Good morning, and apologies to the none of you who are wondering where this post was last Sunday. Sometimes life messes up a schedule, and yours truly has been going through it for a solid month now. But you shouldn’t care about that, so we’ll get to “today in offensive line disasters” in a bit. But first, there are more pressing issues here in Cougar country. Namely, it’s time to start talking about gambling on the 2022 football season. We took a look back at 2021’s betting results a couple weeks ago, and today we’ll start to scratch the surface on what the upcoming season (Only four weeks away! Maybe I’ll have my furniture by then!) has in store.
The fine folks (and Danny Kanell) over at the 247 Cover 3 podcast- ranked #3 in my podcast power rankings behind College Football Enquirer (runaway #1) and The Audible - are in the midst of their annual summer series of debating win totals for all of the Power Five conference teams. The Pac-12’s turn was right out of the gate, shortly after much of the tumult began.
The guys are largely bullish on the Washington State Cougars exceeding their prescribed win total of 5, and had this to say about the 2022 Cougs:
They might need (Cam Ward’s) ability to extend plays because this offense line is suspect.
- Chip Patterson
And to think this was well before Fifita went down!
Ward gives them a dimension offensively which they didn’t have last year, and it will make them more explosive...I’ve got them at 6-6 maybe 7-5 so this is a pretty solid “over for me.”
- Tom Fornelli
Fornelli also singled out the offensive line as WSU’s biggest issue.
I think this offense is going to be a ton of fun to watch, and I’ve got them going over.
- Danny Kanell
Kanell was impressed by how the players and coaches maintained focus during last season’s program turmoil.
The tossup games are Cal, at Stanford, Arizona State, at Arizona and Washington...but the schedule as a whole points to 7-5 as their ceiling.
- Chip Patterson
Patterson, who took the under, is bearish because of his skepticism about Ward’s ability to stay healthy behind a shaky line, and the perilous lack of depth behind him.
So in all, two of the three prognosticators (normal contributor Bud Elliott was absent) foresee the Cougs exceeding the odds-makers’ win total. You can listen to both the Pac-12 North and South episodes below (or wherever you get your podcasts!). The WSU talk begins at the 34:55 mark.
The Cover 3 crew breaks down the win totals for Oregon, Washington and more. First, while division titles won’t determine the Pac-12 championship in 2022 there’s one preseason contender that stands out from the rest of the group.
The Cover 3 crew breaks down the win totals for USC, Utah and the rest of the South.
Elsewhere in podcast land, John Canzano spoke with former Coug-turned financial manager Jed Collins this week about WSU’s NIL collective, the relative bargain they got on Cam Ward, and the machinations of trying to get the organization up and running. It was a pretty interesting segment, and worth a listen.
Ok, now onto stuff actually taking place on the field. The Cougs held their fourth camp practice on Saturday, and according to the Spokesman Review’s Colton Clark, the defense got the better of things, particularly due to the d-line’s ability to pressure the quarterbacks.
Starting QB Cameron Ward had to throw the ball away three times in one seven-play stretch. “(The defensive line) wrecked shop today,” Dickert observed, “but I also think it’s a learning time for our offensive line to grow and get better.”
That’s one way to frame it, I guess.
Regarding the offensive line injuries on Friday, Dickert responded with this quote:
“We’re still kinda sorting through the process,” Dickert said. “When I have some information, I’ll kinda update you. But they’re out here right now, learning and getting better. We’ll kinda see where it goes from there.”
Yeah, you’ll forgive me if I don’t buy the idea that the head coach doesn’t know the initial extent of injuries that occurred the day prior. This isn’t 1947.
In positive bugaboo news, it looks like Lincoln Victor was a full participant for the first time, as he and Ward hooked up for a 40-yard touchdown. The Cougs get Sunday off, and resume preseason practice on Monday at 8:30 a.m.
This first link is an always-interesting look into how others outside the program view their conference competitors. I was struck by the coach who said that WSU’s defensive line “isn’t good.” I mean, they’re not the Fearsome Foursome, but the guys up front are at least decent, coach. There were also some interesting comments about WSU’s place amid the new era of transfer rules.
