clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Welcome to Sunday Sports Hodgepodge Season!

We’re entering the dog days of Cougar news.

Cal v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Welcome to the second week of our walk through the desert of Washington State Cougars news. Now that spring sports have culminated, there isn’t a whole lot to talk/write about until the fall sports start practice in August. That means we have to break out the pick axes and blasting caps to find some Cougar #content. Luckily, for a week at least, we were able to do just that!

As the Portal Turns

You might be wondering why a Washington Huskies football player is featured in the photo. Well, there’s a reason he’s smiling, and that’s because defensive back Kasen Kinchen decided to leave that God-awful jersey behind and head east to the proper side of the state.

My first question - Why is Kinchen wearing #8 in that video? We already have a DB (Armani Marsh) who wears that number. These are the important questions.

Kinchen comes to WSU with a lot of potential. 247 rated the cornerback as a three-star prospect after he earned first-team all-state as both a junior and senior at Lake Stevens HS. During his recruitment, Kinchen claimed offers from Cal and Oregon (among others) before deciding on Washington. I know this may not be the most popular of takes, but any DB who got an offer from Jimmy Lake is probably somebody worth having. Sure, we all remember Jimmy as the player-shoving/meltdown-having/5th-place finishing disgraced head coach at Washington, but before that, he was a pretty darn good defensive backs coach who led secondaries that locked down opposing passing games.

Kinchen will surely add talented depth to a position group that can never have enough of it. Since he began his career in the free eligibility year of 2020, and didn’t play last year, I believe he has four seasons to play in Pullman. Welcome to the Palouse, Kasen, and congratulations on making the right decision. Oftentimes we need to wander through two years of darkness in order to find the light.

Only 6+ months til bowl season!

Elsewhere is news(ish)-ness - if I can invent a word - our friends over at College Football News published their latest set of bowl projections this week, and WHO DOESN’T LOVE BOWL PROJECTIONS IN SEPTEMBER LET ALONE JUNE??!! The good news is that the Cougs are projected to make a bowl game. The better news is that game is not in El Paso. You can read the rest below.

The Future of Pac-12 Football Scheduling

Normally I avoid posting anything Jon Wilner writes, because a lot of it is rubbish. But this week I’m working through a classic case of cognitive dissonance. Wilner proposed six tweaks to the schedule that he believes would increase television revenue (some of which he has posited before) and...I...agree with most of them? Somebody send help while we go through them (I’ll paraphrase the ideas).

1 - Play a handful of 9 a.m. games

My reaction: Two enthusiastic thumbs up! There is a dearth of quality live action in this window, and the conference can take advantage of that. Work out a schedule by which schools only play one of these every three years or so (which means hosting one every six years or thereabouts), and cap the amount at four per season. And I don’t want to hear any of the usual Cougar fan “poor ol’ WSU this will hurt us more than anyone else” whining. It’s well-established that WSU is where it is, so we can keep bitching about it or we can accept our place on the ladder and move forward in an attempt to maximize eyeballs and revenue. I choose the latter.

2 - Lean into later games

My reaction: I mean, aren’t we already doing this? There’s an Arizona-Mississippi State game in 2022 that kicks at 11 p.m. in the east! This likely means that the ball will actually be kicked around 11:15! I totally get the sentiment for wanting late kickoffs, and I’m mostly fine with it as long as the conference isn’t counter-programming itself by overlapping multiple games in similar windows. The conference needs to be smarter about this, because the cost of exposure is too high currently. Just ask Christian McCaffrey.

3 - Play November non-conference games

My reaction: If the SEC does it, it’s probably not a terrible idea. I know I make fun of the annual “SEC-SoCon” Challenge, and that isn’t really what Jon is suggesting here, but I’ve heard worse. Many times, we get to November and a few teams are shells of themselves due to injuries and other attrition, so it might not be the worst thing in the world to get a bit of a breather from conference play. This would mean moving up a November conference game to September, ostensibly when teams are playing with closer to a full slate of guys.

4 - Adopt the Pod System

My reaction: Around the world and back snap! Preserving the northwest matchups, while getting a more consistent rotation, would be a-ok with me.

5 - Play the Day Before Labor Day

My reaction: Double around the world and back snap! As we’ve long known, this is all about exposure, eyeballs and TV money. Scheduling games on that Sunday, as well as in Week Zero, delivers viewers who would otherwise be looking elsewhere during the meat of the season. You know as well as I do that you’re looking for an excuse to skip out on that annual family barbecue. Now you have one!

6 - Play the Day Before Thanksgiving

My reaction: Not sure that the juice is worth the squeeze here, because it would require some scheduling summersaults. But again, there would probably be more eyeballs on this game than normal. And heck, maybe the WSU students would stick around for a Wednesday Apple Cup? Lol of course not. I can’t believe I was able to finish that sentence.

Football

Cornerback Kasen Kinchen transfers out of Washington, commits to Washington State | The Spokesman-Review
The Lake Stevens, Washington, native and former University of Washington cornerback will transfer to Washington State, he announced Friday evening over Twitter.

Pac-12 football: Key transfers and new players for 2022 season include Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison to USC - DraftKings Nation
The transfer portal has left an indelible mark on the upcoming college football season, and no conference highlights that notion more clearly than the Pac-12.

Pac-12 football schedule: Our radical ideas for improvement
The Pac-12 must get creative with the football schedule in order to maximize revenue for the campuses and exposure for the product.

Bowl Projections, Playoff Predictions, Schedule: Post-Spring 2022
2022 post-spring College Football News bowl projections, predictions and possible matchups for the College Football Playoff.

This Week in Parenting

The final weekend of youth baseball season was tournament time for the teenager, and it began Friday evening. They were facing the Mariners, which normally means an automatic win in any other context. This time, unfortunately, the Mariners prevailed due to our inability to pitch a ball over the plate. That meant a one-way trip to the loser’s bracket on Saturday.

But first, the 10 year-old had his final game 45 minutes away from home at 10 a.m Saturday. He played catcher (took a bat to the forearm), got a base hit and then closed things out on the mound. It was his team’s only win of the season, so it was rather enjoyable. Then it was time to get back in the car for another 45-minute drive, and what would be an all-day adventure at the base’s baseball diamond.

The mighty R-P Bombers (after starting late of course) won their first elimination game, which meant a second game two hours later. A win in game two would mean a third game Saturday evening. Of course they won easily, setting up game three (game four for our family) at 6:30. Win game three and it was on to the semifinals Sunday. At this point, I wasn’t necessarily begging for another victory, because it would mean yet another vanished weekend. But after some major late-inning drama (and yours truly losing his cool with the umpire for the first time all season), the Bombers prevailed once again, setting up a date with the other local team Sunday morning. Alas, that’s where the magical run ended, collapsing under a litany of defensive miscues and base running buffoonery.

Youth baseball season is dead. Long live youth baseball season. But goddamn she put up a hell of a fight.

Non-Sports

Team Kendall’s next school year will take place back in the good ol’ USA, which means that after four years off, I get to once again worry about gun violence at school. Such is life when too many of our so-called leaders are beholden to campaign donations sent in by those who care more about hugging their military-grade, purpose-built killing machines than they do about the lives of their children and grandchildren. What a country.

America, how long will you sacrifice your children on the altar of gun worship? | Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian
This devotion to the right to bear arms is horrifyingly outdated. It brought terror to Texas – and it will happen again and again.

The U.S. is uniquely terrible at protecting children from gun violence : NPR
This week's massacre in Uvalde, Texas, was yet another grim reminder that in the U.S., where civilians own nearly 400 million firearms, children are more likely to die from gun violence than in any other high-income country.