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College football preview season is here

It’s that time of year

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

Good morning. If you take a look at the calendar on your phone, or maybe that giant paper calendar that someone in the office is always writing on even though it’s 2019, you know that it’s late May. Late May means that same person in the office will soon be tearing off another giant page to reveal June. That’s a long way of telling you that it’s officially college football preview season.

Longtime college football information website College Football News and its intrepid lead writer Pete Fiutak have been previewing teams for a while, and now it’s WSU’s turn. As closely as you all presumably follow the Cougars, there isn’t a lot of earth-shattering news in here, but it’s always interesting to read outside opinions.

Nothing really caught my eye until the third page, where they rank WSU’s five best offensive and defensive players. You won’t get much argument from me about Abraham Lucas sitting atop the rankings, because I think he has a legitimate shot to be an All-American this season. However, Frederick Mauigoa at #2? Mauigoa is a good player, but I’m not sure I’d have him anywhere in my top five. I’d list Max Borghi, Dezmon Patmon, Davontavean Martin and possibly a couple other wide receivers before getting to Mauigoa. That said, Mauigoa, as the quarterback of the offensive line, is absolutely crucial to the offense’s success, and hopefully he has a great season.

The defense’s rankings were a tad puzzling as well. I mean, I love my man Oscar as much as anyone, but I’m not sure I’d rank him above Nnamdi Oguayo or Willie Taylor III. Heck, I might even put Lamonte McDougle up there somewhere, based solely on his impact potential and talent. So anyway congrats to future Ray Guy Award winner Oscar Draguicevich.

I thought the key to the season for the defense was spot-on.

Hold up when teams start to power away. It was a really, really good run defense overall, but it allowed two rushing touchdowns or more in six of the 13 games and were gashed by the teams on the slate that could bring the thump.

There aren’t a whole lot of tough running offenses on the slate to face – Utah, Stanford and Washington are the only ones who qualify – but the smallish front line has to find a good rotation and overcome the lack of raw bulk by continuing to get into the backfield.

In WSU’s most impactful loss last season, Washington ran the ball 44 times for 258 yards, an average of 5.9 yards per carry. The Huskies were able to adjust to the foul weather and pound away at the middle of the WSU defense, and the Cougars were powerless to stop it. WSU has to stand up to power attacks if they want to beat the best teams on their schedule.

Fiutak also says Gage Gubrud is the key player to a successful season. I don’t disagree with that, but I might hedge a bit and say it’s either Gubrud (the presumptive favorite, assuming he’s 100% healthy) or Anthony Gordon, who by all accounts had the best spring among the healthy QBs.

The predicted win total is right around where I think it might be, and also very close to what the odds-makers set as the season total.

Preview season is here. Things are looking up.

Football

Sun Tzu once extolled the importance of knowing your enemy, so in addition to the WSU preview, I’ve included a few additional opponent previews for your perusal.

Washington State Football Preview. Need To Know, Season Prediction
Previewing and looking ahead to the Washington State Cougars season with what you need to know.

New Mexico State Football Preview What Need To Know, Season Prediction
Previewing and looking ahead to the New Mexico State Aggies season with what you need to know.

UCLA Football Preview. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction
Previewing and looking ahead to the UCLA Bruins season with what you need to know.

Utah Football Preview. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction
Previewing and looking ahead to the Utah Utes season with what you need to know.

Colorado Football Preview 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction
Previewing and looking ahead to the Colorado Buffaloes season with what you need to know.

Cal Football Preview. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction
Previewing and looking ahead to the Cal Golden Bears season with what you need to know.

Non-Sports

My Childhood in a Cult | The New Yorker
On our isolated commune, we kids were taught that the world was about to end. But my world ended when I was told to leave, Guinevere Turner writes.