Good morning. I don’t know what to talk about today. Spring football is over, the baseball team is lousy (again), there weren’t any basketball transfers this week since there aren’t any players left, and Mike Leach didn’t give his thoughts on the merits of no bake cookies or shampoo vs. conditioner this week.
From here until training camp, no news will actually be good news, because summer time in college athletics coincides with arrest season. Here’s hoping we don’t have to talk about anything like that.
So what to do? Well, the good news is that we’re over the hump regarding Cougar Football. It’s been 129 days since the Cougs last played a game (though it could be argued that they haven’t actually shown up since Veteran’s Day). We are now down to 118 days until they take the field in Laramie, Wyoming.
If you’re bearish on the football team’s prospects in 2018, that may instead be the bad news. I’ll use that as a segue into a softball column on this Sunday, as I simply give a thought or two on what our other (read: better) writers covered this past week, along with a quick(ish) reaction to the Pac-12’s earning announcement.
- What if Bill Moos was actually a bad AD? - Personally, I don’t think there’s much “what if” to this question. Bill Moos is really good at doing the things that any of us could do, i.e., hiring a prominent coach who would have crawled to Pullman to get back into the business. He seems to be really bad at the nuts and bolts of what an athletic director is supposed to do, i.e., managing budgets, hiring and training a competent staff, raising money, and being honest about the state of his department. Any time I hear the name Bill Moos, the first thing that comes to mind is snake oil.
- Can the Cougs get to six wins in 2018? - Can they? Of course. Will they? Ehhhhhhhhh. The Cougars enter 2018 facing the most question marks since Leach’s first season in Pullman. While the talent level has improved significantly since then, getting bowl eligible in 2018 will be a good achievement. The guess here is that the odds-makers will set WSU’s over/under win total at 5.5.
- What was your 2017-18 WSU sports highlight? - My go-to answer is often the same when it comes to Cougar athletics - my favorite is every time the Cougs didn’t lose. Personally, it was the win over USC and it wasn’t close. The runaway champ for most baffling highlight is the basketball team getting votes in the Top 25 poll. Hey Ernie, you finally (kinda, ok not really) won something! Way to go!
- Pac-12 announces record revenue - It is peak Pac-12 to peacock over a record distribution amount ($31.9M) to the schools, even though that figure is sure to come in last place among Power Five conferences. Oh, and as Jon Wilner writes, that figure does not account for the third-tier rights that the conference withholds from some of the schools. Lastly, only a paltry $2.7M of that figure (estimated) came from the flaming pile of ruin known as the Pac-12 Networks.
The baseball team has dropped the first two games of its series with Oregon State by a combined score of 26-4. I’m sure Sunday will be fine.
Cougar Baseball falls to Oregon State
Washington State dropped a 9-1 decision to visiting No. 3 Oregon State at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday.
Best beer I had this week: I brought a not-insignificant amount of beer back from my visit to Spokane. Among the haul was a few cans of Bale Breaker Bottom Cutter. Great stuff.
Would professional sports totally collapse in a world without beer?
On the plus side, you’d never hear “dilly dilly” again, and bathroom lines would be nonexistent.
James Fallows on the Reinvention of America - The Atlantic
Americans don’t realize how fast the country is moving toward becoming a better version of itself.