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National media previews the 2014 Cougs

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This is your reminder that preseason rankings and previews usually mean absolutely nothing and are completely pointless. Anyway, here's is our round up of recent media preseason rankings and previews.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I can hardly believe that real Cougar football is just 8 days and a couple hours away from finally being here. As the game draws closer, the number of season previews on teams and nationwide is beginning to reach an alarmingly high number. The Cougars and the Pac-12 are no different. Yesterday, two major media outlets released their looks at Washington State. Today, we'll compare and contrast what they have to say about WSU and start to get a picture of what people think about our Cougs.

In the first look at the Pac-12 and the Cougs comes from Brent Sobleski of NBC's College Football Talk. Sobleski projects that Washington State will finish 5th in the north. His main strike against the Cougs?

Leach’s run at Texas Tech was special, because he could out-scheme nearly everyone in the Big 12. But he could always rely on the talent he recruited in the state of Texas. The state of Washington doesn’t present the same level of talent. In three recruiting classes, only one former four-star recruit, wide receiver Gabe Marks, is expected to contribute for the Cougars this season. And that talent disparity will keep Wazzu toward the bottom of the Pac-12.

So, basically, the Cougs won't be good this year because it's impossible for Mike Leach to get a good recruiting class because he's in Washington. WellI guess that makes sense... Maybe.

Meanwhile, over on the ESPN Pac-12 blog, Chantel Jennings gives a quick preview of the Cougs, supported by ESPN's stat department. According to ESPN.com Stats and Information, WSU has a projected winning percentage of .425 and has a .1% chance of heading to the Rose Bowl (the voice of Lloyd Christmas rings in my head). There are some other good tidbits, including listing corner Marcellus Pippins as the instant impact newcomer and a quote from Mike Leach with no context for no reason.

On whether Leach would rather bear hunt with Washington coach Chris Petersen or Utah coach Kyle Whittingham: "What I'm thinking is we get a large bag and we stick in Coach Petersen, Coach Whittingham, and we shake that bag up really high and really hard. That will be a tough guy to walk out of the bag, I think."

In bonus articles, the ESPN Pac-12 blog checked back in later with a good look at Connor Halliday in a new edition of "Better know a Pac-12 quarterback"...

What to expect in 2014: Numbers. Lots of big, beautiful, eye-popping, scoreboard-light-bulb-draining numbers. This is what Leach has been waiting for -- a quarterback who has experience in his system that he's been grooming for a couple of years. Halliday knows the scheme inside and out. And he's got the talent around him to put up jaw-dropping statistics.

...While Athlon Sports checks in with a look at 50 breakout athletes in 2014.

Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State With quarterback Connor Halliday and one of the Pac-12’s top receiving corps returning, the Cougars’ offense will be tough to stop in 2014. Washington State led the nation with 756 pass attempts last year, so there’s plenty of opportunities for players like Mayle to catch passes.

More Football!

Experienced group leads Washington State’s defensive line - Spokesman.com - Aug. 19, 2014
A season ago, Washington State only had four defensive linemen finish with double-digit tackles. The starters were counted on to play complete games and the fresh legs of talented freshmen that could have provided relief were not ready until late in the season, and by then they were unavailable.

Cooper Named To Lott Trophy Watch List - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Xavier Cooper has been added to the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list.

Former Coug wins all-star MVP

Nick Tanielu Wins All-Star Game MVP - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Former Cougar collects three hits in New York-Penn League game.

John Elway lived in Pullman Once

Remembering the lessons learned as an NFL ball boy. | SportsonEarth.com : Dan Pompei Article
Broncos general manager John Elway, ball boy Washington State Cougars 1973-1974:  "I liked being out in the middle of it, being there at the game. I remember the intensity of running out on the field. I remember looking up and seeing all those people around you. It was a unique experience, especially when you get in front of 40,000, 50,000, that's a different feeling to be down there... Football was third on my list at that point for me. I was more into basketball and baseball, so it probably helped direct me to football."