HUGE recruiting weekend; this week’s picks

First, Michael, you are probably right-on about what V Lane said. It probably is at least some scare tactics involved, but, the facts are facts. We have been mrs. Last for some time in regards to revenue, ticket holders and facilities, and even with our three top-10 finishes in a row haven’t changed that. Our season tickets and revenue are in fact up, but we’re still 10th out of 10. It’s been ignored for too long. And our stadium is cozy and on-campus and the seats are close to the field, all those good things, but it’s really lacking in so many key areas. It’s obvious, and it’s just time to either step up, or sadly, step down. If V Lane was quick to volunteer that information in some sort of setting, be it in a meeting, a public forum, etc, that says the concern is very real at the highest level.

Here’s the other thing – we make a lot of money being in a BCS conference. We benefit being in a conference that gets at least one BCS game, sometimes more, and that revenue from say a Rose Bowl is shared among all the teams. Just think what would happen if we had to move to a non-BCS conference?? The exposure, TV revenue, BCS revenue, it all would evaporate. That is scary. The only reason we’re on TV is because we’ve been good, yes, but also because we’re playing BCS teams. If we were playing New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado State on a weekly basis? Maybe two games a year on FSN, period.

I also believe that Utah is the perfect replacement, more so than Freson State. IN fact, it would be easy to assume that there have been rumblings already that they have been approached about the idea. You don’t think a monster like USC or UCLA would LOVE to have Utah in the conference? They are a monster in their own state, they have sprinted right past BYU and have excellent facilities, and while I don’t know FOR SURE, it’s easy to assume they beat us handily in terms of revenue, even in a non-BCS conference. Their TV market would crush ours too. Rice-Eccles Stadium is REALLY nice, too, only 45,000 seats but it is very new, built in the late 90’s on the dime of the ’02 winter olympics. It’s EXACTLY what we should aspire to have in Pullman, for sure. It’s BEAUTIFUL. Check it out:

http://www.stadium.utah.edu/

Also, from what I know at least (which isn’t much?) is that the final design still hasn’t been selected! They were close before, with a double-deck scheme, but it came back far too expensive and they keep trying to downgrade it. It always comes back in the 80-90 million range, and we keep asking for 50-55 million, tops, in phases. I’ll check in with you-know-who and see what the latest news might be.

Now, recruiting – this is the first big weekend of visits, including a lot of DB’s. By the way, you know what’s weird? It’s the first weekend in October and we haven’t played in our home stadium since August! That’s far too long to be on the road, even in Seattle. 4 of our next 6 are at home, so that’s GOT TO BE A GOOD THING!

There are 4 high school DB’s coming, plus a JC kid. One of them we are fighting Oregon and Wisconsin for, but we have a chance and we’re in his final 3. Jamathan Ingram-Lyle is his name, a 6-0, 175 lb physical corner. The JC kid, BT Walker, has us tied with Oklahoma in his top-2, it’s a dead heat right now. He’s from New Jersey, and his Mom wants him closer to home, BUT Dad says go where you want, and he’s really high on the Cougs for some reason! Also, he was quoted last night as saying “Washington State has shown me a commitment. And I’m really close to committing to them. But I think right now it would be best if I’d be patient, play my cards right.” Hopefully the visit goes well.

One other big name to look for is Charles Dillon, a 6-0, 190 lb receiver. He was an ’04 signee out of high school but failed to qualify. He’s a big-time receiver who is double-teamed all the time, yet still is putting up huge numbers at Ventura CA COllege. He’ll graduate next spring and still has the Cougs in the lead, but the sharks are circling. He’s a heck of a guard in hoops, too, leading his conference in steals last year as a frosh, so they say he’s a super athlete.

By the way, we’re still looking at signing 20 or 21, with at least 3 or maybe 5 kids enrolling that we signed last year as greyshirts.

This week’s picks:

#10 CAL (+ 1 1/2) @ #20 UCLA – Bears ROLL, 44-24
Arizona (+37) @ #1 USC – Yikes. USC 58, Zona 10
Stanford (-13 1/2) @ WSU – I understand we’re favored, but 13 1/2? Cougs, 35-24
#25 Oregon(+9 1/2) @ ASU – ASU in a track meet, 49-40.

Two national games:
Ohio State @ Penn State – Joe-PA 27, OSU 23
Texas vs. Oklahoma – Texas 31, Okie 20