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WSU Spring Football storylines

Spring has sprung in Pullman, and people are taking notice.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday. The WSU football team takes the field at 10:30 this morning for its second spring practice. While the Cougs haven't put on the pads yet, more college football outlets from around the country are examining the storylines around the team. This time, Athlon took a turn. The featured areas were probably what you'd expect, but that's good in a way. It means that WSU doesn't have so many problems that people can pick from a plethora of areas.

Athlon opened their piece with the following question:

Can Luke Falk deliver a championship in his final season at Washington State?

I'm not trying to sound like a Debbie Downer before the calendar turns to April, but I'm willing to bet the answer to that is "no." That's not necessarily Falk's fault, as he is extremely productive. But there are too many questions, and too much competition within the Pac-12 North, to have a lot of faith in WSU winning the division.

That doesn't mean we can't be excited about next season's prospects, though, and WSU offers more than one reason for us to look forward without the Wulffian sense of doom. As you read, Athlon picked out four things to watch as WSU goes through spring workouts. There are two about which I'm concerned, one which doesn't worry me hardly at all, and one that make me go, "huh?"

The two areas that concern me are wide receiver and defensive improvement. I won't be surprised if at least a couple of the new guys step in and produce right away, but it's an awfully tall order to ask a bunch of freshmen to make us forget River Cracraft and Gabe Marks. Defensively, I'm concerned about the ability to contain above-average offenses. As we saw in the Apple Cup last year, if the defense isn't able to hold its own while the offense feels its way, things get ugly.

The one area that doesn't worry me is replacing Riley Sorenson and Eduardo Middleton. Clay McGuire has proven himself quite adept at putting solid lines together, and I don't think WSU will miss a beat at the expense of the two new linemen.

Finally, the "Huh?" moment came when Athlon talked about the QB 2018. I don't know about you, but I don't much care about what will happen with the QBs in 2018 since, you know, we haven't even seen the 2017 edition of WSU. I guess it's good in a way. If people are raising 2018 as a possible problem before 2017 starts, it means there aren't many nits to pick. I'm perfectly fine with that.


Five questions for Washington State football heading into spring practices | | The Spokesman-Review
Thursday was just a taste of what to expect from the Cougars as they prepare for the offseason that will propel them into the 2017 season. Here are five questions, the answers to which will help determine how good the Cougars can be in the fall.

17 For ’17: Each League’s Big Disappointment Will Be … ? | College Football News
QB Luke Falk is back, and even with the loss of several key receivers, the system is strong and the talent is there to keep on exploding. The defense that was so good last year is full of veteran talents – so what’s the problem?


Pac-12 earns $21 million from March Madness, and counting
The NCAA tournament has been lucrative for the Pac-12. Here's a look at the value of the units, the process for distributing the cash, and the impact of a single victory, in November.


Best beer I had this week (Part One): Made my way out to some of my old stomping grounds earlier this week, visiting good old Cannon AFB in the armpit of New Mexico for a day. The area may be a dump, but they still have some good beer. One is Santa Fe Brewing's Imperial Java Stout. I once drank an entire growler of the stuff on an Easter Sunday. Long story. Anyway, I hadn't had it in a long time, but it's still good as ever.

Thick Mint Stout Is Your Unofficial Girl Scout Cookie Beer | Food & Wine
I bought this Friday. Can't wait to try it now.

Non Sports

Americans’ Shift To The Suburbs Sped Up Last Year | FiveThirtyEight
The suburbanization of America marches on. Population growth in big cities slowed for the fifth-straight year in 2016.