Pac-12 Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2022 - AthlonSports.com | Expert Predictions, Picks, and Previews
Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams bulletin board material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used during the year.
Cougar defensive front stands out, quarterback Cameron Ward shows leadership in face of pressure at Day 4 of WSU camp | The Spokesman-Review
WSU’s highly touted defensive line flexed its muscles Saturday, thwarting the Cougars offense during full-team periods of practice on a comfortable morning at Rogers Field.
As conference realignment reshapes college football, is the Apple Cup at risk? | The Seattle Times
As the Power Five threatens to implode, and with UW’s status uncertain, what might become of the Apple Cup?
CFN Preseason All-Pac-12 Football Team, Top 30 Players: Preview 2022
Who are the best players in the Pac-12 going into the 2022 college football season?
Pac-12 Announces Significant NIL Opportunity For Student-Athletes - AthlonSports.com | Expert Predictions, Picks, and Previews
The Pac-12 doesn't do many things right, but it did this Thursday morning. The conference has announced a significant NIL opportunity for student-athletes.
This Week in Parenting
The school-free days are rapidly drawing to a close, as the boys start classes on August 10. Though they’ve had an abbreviated summer compared to most (Germany lets out late and Florida starts early), it feels like they haven’t been to school in several months. However, the teenager has had a schedule full of Junior ROTC and preseason football practice, while the 10 year-old’s calendar has contained Fortnite, swimming in the pool and helping mom clear out the hopelessly overgrown back yard we
Speaking of the 10 year-old, we had this exchange the other day when discussing whether we should have breakfast for dinner:
Mrs. Kendall - “I like cheese with my eggs.”
Kid - “That’s what she said.”
Me (with a baffled expression) - “I’m not sure you know the meaning of the phrase.”
Kid - “Yes I do. You’re the one who doesn’t understand it.”
Well then. When asked for a clarification, he said, “It means that if mom really likes something and wants a lot of it, that’s what she said.” So yeah, we’ll just accept that version of the phrase’s meaning and move along.
This week also included much buying of the shoes for sports and school. The not-yet 14 year-old checked in with a pair of size 11 football cleats. Did I mention that he hasn’t even started high school yet? And that old dad’s foot size is a mere 12? At this rate, given his 94th-percentile height, he’ll be looking down on me by next summer.
While the older boy is playing football, the younger kid decided to try his hand at soccer this fall, which meant that we had to get him some cleats. After failing to talk him into some relatively subdued black and yellow kicks, he successfully campaigned his way into these:
Luckily for him they were at an acceptable price point. He doesn’t seem to care that they sear my corneas every time he gets them out of the box. Then on Saturday we were watching Dortmund, and none other than Jude Bellingham was wearing the same design, so the kid knew he’d picked the right pair. Speaking of which...
Dortmund Fan Since Forever
After an opening round win in the DFB Pokal tournament last Saturday, the mighty Schwarzgelben opened Bundesliga play on Saturday against Bayer Leverkusen, which finished just a spot behind BVB last season. So this was a tough opening game. Dortmund scored quickly and held on through a series of close calls to win, 1-0.
It was a bit of a Pyrrhic victory, as budding star Karim Adeyemi went out with an injury. Hopefully he’s back soon.
Next time someone - probably over the age of 50 - bemoans the lack of people who want to work, and whose next sentence will probably include something about everyone getting a trophy nowadays, show them this (click to expand). Nobody wanted to work in 1894! What a bunch of snowflakes! How did America ever progress?!
A Brief History of Nobody Wants to Work Anymore— Paul Fairie (@paulisci) July 19, 2022
How an Undercover Exotic Dancer Captured America’s Most Wanted Terrorists
Rebecca Williams spent five years infiltrating extremists.
David Sinopoli killed Lindy Sue Biechler in Pa. cold case solved by DNA, police say - The Washington Post
For almost five decades, the killing of 19-year-old Lindy Sue Biechler — a newlywed found stabbed to death on the floor of her Lancaster County, Pa., apartment — had stumped authorities.
Inside the operation to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan - The Washington Post
After eluding U.S. intelligence agencies for two decades, the al-Qaeda leader showed up on the balcony of a house in downtown Kabul.