You might have noticed that the majority of our coverage WSU this fall camp has consisted of simply passing along links to other people's work.
This has been the hardest camp I can remember in terms of compelling story lines to write about. Position previews? I did the crap out of those over the offseason, and Brian and Mark are going to be along with their own creative versions shortly. Position battles? Most of the spots are set, and the ones that aren't involve guys I've generally never seen, and what the heck am I supposed to write about guys I've never seen?
Besides, let's just all be honest: There's really only one storyline this year, and I'm pretty sure everyone has had plenty of time and opportunity to voice their opinion on whether the Cougars will be improved enough to win enough games for Paul Wulff to keep his job.
Beyond that, all those stories follow the same formula -- team is still young, but Wulff finally has his guys, there's now experience, and depth, and you know, the schedule sets up favorably!* -- and if there's one thing we CougCenter writers despise, it's formulaic writing. (Well, that and wearing pants on signing day.)
*By the way, I swear, if I hear just ONE MORE TIME that this schedule sets up favorably for a fast start, I think I'll give MYSELF a junk punch.
Usually, though, we as writers are able to -- at the very least -- grind through camp talking about the various machinations of the depth chart brought on by the inevitable spate of injuries or academic casualties. Only ...
That hasn't happened this year.
You all know what a walking infirmary the team has been during the first three years of the Wulff era, and that we're basically halfway through camp at this point and the team has yet to suffer any kind of major injury is nothing less than a marvel.
One of the excuses/reasons given for all the injuries the past three seasons was the lack of strength and conditioning up and down the roster, whether because of laziness (post-Doba) or youth (the last couple of years). Now that virtually every player who is expected to be a contributor this season has been in the program for at least a year, the thought is that they're better equipped to deal with the rigors of camp -- which, I'm sure, legitimately explains a good part of it.
But let's not downplay the role of good fortune as well. We all could think of a dozen examples off the top of our heads of a guy getting hurt for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or simply falling funny, or planting weird. None of those things have happened yet*, and given all of the freakish stuff that has happened the past three seasons, I'm pretty sure there's no team more deserving of some good luck than these Cougars.
*Although, if they now do, I'm sure everyone will blame me. Good thing I'm not superstitious!
Whatever you want to call it -- great conditioning or great luck -- it's been a welcome change. I'm not going to sit here and pretend it's going to guarantee any kind of success this year, and I know there are still a bunch of practices and probably a scrimmage left to go. But the prospect of heading into a season playing with something approximating a full deck is kind of exciting.