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Nick Rolovich hire receives high marks

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Grades are in!

New Mexico v Hawaii Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Good morning. Although we are in the midst of basketball season, Saturday’s result wasn’t nearly as fun as what we saw at times in January, so let’s start with football, shall we?

Along with largely pointless exercises such as bowl projections and preseason rankings, many writers around college football try to slake the public’s thirst for content by assigning grades to each new FBS coaching hire. While those grades can sometimes be about as accurate as mock drafts (cough, Chip Kelly, cough), the folks who closely follow the national landscape oftentimes have a decent read on which coaches will be successful and which will be receiving the remainder of their buyout after 2-3 seasons.

Over the last couple weeks, once the music stopped and all of the chairs were occupied, writers began passing out their grades. If early returns are any indication, Pat Chun’s choice of Nick Rolovich should make Cougar fans quite happy once the ball is kicked into play. We’ll start with Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports, since his is the only free article. Dodd gives the Rolovich hire an “A” saying in part:

Washington State got the over-the-top, wide-open, edgy replacement it needed. Rolovich runs the run-and-shoot but is much more offensively balanced than Leach. The former Hawaii coach (and quarterback) will entertain, like Leach, but in a different way. Rolovich keeps everyone guessing.

Since the other two are behind a paywall, I won’t share everything the authors had to say, but they both really like the hire.

Over at ESPN+, Adam Rittenberg also gave Rolovich’s hire an “A.”

Aside from Rolovich’s lack of Power 5 experience, either as an assistant or a head coach, there’s a lot to love about this hire.

Finally, The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel liked Rolovich’s move to WSU so much that he put Rolo’s picture at the top of the column!

Rolovich, 40, is a perfect fit for Pullman both in continuing the program’s recent tradition of wide-open offenses (his version being the Run n Shoot) and possessing a personality that will keep fans engaged.

Three grades, and a perfect 4.0 GPA! This seems to dovetail quite nicely with our reaction to the new head man. Plus, who wouldn’t like a guy who has ad-hoc sessions at local watering holes? We’re already winners!

Football

Washington State wide receiver Dezmon Patmon receives invitation to NFL Combine | The Spokesman-Review
ELITE Athlete Management, the group representing Patmon during the pre-NFL Draft process, announced on its Instagram account the Washington State wide receiver had accepted an invitation to the nine-day event taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Feb. 23.

Pac-12 Football: 10 Players Who Will Replace NFL Draft Early Entrants in 2020
As spring ball gets rolling around the nation, teams will begin setting the groundwork for replacing departing players, including those who opted to forego remaining eligibility for a shot at the pros.

Basketball

Tough night for the Cougs, as they just didn’t have the horses to consistently score against Arizona. Hopefully Kyle Smith and company are able to right the ship when the DFL Washington Huskies arrive in Pullman next Saturday.

Washington State has lowest point total in three years, loses 66-49 to Arizona | The Spokesman-Review
The Wildcats were solid and had plenty of help from the Cougars in a 66-49 Arizona victory that gave Sean Miller’s team the first road sweep of this Pac-12 season and also signaled the end of an impressive four-game home streak for WSU.

This Week in Parenting

I get the impression that this space has been dedicated more to the 8 year-old’s antics, so I gotta brag on the older boy a bit. This week was report card time, and it went much better for him than it did for yours truly at that age. In addition to a perfect GPA, our 6th grader earned quite a few awards.

Now, a couple things about this ceremony. One of the awards he won was the “Leadership” Award. When I opened the program, I saw that over 100 kids won this award. That’s more than half the class! What are these kids doing, leading garbage cans around or something? The school staff did have this thing pretty well organized, as they set things up in such a way that the 6,000 leaders all got their awards in a timely manner. My favorite guideline was, “We will call 15-20 kids up at a time to get their awards. Please hold applause until the entire group is on the stage.” First name called...FIRST GODDAMN NAME and here come the applause.

Another setback was the fact that they invited parents forward to take pictures after each group was called. Now look, I’m sure little Jimmy’s parents are all proud of the fact that he won some award, but ‘bout how we don’t make this ceremony even longer by holding all these impromptu photo sessions? That picture of my kid at the top of the section? Yeah, it was taken after the ceremony on our own time.

If the interests of equal time, the younger boy also won some awards on the 2nd-grade level. After a vote among his peers, he won Nosiest Kid, Most Likely to Lie About Whether He Brushed His Teeth, and Most Likely to Make His Parents Into Grandparents by 17.*

Then there was our dinner out Friday night in Bruges. The service was somewhat slow, so mom broke out the trivia questions. We let the boys alternate, and the oldest was presented with, “Why do things fall when you drop them?” He answered correctly, saying it’s due to gravity. The younger boy then decided to take the question to the next level, declaring that none other than brilliant scientist Cam Newton discovered gravity.

*These were not actual awards but if they were he’d probably have won them all.

Beer

Best beer(s) I had this week: Loaded up the family truckster and drove north to Belgium for the Bruges Beer Festival this weekend. Aside from making some new Scottish friends with whom I plan on attending the 2021 Open Championship in St. Andrews, we also sampled several outstanding beers. Tied atop the list were two beers from the same company, Totem Brewing. Both their Double IPA and Speculoos Stout were outstanding.

‘That’s a Serious Beer’—New York Bars Put $100 Brews on Reserve Lists - WSJ
As part of that growth, craft-beer drinkers are continually seeking new and different options, professionals say. And cost isn’t necessarily a barrier.

Non-Sports

Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group | World news | The Guardian
The white supremacist group the Base uses terror to spread its ideology and recruit young men. The FBI is closely watching them – and the Guardian is now able to reveal the identity of its secretive leader.