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Odds and End, Volume 2, Edition 1

Happy Tuesday Afternoon Cougar Fans!

I hope all is well in your world, LucasCoug here with my first odds and ends post of 2011.  This is my chance to recap all sorts of things without having to remove my Crimson Blinders.  There is lots to get to today.

Read More after the jump!

First of all, if you didn’t see it, yesterday Sean got his first 2011 Spring Fish Wrap posted for your viewing pleasure.  If you’re new to these parts, his fish wraps are a look at each of our upcoming opponents for the following season, coming out of spring practice.  Up yesterday, was a look at Idaho State.  It’s refreshing to see a pasty on our schedule for the first game, after opening up with Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin and Auburn the last five seasons.  All five of those games were losses, and by an average of just under 30 points!

Wazzu’s scheduling in 2011 isn’t going to help them get into a BCS Bowl Game, but honestly, that is such a longshot, Sportsbook’s odds to win the 2011 BCS include every eligible team in the Pac 12 other than us and Colorado.  One of the hardest things for a team to do is to “learn how to win,” and that is something we must do before we can build retained success.  You can have all the talent in the World (which our team will be as talented as they have been in at least five years), but if you don’t know how to win or what it feels like to win games in the fourth quarter, than you are in trouble.

Our 2011 schedule opens with five consecutive games against teams who either have slightly more talent than us, far inferior talent than us or they don’t know what winning is like.  Sure, San Diego State went bowling last year and got smashed by Navy, but they lost a few key players and their head coach.

I’m not going to lie, we should beat Idaho State and UNLV in weeks one and two by a combined 50 points.  If that doesn’t get the ball rolling for these guys, it may never get rolling.  Then we have three consecutive road games in SDSU, Colorado and UCLA; all of which we should be highly competitive in.  So by the middle of October, and the meet of our schedule, this team should know how to win!

Moving on…

Jeff Tuel was recently named by Tom Dienhart (at Rivals.com) as one of the top QB performers in the land, for all of the Spring.  For what it’s worth, Dienhart was the one who tweeted, before the Apple Cup, his sources confirmed Paul Wulff would be fired.

Yesterday over at Cougfan, there was a fantastic piece, written by Barry Bolton regarding the Aire Justin suspension.  I will let you read the article and be the judge yourselves.  However, Bolton makes a compelling case that year long suspensions should be saved for the worst of the worst offenders.  The article makes no excuses for Justin, and has some great quotes from the young man, but it points out other college athletes who are committing severe crimes and the lack of repurcussions from the NCAA for those.

ESPN Pac 12 blogger, Ted Miller, has had loads of content pertaining to our Cougs.  The first article was “What We Learned This Spring,” and the third item on the list was There Are No Pasties in the Pac 12.  In regard to the Cougs, Miller said,

Further, Washington State is going to be different in 2011. That lousy, FCS-looking team in 2008 and 2009? Gone. The Cougars were mostly competitive in 2010, particularly down the stretch, when they nearly beat Cal and Washington and did beat Oregon State. They will win multiple Pac-12 games in 2011. There is no team in the conference that you can look at and say, “No way that team wins six games and ends up bowl-eligible.

That article also talks about the conference Quarterbacks heading into 2011.  Miller also compiled a Spring Review for the Cougs.  In another article, Miller also noted Logwone Mitz’s 70 yard TD run in the Crimson & Gray Game, as one of the top runs of all the league’s spring games.  Lastly, Miller had this to say when picking Wazzu 12th in his Post Spring Power Rankings,

Everything suggests the Cougars will be much improved in 2011, starting with what should be a potent passing game with quarterback Jeff Tuel. But two conference victories in three previous seasons forces us to act all Missouri on this one: The Cougs have got to show us.

This is exactly how power ranking work, they’re based on a team’s worth at this exact moment in time.  Any of you out there looking for any pundits to pick WSU other than 12th in current Power Rankings or any preseason projections are nuts!

On the recruiting front, Scout.com, offers this piece about a 2012 QB Prospect with Crimson ties.

I also came across this great video from the WSU Athletic Department thanking all of our senior, student-athletes.  As the saying goes, “Once a Coug, Always a Coug!”

One other interesting piece of news.  The NY Times is reporting CBS will not match the offer Fox recently extended to Gus Johnson.  So I would imagine it’s safe to say Johnson will be calling Pac 12 games in the near future.  Eventhough it is a UW highlight, as a fan of sports, how can you not love this soundbite?!?!

When Gus Johnson “loses his $#!+” as some people call it, we all win!

Finally, I just want to thank Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto for all they have given the WSU basketball program the last three years.  Without question, the absence of their contribution the last three seasons would mean the Cougs would be coming off three consecutive last place finishes in the Pac 10.  Thank you for keeping WSU basketball relavant (somewhat) and best of luck to you in the professional ranks.  I hope that when both of you sign your first contracts, WSU will be in line to receive a nice donation in your names.  Thanks men!

That is all I have for you right now, hopefully any breaking developments for WSU are in regard to recruiting only.  Generally speaking, breaking news between the end of the school year and the start of fall camp is only bad news.

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