Greetings, Coug fans. I'm the new guy here, and I survived initiation (I think), so now they're letting me write a thing or two. So welcome to your Saturday. After this one, there are only seven more until the Cougs welcome the Bobcats of Montana State.
Hey, remember Ted Miller? He's the former Pac-12 reporter who was unfortunately among ESPN's recent layoffs.
He joined the Podcast of Champions (tagline: "Now in more homes than the Pac-12 Network!") to talk about the conference. When the topic turned to WSU, Miller teeter-tottered between praising and scolding the team like a good pundit does.
He touted the return of Luke Falk, the running backs and the offensive line, before trashing the team's Holiday Bowl performance (as we all would), noting the loss of Gabe Marks and River Cracraft, and bringing up the team's traditional early season woes. He then pivoted again, saying, "It would not shock me if Washington State shocked a lot of other people and ended up winning the North division."
He also said missing UCLA and ASU were helpful, for some reason.
He stayed steady on his boldness track by adding, "Washington State is a Top 25 team and I think they're good enough to win the Pac-12 as a whole if things go their way."
Given the makeup of this year's team and the division it’s in, "if things go their way" could really mean "if the entire UW offense comes down with mono after week three, and Stanford's DBs are all hurt again."
We'll see. You can listen to the WSU talk starting at the 43:40 mark. It lasts about ten minutes and even includes a Drew Dunning reference.
Meanwhile, Bovada has WSU pegged at 16/1 odds to win the conference:
Odds to win Pac-12, per Bovada. pic.twitter.com/GVRyIEGRbR— Ted Miller (@TedMillerRK) July 14, 2017
A few thoughts:
- I don't understand the love for both Oregon and UCLA. Oregon's defense is probably still trash, and UCLA's offense is probably trashier (and not because Josh Rosen was injured last year — they had major issues when he was still healthy). But they each got new coaches to solve last year's problems! That's cool, but they didn't get many new players, did they? Plus, Oregon just lost its best wide receiver.
- Seems like USC and UW are on track to meet in the Pac-12 Championship Game. They miss each other during the regular season, and both teams' toughest conference opponent looks to be Stanford (although USC doesn't have its bye until Nov. 25 — yikes). I don't like that I think these teams will be playing for the title, but I don't like lying to myself either.
- Haha, Cal.
Pac-12 expert Ted Miller breaks down the conference race | Podcast of Champions
Miller also criticizes Leach's decision to leave Falk home during Pac-12 media days. I smell a fake controversy!
James Williams - From meager beginnings to WSU star - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com
KHQ's Kalae Chock has the story of how WSU running back James Williams conquered the odds and became a star at Washington State.
Cyber Sit-Down With Jovana Subasic - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
The redshirt freshman got a chance to play for her country at the championships once again.
Old YouTube Clip of the Week
YouTube is a treasure trove of mostly useless videos, and that's why I love it.
This week, let's revisit Andrew Furney's 60-yard field goal against EWU in 2012.
- This was the first home game in the Mike Leach era and I realized I forgot what the stadium looked like pre-FOB and pre-crimson end zones.
- Furney lines up dead red from 60 yards out for the last play before halftime. I remember thinking, Might as well try it. No biggie if he misses it, we'll still be winning heading into the break and we have the entire second half to put up more points with this cool new offense they're calling the 'Air Raid.'
- We were all delusional.
- Lo and behold, Furney nails it, setting off his "run for your life!" celebration before the camera pans to some shirtless bros. Isn't there some sort of rule that says you can't take your shirt off at a game unless your chest is painted, no matter the temperature? There should be.
- I had a good laugh when the color commentator says, "Oh, he could have made that from 60 and a half!" So, he barely made it, right? I feel like you only say something like that if he clears it by ten yards.
- The field goal gave WSU a 24-14 lead at halftime. This is when I remind everybody that WSU went scoreless in the second half and ended up winning 24-20, and only because EWU missed a PAT in the second half. Otherwise, the Eagles' Hail Mary at the end might have instead been a field goal attempt to send the game into overtime. Good thing, because losing to Eastern? THAT would be embarrassing.
- Oh, wait.