Good morning. One of the practices that college football writers like to undertake in the interim between bowl selections and the actual game is to rank every matchup, 1-41. Man, 41 bowl games! That almost equals the number of linebackers WSU will be missing next Saturday! But while a WSU player or nine just couldn’t find the gumption to suit up with teammates one last time in front of a national audience - Fresno QB Jake Haener ain’t skipping out, by the way - in pursuit of an eight win season (no small feat in Pullman), the L.A. Bowl appears to be one of the more highly-rated games.
We’ll start with the team over at College Football News, which is one of the OGs when it comes to getting college football content out on a daily basis, year-round. That seems to have come at a cost, as the quality has declined considerably, but they still do some good work. The LA Bowl comes in at number 16 in their rankings, under the category, Restaurant Quality Bowls, which are described thusly:
Now we’re getting somewhere. A few of these bowls are going to be the best of the season, and at the very least, these should be solid matchups and the ones we’re all talking about.
The added context is where things get a little...off.
It can’t be worse than last year’s LA Bowl clunker, and it might turn into one of the best of the early bunch. The only concern here is the Washington State defense – it’s too good. It got rocked by Michael Penix Jr. and Washington, but it’s been able to keep most offenses under wraps. There’s a chance Jake Haener and Fresno State get the O going, and overall this should be a good, even battle.
There are a few descriptions one could use for the 2022 version of WSU’s defense, but “too good” almost certainly isn’t one of those. And I assume that “too good” analysis, flawed as it is, came before WSU’s three best linebackers decided they had better things to do.
Over at CBS Sports, Tom Fornelli is even higher on the LA Bowl, placing it in the top ten! The #8 ranking comes in ahead of the Orange Bowl, the Alamo Bowl, and even the mayonnaise bowl! It also ranks ahead of a sneaky-good game which takes place at Fenway Park. After halting their annual rivalry in 2013 due to conference expansion, the Louisville Cardinals and Cincinnati Bearcats will square off in Boston. The winner of the game traditionally took home the Keg of Nails, which I’m sure is cooler than any bowl trophy.
Additionally, Scott Satterfield decided to depart Louisville (where his seat was rather elevated in temperature) to start over in Cincinnati. Oh, and the venue is such that both teams share a sideline. Maybe Satterfield can just stand at the 50!
Where was I? Oh yeah, WSU. Here’s Fornelli’s logic for ranking the LA Bowl so high.
I also love Washington State QB Cam Ward, who transferred to Wazzu from Incarnate Word before the season. He didn’t put up the same numbers in the Pac-12 that he put up there, but he’s an entertaining watch on a tough Washington State team. The Cougars lost five times this year, but the five losses came to Oregon, USC, Oregon State, Utah and Washington — teams that were a combined 49-11. It’s a better team than its 7-5 record indicates, and I like this game’s chances of being entertaining.
In all, Fornelli has six Pac-12-affiliated bowls ranked in the top ten (sorry, Sun Bowl). Seems like it should be an entertaining bowl season for those of us who follow Pac-12 teams. And you never know, maybe WSU can comb the streets of LA next week to find a couple linebackers and receivers who can fill out the roster.
One highlight will come from the announcer’s booth, where the great Joe Tessitore is on the call.
The Cougar men played again on Saturday and, amid a flurry of turnovers and other self-inflicted wounds, the Cougar men lost again on Saturday. I keep reading about how unlucky this team is. Just like I read about how unlucky the team was last year. Just like I read how unlucky the team was the year before that. At some point, it ain’t about the bad luck.
But hey, at least the game featured one of the greatest sponsors ever, which made me long for a doner kebab or six. If you are in Seattle, there are two locations! Lucky! The Cougs also had the pleasure of losing in front of announcing legend Bill Raftery. There’s that! No doubt Bill was taking advantage of the Vegas night life after the featured Arizona-Indiana matchup concluded on Saturday evening.
On the women’s side, the Cougs travel to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies in the latest Apple Cup Series showdown. This is the conference opener for both teams, who each stand at 7-1. Tip time is scheduled for 2 p.m., and you can watch it on Pac-12 Washington. I’d recommend watching with the television muted, as Elise Woodward is behind the mic.
This Week in Parenting
After-school gatherings were the order of this week, as the high-schooler had a Junior ROTC awards ceremony on Monday night, followed by the end-of-season football banquet on Tuesday. Monday’s festivities were more noteworthy, as the kiddo won the “Cadet of the Month” award. This means that in fewer than four months, he’s already won more awards than his old man has in 23+ years!*
As with most of these ceremonies, there were plenty of opportunities for applause. The 11 year-old took the opportunity to do the old “one loud clap after everyone else stops” move, tremendously pleased with himself in the process. Once again, I had to remind him that he is allotted one of those per outing. The ceremony took place in a church near the high school, and near the end, the crowd was treated to a slide show, with music overlaid. First up was AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”, prompting me to remark, “Nothing like listening to AC/DC in church.” The lady in front of me started laughing, so I’m calling that a win.
We also received an email a while back, title “coffee with counselors” which ostensibly invited parents to sit with their children’s guidance counselors and discuss the latest goings-on. So I showed up at the office on Wednesday morning, asking where the library is. Apparently the activity was for students and counselors only. I re-read the poorly-worded email, and realized my mistake. I then wondered openly why I, the parent, was being reminded about an event to which I wasn’t invited. Especially when the title was “coffee with counselors”, which doesn’t seem like something you’d pitch to high school freshmen, but maybe that’s just me.
Elsewhere, the 11 year-old has a group of buddies from the neighborhood, and they
invaded came into the house the other day and noticed my two-television setup. By “setup” I mean that I occasionally haul a TV out of the guest room - usually on weekends - and put it on the shelf next to my other TV so I can watch a couple games at once. So I’m sitting there, watching football and definitely not drinking beer, when my kid’s buddies say to him, “Your dad has two TVs? That’s so bogie.” Or is it boujee? Anyway, few things are as funny as kids using semi-words which they probably can’t define, but I shall wear my bougie-ness as a badge of honor.
Regarding the first story - the way this country’s leadership has treated Afghan allies and their families, who risked death to help us during the war, is completely shameful.
A road trip to sell America on the Afghan Adjustment Act - The Washington Post
These veterans want the United States to keep its wartime promises. They found a country littered with indifference.
How Ukrainians cope without electricity | The Economist
For several days in November, the Fastiv home found itself without electricity, water or heating. Exhausted staff are at their wits’ end, unable to change nappies or wash their patients, as protocols require.