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Gaming out the rest of WSU’s season

Let’s try and put some percentages on the future!

Washington State v Oregon State Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images

Good day, and happy Halloween Eve for those of you who annually try and fool yourselves into pretending that you’re 20 years younger. For the second straight weekend, your Washington State Cougars took Saturday off, hopefully using the extra time to prepare for their upcoming game on The Farm. And speaking of Halloween, I know yours truly won’t be sad to see that day come and go, as WSU’s fortunes in October plummeted to earth like so many millions of leaves.

By the time toe meets leather next Saturday, WSU will have gone a full five weeks between victories. It only feels like twice that. The reasons behind WSU’s current streak of ineptitude are many - awful offensive line play, an offensive scheme that is addicted to going sideways, a decided lack of explosiveness, failure to generate takeaways approaching 2021’s level, defensive letdowns at critical junctures, I could go on.

But we’ve looked backward enough, and lord knows that none of us wants to rehash the past few weeks any more than we need to, so let’s try and look ahead a bit, shall we?

Next Game: Saturday, November 5 at Stanford Cardinal

The Cardinal are bad. Really, really bad. Their record currently stands at 3-5, with the wins coming over an FCS team, Notre Dame and Arizona State. They should also have a win over Oregon State but they Card’d it in the final minute. In its last three games, Stanford hasn’t scored more than 16 points (2 wins in there!), and has two touchdowns over that span. Needless to say, WSU’s defense shouldn’t give up many points. WSU has opened as a 4-point favorite.

Totally scientific and definitely not arbitrary chances of a WSU win: 60%

Saturday, November 12: Home vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

ASU has a bad record, but has been playing ok. It beat Washington, lost at Stanford by one point, and won at Colorado. Freshman walk-on quarterback Trenton Bourguet got his first start in Boulder, and absolutely torched the Buffs (not exactly a huge accomplishment against that team, but still) to the tune of 435 yards and three touchdowns. ASU has been much better since dumping Herm Edwards, and there is still some talent on the roster.

Totally scientific and definitely not arbitrary chances of a WSU win: 56%

Saturday, November 19: At Arizona Wildcats

This one is a matchup of strengths and weaknesses. WSU’s defense is the best part of its team, while Arizona’s offense is far better than its defense. Jayden de Laura has flourished in Jedd Fisch’s offense, killing defenses with his arm and legs. Arizona also has two NFL-level receivers who transferred in, and it shows. That defense tho. Opponents have scored 45+ points in four of Arizona’s five Pac-12 games (the other team was Colorado). Heck, as bad as that defense is, WSU might get 25!

Totally scientific and definitely not arbitrary chances of a WSU win: 45% (Arizona is better than its record indicates)

Saturday, November 26: Home vs. Washington Huskies

Ahh, yes. The game we all love to suffer through. I will admit to being taken aback that this game is actually on Saturday. Must be a misprint! Washington has been the anti-Washington this season, fielding an explosive offense and leaky defense. It’s also lost the one game it played against a good team, at UCLA. But seriously, this Husky schedule has been a joke so far. That isn’t to say Washington is going to roll through to the Apple Cup. since it still has to play Oregon State and Oregon. But since the Cougs won in devastating fashion last season, we’re likely now bound for at least eight seasons of Apple Cup ignominy.

Totally scientific and definitely not arbitrary (yet underpinned by a century of heartache) chances of a WSU win: .01%

So, if the Cougs are to make a bowl game (which I always celebrate until it comes time to, you know, actually see the bowl game), their best shot to clinch it is over the next two weeks. If they’re 5-5 and headed to Tucson, it could end very badly. We’ll be watching every painful moment! Go Cougs


I won’t post the other bowl projection here since it’s a pay site (ESPN+) but let’s just say the projections there are very close to the one at CBS.

2022 College Football Bowl Predictions - NCAA Bowl Game Projections -
CBS Sports Bowl Expert Jerry Palm projects the matchups for every bowl game.


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Sunday's match will be a rematch between the two teams after the Cougars swept the first matchup back on Sept. 30 behind a program-record 11 total blocks from Magda Jehlarova and 13 blocks as a team from Washington State.

This Week in Parenting (with a dash of “You Suck If...)

This is lengthy. Sorry not sorry. Not like we have a game to talk about.

