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The Good, Bad and Ugly of WSU’s new schedule

Not great, Bob!

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Oregon State v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Good morning from the good ol’ PNW, where it’s much more difficult to get this article submitted on time that it is if one lives in Europe!. Your Washington State Cougars saw their new Pac-12 only, 10-game schedule revealed on Friday, and it’s...something! Obviously, it’s the first of its kind in the modern era, and credit to the folks behind the scenes who likely spent a gigantic amount of time and energy in an effort to put this thing together, which you can see here:

Now that the plaudits are out of the way, let’s start complaining!

The Good

  • Two home games out of the gate is a good thing, even if Cougar fans won’t be able to take part.
  • Somewhat of a soft landing to the end of the season, with what are probably WSU’s two most winnable games (Oregon State Beavers and Colorado Buffaloes) coming in the last three weeks.
  • While WSU is almost a complete unknown, so is Utah. Well ok, we know that Utah will collapse down the stretch, but other than that they’re a mystery this season, so maybe it’s good that WSU gets them to open.
  • Same with Oregon, because they will also be breaking in a new quarterback.
  • Good to see the conference build some flexibility into the schedule, with a conference title game date that could move if schools need to make up missed games.
  • Credit goes to whomever scheduled the Oregon Ducks to face the Washington Huskies after an idle week for Oregon. Husky fans can add it to their list of excuses.
  • Nice to see an actual schedule!

The Bad

  • Missed a golden opportunity to plagiarize the ACC and go with the always awesome helmet schedule. Booooooo!
  • There has to have been a way for WSU to avoid the USC Trojans, and catch the Arizona Wildcats instead, but we’re not allowed to have nice things around here so nah.
  • Speaking of USC, that game comes on the heels of another trip to California to face the Stanford Cardinal. At least there’s an idle week prior to that two-game stretch.
  • Even though I wrote it as part of the “good” things, drawing the two 2019 title game participants in the first two games isn’t exactly ideal, new quarterbacks or not.

The Ugly

  • Welp, the Apple Cup is still on there, and is still near the end of the season soooooooo yeah.

The Record

4-6 (optimistically)

All in all, we know the 2020 will be unlike any other. The likelihood of the schedule playing out as published faces some seriously long odds to begin with, especially given the disparity in pandemic conditions throughout conference localities. Like many teams, WSU often has a soft opening to get the kinks out before facing the meat of the schedule. This year, with no spring practice, a new coach, new systems, new quarterback and same old tire fire defense, that soft(ish) start to the season was even more important. With WSU getting thrown straight into fire, this is looking more and more like a textbook rebuilding year.

Football

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An ex-Washington State football player who believes he was wrongly accused of rape is being backed by dozens of former teammates after screenshots of a conversation with his accuser were leaked to the public earlier this week.

College football bowl games face concerns about their viability amid the COVID-19 pandemic - CBSSports.com
Bowl games will almost certainly be affected by the pandemic, even if only indirectly.

ESPN’s Has Billion-Dollar Interests Riding On College Football Season – Sportico.com
Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN, the dominant corporate force in college football, has a lot riding on this uncertain fall season.

This Week in Parenting

A second peaceful week at home concluded for Mrs. Kendall and I, as we arrived in Washington on Saturday for a visit. The real losers were the young ones, though, as they are once again accountable to the evil parents, and can no longer run roughshod over grandma and grandpa. They also got their first haircuts since the pandemic’s onset, and they look like completely different people. My mom took a picture of the remains on the floor of the barber shop, and I wasn’t aware that a bear wandered in before they sat down, but apparently it also got a trim.

The turn in the barber chair interrupted what has been a nearly non-stop week of playing with cousins, swimming in grandma and grandpa’s pool and consuming copious amounts of ice cream and caffeine-free frappuccinos. But alas, the Sheriffs are back on the scene.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: The fine folks at Drikbeer, who drop delectable beers at my door, started selling some exclusive Bruery selections. I jumped at the chance, even though they sneakily bundled the beers with others that I never wanted. This week, as I celebrated my anniversary and Mrs. Kendall continued to sketch out her long overdue exit strategy, I opened Chocolate Rain and gave it a try.

Yep, this thing clocks in at 19.2% ABV. It was one of the more delicious beers I’ve consumed in a long time, and due to the high alcohol content, I took multiple hours to do so.

Regarding the article, I strenuously object to the characterization that Ballast Point’s Watermelon Dorado isn’t a beer you should be drinking. Matter of fact, I’m going to go and look for some today out of pure spite! (and because it’s delicious).

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Knowing which beers to try and which beers you shouldn't buy will spare you from those disappointing moments when your first sip brings a frown instead of a smile, or (even worse) a look of derision from your liquor store clerk.

Non-Sports

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