Let's all face it: there isn't a good football program in the state of Washington. Every last team is absolutely in the proverbial dumps. The Seahawks are terrible and losing one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. Eastern Washington finished a fair 6-5 this season but out of the Division I-AA [now FCS] playoffs. A couple of lone bright spots were Western and Central Washington finishing a respectable 5-5 and 10-2 respectively. But frankly, nothing quite compares to the combined record of 2-25 of Washington and Washington State, made even more pathetic by the fact that both wins belong to the Cougars. One could argue that both programs are equally as terrible as the other. But there is one reason why the Cougars aren't nearly as far down the tubes as the Huskies. Just to have a little fun, I'll give you clues and you can guess what the reason is:
Clue #1: He recently committed to Washington State for the 2009 class
(Very broad clue I realize, but go with me)
Clue #2: He is a safety/quarterback
(You might be getting an inkling in your head)
Clue #3: He with graduate in June of 2009 from Ferndale High School
(Getting closer now)
Clue #4: He has a cousin who plays for Washington
(Better have it)
The Reason: Casey Locker
That's right. Casey Locker. Mr. Locker happens to be the cousin of the Husky's star player Jake Locker. And Mr. Locker just committed to Washington State.
Once again: the Huskies couldn't even bring in the cousin of their best and nationally recognized player and not only lost him to a conference foe, but to their in-state rival.
As bad as the Cougars and Huskies were this year, Locker's commitment to WSU says a lot about just how bad the Huskies truly are. Even though they finished better than the Cougars in many offensive and defensive categories, they still lost a recruit at a position of need, their secondary. And Locker's commitment should've been all but assured because of his cousin's satire within the program. But instead he decided to attend WSU even knowing that Steve Sarkisian would be the new UW head coach.
Things are looking brighter, albeit only slightly, for the Cougars in the coming year. There are defiantly questions for the defensive line and the secondary but they've been partially answered but Locker's signing. Meanwhile, UW is struggling to sign recruits and part of the reason may be the very unstable football program is still trying to convince recruits that the ship has indeed stopped rocking at Montlake. The bigger question in Seattle has to be how much farther down the University District sewer the team can fall.
As you're sitting there contemplating just how much to taunt your Husky friends, we'll turn to a different topic: the continued absolutely terrible weather on the Palouse. With about four inches of snow on the ground, it has been windy, the temperatures have dipped into the negatives and the wind has just been an absolutely great treat. Add to that the finals that every student at this university has been taking and this week has been an absolute terror to everyone here. Trips in the car that would normally take five minutes take well over 15 (or at least that's the reason my girlfriend gives me for being late to dinner) and when you step outside and take one breath through your nose it feels like ice cubes have been shoved up your nostrils.
This weather highlights the interesting meteorological dichotomy that is Pullman. In August, there was a high temperature of, roughly, 102 degrees. On Tuesday, the high temperature in Pullman was 7 degrees, a temperature swing of 95 degrees. From sweltering in the heat to absolutely frigid conditions which leaves Cougar students and Pullman residents alike with a thick skin. That and a large ownership stake in R.E.I. or North Face to supplement your frostbitten skin.
However, there is one advantage to this near blizzard weather, mostly that it is snowing in the mountains. And after wishing and hoping and praying to the Scandinavian snow god Ullr, I will finally be able to make the trek to the mountains for a nice day of alpine skiing with some friends. So if you're in the nordic sports mood this Sunday, come join us at Stevens Pass for a day full of skiing, laughing and general mischief.
For the first time, the Park Bench is going bowling!
Getting to a bowl is an accomplishment enough for Arizona but they get a decided advantage because the game is in Las Vegas and the Cougar players will likely get lost in the MGM Grand for over two days gambling away their scholarships and drinking a soda (gasp!)
The Bob Stoops Express 34, The Joseph Smith Fan Club 20
Dunderhead of the Week: Any person who wants Joe Paterno out at Penn State. Seriously, the man is the greatest college football head coach of all time and some people on the Board of Trustees want him gone. I think I know the problem: enough people aren't acknowledging your abnormally large bank account and its relatively tiny contributions to the university. You're just mad because an 83 year old man who makes less than just about any college football coach (including Paul Wulff) is a bigger star than your are. Get over it and go home and count your money. It's probably all you do all day anyway.
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Autumn is almost over! How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor – home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for nine consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small hot chocolate.