Thursday was a pretty terrible sports day in the Kendall house. Before we stayed up past midnight to watch the Cougars let me down for the umpteenth time, the mighty Dolphins freshmen played their final game of 2022, taking on the detested rival Navarre Raiders. They’re detested because we live here now, and not there, even though we used to live there and root for them. As always, where you stand depends on where you sit. (I don’t actually dislike the Navarre team, but my kid really wanted to win this one).

The Dolphins stormed out to an early lead, then got the ball back. Then they dug into the bag of tricks, going with an end-around pass to a receiver who was so wide open you’d have thought the 2019 WSU defensive backs were out there. But alas, the ball was overthrown, and we punted. There were a few other trick plays and formations that should not have proceeded past the call sheet, as well as two scoreless red zone possessions, and before you knew it, we were on the wrong end of a 21-6 defeat. So the Dolphins ended the season 2-6. The kiddo didn’t get in a lot, but he never missed a practice, and didn’t complain. I’ll take it.

On Saturday, we skipped the 11 year-old’s soccer game, and set out for Tallahassee to watch the Florida State Seminoles face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The boys hadn’t ever been to a college game besides WSU, so I wanted to get them to a new place. After the perfunctory pregame stuff, it was time to head inside and, most importantly, eat the messiest food imaginable. After what seemed like an hour, the 14 year-old brought this back.

“Where’s the fork?”
“Dad, they’re french fries. I don’t need a fork.”
“Um, yes you do. Go get one.”
“But I have napkins.”
“Go. Get. A fork.”

Another 20 minutes go by, and he finally returns, forkless, saying he couldn’t find one anywhere. Stunningly, when I got my food (A “Puntrooskie sausage with pulled pork FTW), I got a fork!

But the real highlight of the day (the game itself was mostly a snoozer), was when the oldest spotted what he thought was a Belgian flag sticker on the back of a Georgia Tech player’s helmet. It became his mission in life to find out if the guy was Belgian. Below is a photo of my kid yelling from the bleachers, “Hey, 32! Flanders or Wallonia??!! (his name, Yondjouen, suggests Flanders. If you know, you know).

After his efforts went for naught, we headed to Trader Joe’s and spent more than double than we did on tickets.

Then on Sunday, the kiddo had his final Boy Scout popcorn sales shift at the local hardware store. He is unfailingly polite about the sales pitch, to the point that I had to tell him that 1-2 “thank you’s” is sufficient when someone turns him down. But I do love the litany of excuses people throw at him if they don’t want to buy. Look, it’s totally ok for anyone who doesn’t want to pay $15 for a couple ounces of caramel corn. Just say “no, thanks” and it’s all fine. But for some reason, people say things like, “I’ll look on the way out” or “I bought some last time” etc. Again, if you don’t want some, no problem! Just don’t feed the kid any BS. Today’s best was, “I’ll ask my kids if they want some and then come to get some when they answer.” Followed by, “Well, they didn’t text me back.” Ok, man. Just say you don’t want any.

Then there was this - toward the end of the day, a guy left the store and turned to talk to my kid, while getting his wallet out.

“You don’t have any girls in your Boy Scout troop, do you?”
“Um, no, sir, I don’t think we do.”
“Good. Keep the faith, son.”

If I weren’t there representing the scouts, there is a 100% chance that I’d have taken this guy’s $5 donation back to him, and told him to shove it up his ass. I was so goddamn mad. What are you encouraging this young person to do? You are either looking for him to lie, abide your misogyny by accepting your donation, or both.

And the demo for pond scum like this is almost always the same: male, white, 55+. It’s amazing to me that the class of people in the U.S. (white male baby boomers) - who have always had more inherent advantages than anyone else - have the uncanny ability to manufacture grievances at a rate heretofore unknown. Always pining for the “good ol’ days” when women (among others) kept quiet and knew their place. Apparently he doesn’t care that it was almost exclusively white men who are responsible for the ills that have befallen the Boy Scouts of America, and not girls. Seriously, it’s been a few hours and I’m still upset. Fortunately, the kiddo asked me about it afterward, thinking that what the man said was odd, so we got to chat about how anyone who wants to be a Boy Scout should be a Boy Scout.

If you are like this guy, you suck. Stop sucking. And here’s hoping that asshole has a granddaughter who joins the Boy Scouts.


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