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Who do we root for now?

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We need someone to entertain us!

Marshall v Florida Atlantic Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Good morning from Deutschland, where team Kendall has arrived and gone through its first set of COVID tests. Quite the rousing welcome home!

So, was there any college football news this week? If “the season was finally taken off life support” counts as news, then unfortunately the answer is “yes.” So, now what? Well, dear reader, I wouldn’t expect a lot of relevant Washington State Cougars news around these parts.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t put forth some Cougar(ish) content for you all, at least in the near term. For example, as the search began this morning for some relevant topics, an article on CBS Sports piqued our interest. In it, Barton Simmons published a rooting guide for fans of teams in the Pac-12, seeing as how our own conference won’t be participating this season. He chose among schools from the ACC, SEC, Big 12 and AAC. Aside - how bad does the AAC want football this season? Their exposure would skyrocket.

Simmons takes the path of least resistance for Cougar fans:

Suggestions: Mississippi State, Texas Tech — Look, I promise we’re not just tying this all up exclusively with a Mike Leach ribbon, but you have to admit the man has a type. Pullman, Starkville and Lubbock are very different from one another, but the relationship those towns and their schools have to their states and the conferences they play in brings them together under one umbrella that makes the fan experience relatable.

Hard pass. For one thing, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are going to be a tire fire this season. Trying to figure out Leach’s system without the benefit of spring practice? In the SEC West? Without any cupcakes to start the season? Good luck with all that. For another, this miserable impending season in Starkville is going to make for some great postgame Leach quotes, especially in November.

So, who should y’all root for? Well, as always, it depends! We’ll break it down into three categories, selecting one team from each of the remaining Power Five conferences.

“I just want to root for a damn winner”

The easiest of the three! Are you tired of starting every season with paper-thin chances of competing for a national championship? Do you want to get behind teams who actually beat their rivals with regularity? Well here is your chance!

SEC: Alabama Crimson Tide
Why? I mean, their primary color is the same is ours, they win almost every game, and their coach has just as much disdain for the media as we’ve gotten used to around here.
Why not? Well, yuck. Plus, does anyone want to ally themselves with that fan base?

ACC: Clemson Tigers
Why? Again, they win almost every game! And they have an even easier time doing it than Alabama does! Plus, that Trevor Lawrence is a total dreamboat.
Why not? Man oh man, has Dabo’s act ever worn thin. Every time I hear “little ol’ Clemson” I want to stuff a tiger paw where Howard’s Rock don’t shine.

Big 12: Oklahoma Sooners
Why? They run an even better version of the Air Raid, they’re arguably the best program in college football history, they absolutely dominate their in-state rival (more so than even the Apple Cup!) and THEY WILL NOT ABANDON THE SCHOONER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Why not? I think we’ve all seen our share of an Alex Grinch defense getting manhandled in the biggest games of the year.

“That upper-crust snobbery isn’t for me, but I still want to root for a winner”

SEC: Florida Gators
Why? Ok, ok, yes, I know they’ve won two national championships in the last 15 years. However, they’ve also fallen off a cliff after hiring Will Muschamp and Jim “fish straddler” McElwain. They seem to be on the come with Dan Mullen and Kyle Trask, but aren’t on the same talent level as Alabama, Georgia and LSU.
Why not? Even though you may be rooting from afar, there’s a better-than-zero chance that you’ll contract COVID through the television set, just because you’re rooting for a team from Florida.

ACC: Notre Dame Fighting Irish North Carolina Tar Heels
Why? I just wanted a chance to align Notre Dame with a conference there. As far as UNC, they damn near beat Clemson last year, greatly improved throughout the season, and blew out their bowl opponent. Ok, it was the Temple Owls, but still. Plus, they have a stud young quarterback in Sam Howell.
Why not? There’s a real risk here of UNC being the “hot team that falls on its face” that we see every season. Looking at you, Iowa State Cyclones.

Big 12: Kansas State Wildcats
Why? They’re the ag school. They come from a college town in the middle of nowhere (kind of) and Chris Klieman appears ready to take K-State to the next level after an 8-4 debut season.
Why not? They may wear purple far better than another school, but in the end, you’re still rooting for a team that wears purple.

