown and Jackie Owens were also honored by the ITA for their individual academic achievements.

Pac-10 News

Pac-10 picks by Vince Grippi - - Sept. 2, 2010
If you were smart enough to use this feature as a reverse barometer last season, it was a good move for your pocketbook, as we finished nine games under .500 against the spread.

Pac-10 predictions: Week 1 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
I went 60-21 (74 percent) picking games last season. The Pac-10 went 2-5 in the bowl season. I went 5-2 (though that Arizona over Nebraska pick didn't exactly go my way -- any Nebraska fans want to chime in because I'm sure I haven't heard from ALL of you?).

Would USC ever declare its independence? ‘You have to consider every alternative,’ Haden says - USC : The Orange County Register
Athletic director Pat Haden told the Register on Wednesday that he would consider the idea of USC becoming an independent in football as BYU just did but that there are no imminent plans to do so.

Action/reaction: USC as an independent, Big Ten division alignment, UCLA’s injury woes and more | College Hotline
Long overdue … Consider this the non-BYU/WCC/WAC/MWC version. For thoughts on those developments, go here.

What to watch in the Pac-10: Week 1 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
There's a full slate of 10 nonconference games this week, so there's a lot to watch.

2010 PAC-10 Football Capsules | College Sports - The News Tribune

Random Stuff We Like

YouTube - Josh Koeppel Hit By Truck
This is Iowa center Josh Koeppel riding his motorcycle (OK, maybe a moped) down the street before...GETTING HIT BY A TRUCK. He walked away from it but won't be playing this week.