This was probably my favorite question in this countdown series last year, so we are going back to the well for another turn.
A quick glance around the Internet tells me WSU is pegged to go 6-6. From preseason predictions to betting odds, six wins appears to be the most popular number. Instead of discussing whether the Cougars will win more or less than six games, let's just take it for fact. WSU will finish the 2014 regular season 6-6.
Now, let's assume you have control over the outcome of every game and can pick which six the Cougars win and which six they lose. You get to pick WSU's six wins in 2014. On the surface, that seems really simple. Just pick wins against WSU's six best opponents. That is certainly one way to go, but remember in that scenario WSU would have some pretty ugly losses. You're doing this as a fan and thinking about what it would be like to go through the season. Would the high from beating Oregon outweigh the low of losing to Portland State?
First, let's take a look at the schedule:
|vs. Rutgers (Seattle)
|vs. Portland State
|@ Oregon State
|@ Arizona State
My top priority in picking my six wins is producing the most enjoyable season possible as a fan. That starts with Week 1. With all of the buildup to the season-opener, I don't want a let down of losing that game. A win against Rutgers is a must for me. I'm going to let the Nevada game slip, because there are worse losses on the schedule I want to avoid. No way I want to be around the Internet if WSU loses to Portland State, so that's my second win. A home win against Oregon? Yup, that's No. 3. WSU is better than California and needs to stay that way for recruiting purposes so give me win No. 4 against the Bears. I'll take losses at Stanford and at home against Arizona in order to make it a two-game winning streak against USC. Take that Trojans, we own you (since 2013). As much as I'd rather not sit on 5 wins for two weeks with back-to-back losses to Oregon State and Arizona State, it's worth it for a win in the Apple Cup.
That all rounds up to my six wins being: Rutgers, Portland State, Oregon, California, USC and Washington.
Which six are you taking?