Pads won't be popping in Lewiston today due to NCAA rules, but football practice begins nonetheless. During this countdown, we've gone over a variety of questions, but today's is probably the simplest.
The 2013 season will be a success in your eyes if __________.
That may be "if WSU goes to a bowl game" or "if the offensive line doesn't suck." Whatever it will take for you to consider 2013 a success.
Heading into last season, I think my answer would have been "if WSU makes it to a bowl game." A year later, my expectations are diminished. I haven't mentally punted the 2013 season, but I'm not expecting a trip to the Rose Bowl either. As of right now, I would say the 2013 season will be a success if after the season WSU fans, media members and opposing fans expect WSU to be a bowl team in 2014. Pull out of the basement and become a team on the rise. They don't have to win eight games next season, but there should be the expectation they could win eight games in 2014 after this season.
If WSU's rebuild was depicted by a line chart, the improvement line would be on the slightest upward slope. I want to see the Cougars put a spike on that chart this season. Get to the point, either by winning games or playing teams so close to the wire that anyone who follows college football has actual expectations for WSU heading into next season.
I tend to think this is a very big year for the long-term health of the football program. If all the excitement built after Mike Leach was hired hasn't dissipated already, it likely will if the Cougars don't put forward a better product on the field. If we have to dig up obscure stats to show improvement again, there may be some extra elbow room on the bandwagon after the season. Bill Moos and the athletic department can only ride the Apple Cup win so far. If they are going to get casual fans to "put skin in the game" they are going to need something legitimate to sell for 2014 and I hope the Cougars give it to them.
What would it take for you to consider 2013 a success?
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