Every year during Seattle week, Washington State Athletic Director Bill Moos tours the Seattle Media circuit to drum up interest in the big game at CenturyLink Field. Despite (or probably because of) the attendance... um... Issues this year, the tour goes on at full speed.
While Bill Moos is a gifted speaker, he tends to drive in similar points ad infinitum. I volunteered to take in all of the media stops I could find and give you the useful stuff from his appearances.
As in the past what we wear will be a surprise and there is a strong possibility you may see a new combination for the coming season. Be sure to be on hand to see it in person!
On the future of the Seattle Game:
There is a good likelihood that it will be the last Seattle Game for the foreseeable future. It has served its purpose and the fact that we have invested considerably in Martin Stadium leads me to think that we should play our home games in Pullman.
On renaming Colorado Street
I am hoping that the portion of Colorado Street that runs in front of the Bohler Athletic Complex will be renamed Cougar Way. It comes before the Pullman City Council this week.
It doesn't feel right to have a street with the same name as one of our conference rivals. This of course was not an issue before the University of Colorado joined the Pac-12.
On keeping Mike Leach "when we win 8 or 9 games this season" and "The SEC comes calling"
Mike Leach loves Washington State and sees it as a destination. He now has the facilities and resources to accomplish what envisions for our program. In addition, he has an outstanding staff that also likes where they are and where Cougar Football is headed.
On the future of the Seattle game (Emphasis mine):
I don't like to say absolutely never, because we're going to have to continue to gauge it. I really think the Seattle game has served its purpose, especially in the blue print that I've built since I've come back... It gave us a chance, I think, to get our brand exposed over here and also to get some energy in our fanbase. But, during that time we got that lucrative TV contract with ESPN and Fox and now the Pac-12 Networks and we also invested $130 million in football facilities at Martin Stadium.
On scheduling for the WSU/Rutgers game:
We had a dilemma where they would only play the game on a Friday because of travel and they had to get back because they had a game the next Saturday, so, that spelled out to us that we're going to do this one is Seattle. Then we had the Mariner's problem where they're playing, I believe on Friday, so then we moved it back to Thursday and I think that's going to work out real well.
On possibility of Gameday coming to Pullman for Oregon:
Well, let me just say, we'll be ready for them. We've already got that all mapped out. But we have to earn it. We would most certainly have to be 3-0 and there is a lot of football to be played in those 3 games. Most probably, Oregon would have to be as well, and they've got Michigan State at home the week before...
(Jim Moore question) Why do Cougs like us love our school so much?
It's timeless. It's a college town, you have to pack your bags and go to college. you can't run home on the weekends to have mom do your laundry. Because of that, people bond and come together. The experiences that you talk about from my parent's era back in the 40's who were both Cougar graduates to my daughter who attended in the early 2000's and in my days, they're all so similar in the friendships and the landmarks and the traditions. It really is very special...
Ian was at Seahawk camp and Moos was sitting alone in the studio. Some kind of hospitality there Furness...
On what the Cougs lose by not playing in Seattle every year (emphasis mine):
We accomplished what we wanted to. That was getting our brand out, getting people excited, getting out to the media outlets... I haven't been real happy with attendance the past couple of years, Oregon was very good as you recall, we had over 61,000, but it kind of slid the other way. I don't think it's going to be tremendously great on Thursday, however I think we can nudge it up to the mid-30's or so. We're always going to have a presence in western Washington... I'm just not going to bring my football team with me.
On having high expectations for the 2014 Cougs:
I think so... It depends on what the high expectations are. We won 6 games last year and we had some good showings and some not so good. The main thing is that our players are playing hard, they're focused, they're very well trained, they're in great shape, they bought into the program and they're excited to get the season started. But, you always have to factor in injuries, how the ball bounces here or there, what the shape of the league is at midseason and so forth. I like our chances going in. Do I like our chances to win a championship? I think that's out of reach, but we're getting closer. Do I like our chances of appearing in a second straight post season bowl game? Yes I do...
On a charter plane from Seattle to Pullman:
We've had discussions with Horizon and have been encouraged at times, but it's not in place yet. Of course one of the reasons is that their equipment is pretty much used on a regular basis. But we continue to push for ways to get our west-side fans to Pullman as easily as possible. That will continue.
