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How does Washington State’s schedule stack up?

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Plus, an update on CJ Elleby’s decision

NCAA Football: Washington State at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington State Cougars announced their 2020 football schedule back on Jan. 16. That always gets a lot of attention at the time of announcement, but the attention eventually fizzles out. That’s especially true right now, given the other issues going on in the world.

But we’re about to reach the back stretch of June, so why not take a look at WSU’s projected strength of schedule? Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports did, so let’s talk about it.

Fornelli’s methodology uses a formula, which he explains. It still has a degree of subjectivity, because it doesn’t appear he factors each team’s returning production into his formula. Still, it’s a good effort at coming up with a number and a ranking that is more than just looking at the brands.

WSU comes in at no. 8 in the Pac-12, comfortably ahead of the Stanford Cardinal and nipping at the heels of the UCLA Bruins. Here’s what Fornelli has to say about WSU’s schedule:

Washington State’s non-conference includes two respectable G5 programs in Utah State (on the road) and Houston (at home). It finishes with a cupcake in Idaho. In the Pac-12, the Cougars avoid USC from the South, but their two toughest division games will come in consecutive weeks to finish the season. That’s when they’ll be playing Oregon and Washington back-to-back. At least both have to come to Pullman?

I had forgotten WSU plays the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies back-to-back to end the season. Brutal. At least the games are at home! But then again, how many fans will be there?

Can’t really argue with Fornelli’s ranking. WSU gets all the tough teams at home and misses the USC Trojans. I wouldn’t mind trading the Arizona State Sun Devils or the Utah Utes for the Arizona Wildcats, though.

The Colorado Buffaloes have the hardest schedule, according to Fornelli. And not just in the Pac-12—the entire nation. Good luck to Colorado as they break in a new coach hired late in the coaching carousel season. You’ll find no sympathy from Coug fans.

This is classic summer content, but I always eat this stuff up. It’s especially nice nowadays with no sports on TV and little to distract from everything else going on. We’ll see how WSU and its new offense fare against its 2020 foes.

An update on CJ Elleby

Morgan Weaver and Anthony Gordon are WSU’s Tom Hansen Pac-12 Conference Medal recipients

Worthy selections.

Gordon, Weaver Named 2019-20 Tom Hansen Pac-12 Conference Medal Recipients - Washington State University Athletics
The Pac-12 Conference Medal is given to each institutions outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination

NCAA encourages schools to give athletes Election Day off

This was a good idea and also inevitable. In Washington, Election Day isn’t much, until about 8 p.m. when results come in (my favorite is the small towns where a winner might get 42 votes), given our mail-in system. But I’m sure Nick Rolovich and WSU Athletics will come up with a good way for athletes to spend their time that day.

NCAA encourages schools to give athletes Election Day off
The NCAA is designating Nov. 3, the date of the U.S. presidential election, as a day off for all its member schools.

Links

Pac-12 strength of schedule rankings 2020: Oregon, USC get showcase chances with key nonconference foes - CBSSports.com
Ranking each Pac-12 team by its projected strength of schedule in 2020

Washington State to begin voluntary workouts June 15; no positive COVID-19 tests recorded yet | The Spokesman-Review
Certain student-athletes at Washington State will be allowed to start participating in voluntary workouts on Monday as the school initiates a phased-in return to college athletics since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the sports world in March.

Non-WSU

While I love college football, the sport of hockey is my one true love. I played growing up, played in a beer league in my 20’s, and follow the sport religiously. I’m also a huge fan of the oral history genre and the Miracle on Ice. That’s why I ate this story up.

The making of the movie Miracle: An oral history - TheHockeyNews
The greatest international hockey game ever played turned 40 in February, while the movie about it celebrated its Sweet 16. The men behind one of the best hockey films of all-time tell the story of how it got made.