Even with as bad as WSU has been in recent years, I'm generally excited heading into every game. Blind optimism is a hell of a drug, even if it wears off immediately after the opening kickoff.
This week? Not so much. Instead of looking forward to tonight's game against Cal, I'm dreading it. It's not that I necessarily think WSU will play poorly, they may not. Instead, it just feels like the season, the fanbase and even the CougCenter community are hanging on by the final thread.
Expectations were lower the last couple of years and most just grew numb to losing. That was different this season and it just feels like WSU is one loss -- especially one at home to a Cal team perceived to be beatable by their record -- from falling into an epic downward spiral.
It's probably not a good sign that the game is over 12 hours away and I'm already dreading the postgame thread. Hopefully the Cougars come out with their best performance of the season and keep hanging by that thread, for at least another week.
Cal plays Mike Leach and Washington St. - SFGate
Although Washington State represents the third straight opponent with a first-year coach that Cal has faced, Jeff Tedford does have a little history with Mike Leach.
Cal at Washington State game facts - ContraCostaTimes.com
STORYLINES: The Bears hope to build on momentum of their 43-17 win over UCLA and reach .500 in the Pac-12. ... This is Cal's first road game against a team not ranked in the Top 25, after losses at Ohio State and USC. ... Cal gets its first look at WSU under Mike Leach, who coached Texas Tech to a 45-31 win over Cal in the 2004 Holiday Bowl. Leach's Red Raiders' teams averaged 37.3 points from 2000 through 2009, but the Cougars twice this season have been held without a touchdown.
Cougars Trying Not to Overthink Cal - KHQ Right Now - News and Weather for Spokane and North Idaho |
At times the Cougars have shown flashes of excellence. If only they could piece it together consistently.
Cougars prepare for up-and-down Cal QB - Spokesman.com - Oct. 13, 2012
There are varying opinions of California quarterback Zach Maynard. As in: Your opinion may vary depending upon which of his games you watch.
2 minute drill- Spokesman.com - Oct. 13, 2012
1Stuff ’em on first down. Cal’s running backs are too deep, too talented and too fast for the Cougars to chase around all game.
WSU leaves fans shaking heads | Sports - The News Tribune
Rarely have football fans clamored for seats at Martin Stadium in recent years, but lines were expected to start forming at 6 this morning – 131/2 hours before kickoff – for Washington State’s game with California.
Cal hopes to continue last week's success - The Reporter
Cal's game tonight at Washington State is not about zombies, bobbleheads or even the weather. It's about the Golden Bears trying to demonstrate they are the team that blasted UCLA, not the squad that limped through the first five weeks of the season.
Preview: California @ Washington State | Cougar Football | The Seattle Times
The setup: California tries to continue momentum created by a big victory over UCLA last week. WSU is seeking its first Pac-12 victory under first-year coach Mike Leach.
Cougar Basketball Opens Season with ZZUMania - The Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Washington State University men's and women's basketball teams made their public debuts on the court at Bohler Gym, Friday, for the fifth-annual ZZUMania.
Cougs Wave Pink Match Equates to Victory for Cougar Soccer - The Washington State University Official Athletic Site
While donning pink jerseys in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Washington State women's soccer team defeated USC 4-0 at Lower Soccer Field, Friday.