It would be an understatement to say that it has been a depressing year to be a Cougar thus far. The football team has been, well, abysmal. They have been breaking the wrong records and the fans have been suffering with them. The volleyball team is still trying to scrape a conference victory out of their season. The provost quit after getting in a fist fight with the budget committee, a real throw back to dealing with your problems like a fifth-grader and not like an adult. Even the newly renovated Compton Union Building has had problems with its fire alarm since it reopened in August. Now, the weather is starting its quick turn towards winter. Although the Huskies are in worse shape, it doesn't do much to assuage my depression.
But there is the old saying: It's always darkest before the dawn (typically reserved for persons who have been recently dumped). As the Cougars move through this dark period, there must be better times ahead and here at the Park Bench, we'll tell you what you, the Cougar fan, have to look forward to during this dark and stormy period.
They are still playing and are currently the only nationally-ranked Wazzu team. They are playing with a chip on their shoulder after being denied the post-season for the past two years even though they really deserved it. They are taking on Washington today and they face the Arizona schools next weekend and winning these games (not just a tie) will give them a great final push towards the tournament.
2. Cougar Gold Cheese
For some reason this delicious substance tastes even better (if that's possible) in the winter time. A Park Bench-Endorsed Snack: a nice chunk of Cougar Gold, some raw vegetables of your choosing (recommended: bell peppers) and a good pale ale make for a tasty afternoon meal
3. Men's Basketball
Their season will be starting in just over a fortnight (now there is a three dollar word). After losing key seniors they have been voted sixth in the Pac-10 media poll which is about right. The Pac-10 schedule should be incredibly exciting, each game has incredible meaning towards making the postseason this year given the strength of the conference. This year, above all others, should not only be interesting but very exciting.
4. Ski season
Alright, maybe it's just me, but I am really looking forward to going skiing this year because I have quite the itch to scratch. Every year around this time my impatience for the snow to come reaches its peak. Let us pray that the snow comes quickly and in absolute droves.
5. Women's Basketball
After a few bad years, the team looks to have the talent and the players necessary to have a much better year. The first thing you will notice about this year's team is their much more physical play. Not only does this push the newcomers to the team, it has forced the seniors to step their game up. Under second year head coach June Daugherty, expect this team to continue to steadily improve and be very competitive for many years to come - and Daugherty looks much better in cirmson and gray than purple and gold.
6. End of Fall 2008 Semester
Really the end of any semester is always a treat but the winter breaks are always better because my birthday is in late December. Any presents/gifts/book money/cash will be accepted from generous readers during the holiday season. Thank you.
7. Next football season
Really, it can only go up from here. Paul Wulff's first recruiting class looks to be as good as one can be with as terrible a year as the Cougars are having. The real marquee name of the class has to be Gino Simone, a wide receiver from Skyline (WA) who was supposed to be recruit by his old coach who is now an assistant at Washington. Their game against Notre Dame in San Antonio should be a good one as well as the Park Bench's final Apple Cup as a student so he would like a win during his trip home to Seattle for Thanksgiving.
8. An Evening at the Coug
Because when it comes down to it, that's what every football weekend requires
From purely a mascot standpoint, Cal should win this game but they have been just as inconsistent as Oregon lately. Still, nobody like Oregon, including myself.
The East Bayers 34, Should Be Down South for the Winter 20
Arizona State has been absolutely terrible and now they have to go to Oregon State and try to pull out a victory. Not going to happen this time.
The Non-Baseball Beavers (from Portland) 35, The Terrible Tempe Devils 14
Old Greeks 82, NO MORE TY! 4
And now for your Cougar picks:
Stanford 31, Washington State 16 says current Cascadia Community College student and former CougZone writer Cody Croghan
Stanford 42, Washington State 13 says communication college super student Lacey Lingle
Stanford 24, Washington State 3 says KUGR sports director and the man who represents the 619, Pat Nelson.
Taking Levenseller off his redshirt tells me Lopina isn't very healthy and that the remainder of the season will be used to be the young quarterback some experience. Stanford has a great running game but expect them to throw to get Tavita Pritchard some confidence back.
Stanford 52, Washington State 10
Obscure Pick of the Week! I don't understand this name at all.
Southeastern Oklahoma at Texas A&M 24, Commerce 10
Have a safe and fun Halloween.
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