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Washington State can’t start 2017 with an FCS loss

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It’s time for the Cougs to end a 15 year drought

NCAA Football: Eastern Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of the WSU football season just a day away, everyone is weighing in on how they think the season will go and broadcasting their expectations. We all obviously want WSU to go undefeated and win the National Championship, but it’s important to be realistic. With that in mind I have two requests for the Cougs in 2017, beat Montana State on Saturday and finish with a record above .500.

This may seem like a low bar to set, but I believe it to be a fair one. Meeting both of the goals I’ve set out would accomplish something that Washington State hasn’t done since 2002.

In the last 15 seasons, the Cougs have finished with more wins than losses four times. The last two winning seasons have began with FCS losses, as I’m sure everyone remembers. In 2003, the Cougs didn’t play a a team from the lower division. We have to go all the way back to Mike Price’s final season, 2002, to find a year in which WSU beat an FCS team and finished above .500. This is the year Mike Leach and Co. need to break the streak.

Winning eight games is great, but losing to a Big Sky team really puts a damper on the whole season. As a student and fan these last three years no games have been as upsetting, and embarrassing as the losses to Portland St and Eastern Washington.

The team moved on both times and had nice seasons, but those losses linger. The enthusiasm that grew all off season was never fully restored. It’s much easier to get over a close loss to an average conference foe than one to a 35 point underdog.

So to ensure my happiness and satisfaction with this year of football, WSU can cross a major box off Saturday. After that, I don’t care how they get to 7+ wins (an apple cup win would be nice). I don’t think I’m asking for much.

*****

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