“Don’t care about wins and losses. Who can I party with when this is all over?”

SEC: Ole Miss Rebels
Why? Do I need to even answer this? Plus, Lane Kiffin!
Why not? If you’re not into brown liquor, maybe steer clear.

ACC: Louisville Cardinals
Why? Honestly? No idea. They have good beer and a bat factory tour in Louisville, so there’s that.
Why Not? This was the toughest call on the board, and not in a good way. I guess I could have gone with Florida State, but I prefer to stay virus-free. Come on, ACC, step it up a little.

Big 12: West Virginia Mountaineers
Why? If you’re tired of looking at that old couch, but can’t seem to find a good place for it, load it into the truck and set out for Morgantown on a big game weekend.
Why not? There’s a dude wearing a coon skin cap and firing musket rounds at will, so you better really be ready to party.

Football

Pac-12 Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2020
College football coaches anonymously scout and talk about Pac-12 football teams for the 2020 season.

The Divided Conferences of College Football: If not now, will the Power Five ever get on the same page? - CBSSports.com
Player raids and another (miniature) round of conference realignment are not out of the realm of possibility.

College Football 2020 Season: No Big Ten, Pac-12, Now What?
The Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed their fall seasons. So now what for them, and for the rest of college football?

This Week in Parenting

We traveled from Washington to Indiana this week, in order to visit Mrs. Kendall’s side of the grandparent quartet, closing out a nearly monthlong trip for the boys in the US. While the statistics are not official, I’m willing to bet they threatened their age group records for desserts consumed and time spent in a swimming pool or lake.

We were able to pry them from the pool on Thursday, in order to make a trip to Dayton, Ohio, home of Mrs. Kendall’s alma mater (The University of Dayton), as well as the U.S. Air Force Museum. While at the museum, they went inside a 360-degree flight simulator. Before entering, the eight year-old was incredibly nervous, saying repeatedly that he didn’t want to do any flips or go upside down.

So in they went, and within five seconds, the thing was steeply pitched up and doing roll after roll. After the mission was completed, they exited simulator, and the kid who was expecting the worst was suddenly begging to go back in and do more flips and rolls. Of course.

We also spotted the old bucket of bolts known as the AC-130. No steep climbs or aileron rolls for this sucker, but it still found a way to be effective.

But of course, all good things must end, so these two are now back under the thumbs of mom and dad, without any grandparents to come to a pizza-aided rescue.

You Suck If

Guys, when shaving your face, do you only apply the razor to one side? No? Ladies, when applying makeup, do you stop after doing so to only one side? No? Then why do so many people these days only wear a mask over the mouth, but not the nose?! You know all those painful COVID tests that people talk about? They don’t go through your nasal passage simply because healthcare workers want to make your life miserable.

Now, I realize that many people who don’t properly wear a mask tend to primarily breathe through the mouth anyway, but still, can we please get our collective act together here? So if you wear a mask, but can’t bring your self to cover your nose because it makes you 2% less comfortable, or because it’s your little way of sticking it to the man, you suck. Stop sucking.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: One thing I realized as the week went on was that I was drinking a lot of beer from Michigan. I then realized that I’ve never been to that state, outside the Detroit airport which I don’t count. Seems like a cool place to spend some time and tour the local beer offerings, so long as that time is between May and September. Anyway, the best beer I had was in the MSP airport during a layover. Lift Bridge’s Mango Blonde was about as perfect a summer beer as one could ask for.

In the '90s, Apricot Beers Were Craft Beer’s Unlikely Hero | VinePair
Magic Hat #9’s meteoric ascent hearkens back to a time when it was, oddly, apricot beer that kind of built 1990s craft brewing and turned it mainstream.

Non-Sports

Alan Sepinwall: Why I Loved Cop Shows, Why They Must Change - Rolling Stone
TV critic Alan Sepinwall breaks down the medium’s longtime love affair with police work, and grapples with how the industry can move forward.