On Pullman businesses over-charging fans on game weekends:
They all gave me looks and bad scowls when i said we're going to take conference games to Seattle and make it so we only have 4-5 games in Pullman. Now I'm telling them, OK, I can somewhat understand moving your prices up a little bit, but I looked them in the eye a couple of weeks ago and said, 'listen, we're going to now have, most probably 6 or 7 home games in Pullman. Let's be welcoming. Let's not have a situation where 10 of the first 20 cars that get into town get tickets. Let's open our arms and embrace people. Let's not take our prices out of the realm of what is reality and don't step of the dollars to get to the nickels. If you bring your prices back down, you have 2 or 3 more games than you normally would, because we are going mostly to 7 home games, you're going to come out fine on the bottom line. I encouraged them to do that. Pullman's a great place, we do have more hotels, we're building even more, but we need to embrace these people when they come to town, make sure they have a great time and want to come back again. That's all part of the blue print.
Moos also returned to his weekly radio show, Cougar Calls, this week. I was already to transcribe his musings from that show, with Bud Nameck, but then I discovered that Jacob Thorpe of the Spokesman Review already did all the hard work for me. Nothing really strikingly new, but some good tidbits there.
Taking a (short) break from football talk to hear some great news from a former Cougar basketball player.
Brock Motum Signs with Utah Jazz - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Former Washington State University men's basketball standout, Brock Motum, has signed with the Utah Jazz as a free agent, the organization announced Tuesday. .
Ok, that's enough. Back to football and more on tomorrow's game against Rutgers.
Hits highlight underclassmen scrimmage - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Aug. 26, 2014
Speaking of safeties, don't be surprised if you see former running back Teondray Caldwell start on Thursday. Caldwell's been seeing a lot of time with the ones lately.
Fifth-year senior Tracy Clark finally gets his chance in Washington State secondary | Cougar Football | The Seattle Times
"If you watch the practices, you see we’re just fine in the secondary," says Tracy Clark. "We’re going to turn some heads."
How the Other Side Recruits: Washington State Cougars - On the Banks
A look at how Rutgers opponent, Washington State, has fared on the recruiting trail.
SEATTLE: Plenty of good seats still available for WSU game in Seattle | WSU Cougars | The Bellingham Herald
In the final days leading up to Washington State's football opener Thursday night against Rutgers at CenturyLink Field, the story might be more about people who won't see the game than those who will.
Pullman, Palouse offer rare northwest beauty, where Viking, Duck football fans can visit | OregonLive.com
The Washington State University Cougars not only host one Oregon football opponent this year, but two . . . in back-to-back games.
Reminder: No one is hurt and everyone is 100% all of the time at Washington State...
I Hate being injured— R.I.S.E_17 (@Pat_Porter11) August 27, 2014
Coach Mike Leach: Washington State '100 percent healthy' heading into opener vs. Rutgers | NJ.com
The Rutgers football coach has had to deal with an assortment of injuries throughout the preseason... The coach on the opposite sideline, however, has enjoyed the luxury of having a completely healthy team this summer. Never mind the fact that Washington State's top returning wide receiver, Gabe Marks, reportedly could be headed for a redshirt season as he deals with an apparent injury. Oh, and forget about the player appearing on crutches in the background of a post-practice press conference video that was posted to the school's athletics website Sunday. Really, just disregard the screenshot photo included with this story.
Dominate an internet poll (again)
Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament: 1. Washington State vs. 16. Siena – SportzEdge.com
Cougs fans took it personally when we said their logo looks like a caterpillar (which it does), and flooded the polls with over 15,602 votes to capture the Pac-12 title. It wasn’t a diss–we still ranked Wazzu eighth in the Pac-12, and they would have been a bubble team had we disregarded votes and just ranked teams based on our opinion of how cool their logo is.
Really? Another basketball story? The day before opening kickoff?
Ernie Kent to Throw Mariner’s First Pitch - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
First-year WSU men's basketball coach, Ernie Kent, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch as the Seattle Mariners host the Texas Rangers, Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 12:40 p.m. at Safeco Field.