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August 31, 2011

The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - The Arrival Of Joy

I feel like a national holiday is upon us. College football is back. Tomorrow officially but who cares about that game when you could focus on your very own Washington State Cougars instead. Honestly what kind of idiots (Husky fans) would care about anything else (Starbucks and mani/pedi's) other than Cougar football? Frankly I really think those idiots (Husky fans, again) need to discover Cougar football because whatever else they are focused on (driving a 10 year old Lexus SUV and even more mani/pedi's) just isn't as important. Besides, if they don't like Cougar football (Husky fans won't) it gives us a perfect excuse to make an incredible amount of fun of them (which is pretty much the reason I wrote this entire paragraph so there's that).

Better yet, I'll be in Vegas this weekend putting plenty of non-Monopoly real money on football games. So, in that brain, there are certain over/unders the MGM and Caesar's believes the team will be achieving either individually or together this year. Don't believe me, look it up. It's on the internet. (Note: the previously mentioned information is not, in fact, on the internet).

Over/Under Jeff Tuel's Touchdown Passes: 30

I'll go under on this one. That's a heck of a barrier to try and break through and even knowing that this is a throwing offense first and foremost, that is going to be difficult to do. It's still a fairly anemic offense until actual results prove otherwise so until I get that proof I'm sticking with under. And the big trouble is there is a very distinct chance Tuel could go over that mark so I'd be losing a lot of money. But my other gut feeling of this team getting inside the five and giving it to Mitz to pound in or Tuel using his legs to score makes me feel a little better.

Over/Under Yards For Mitz and Galvin: 1,200

I'm saying over. Don't get me wrong, this team's greatest strength is it's superb quarterback and the fantastic receivers he has to throw to. But that's precisely what will open up the running game because teams finally have to be worried about the fact that the passing game is a huge threat. And as soon as they forget about Mitz and Galvin, the soon Logwone can knock a defender into kingdom come or Rocky can shake them right out of their boots.

Over/Under Sacks Allowed By The Offensive Line: 40

Under but barely. Here's the problem with that too: 40 is still a terribly high number. But coming off a season where they gave up a deck of cards worth, it's a darn big improvement. They've had a good chance to get to know one another, know tendencies and really learn from Coach Steve Morton. And after my conversation with B.J. Guerra, I'm very confident this is the best offensive line we've seen under Paul Wulff. Granted, that isn't saying much.

Over/Under Sacks Made By The Defense: 30

This team hasn't exactly been a sack machine the past few seasons and that's a huge issue because it leaves the secondary in an incredibly tough spot having to cover the receivers for longer and compensate for the bad play up front. But Travis Long is continuing to be absolutely beastly. And the linebackers should be playing much more up to snuff especially now that C.J. Mizell and the man with Troy Polamalu hair but on steroids Sekope Kaufusi are on top of the depth chart, the linebackers are much improved and should allow Chris Ball to really dial up some defensive pressure.

Over/Under In Attendance Versus Idaho State: 20,000

Under. Definitely under. Which is insanely sad. But combined with three years of terrible football and the fact that Labor Day weekend is never well attended due to all the alumni being out of town on vacation and the Dave Matthews Band concert at the Gorge (I'm serious, all the bros trying to impress their lady go) makes for a bad weekend to have football in Pullman. And when you're playing a team that was 1-10 in FCS last year, that doesn't help much either.

Over/Under Beers Consumed After Home Games This Season (Total): 100,000

Over. And when I did the math in my head, hilariously, it became easy to answer that. Seriously, think about it. Even with just 20,000 in attendance per game and eliminating those who are way too young, on average I drank at least 5 after every game and many folks drank more. So with six home games (counting the Seattle game) this should be easy. And that is just flat out staggering.


Over/Under Goofy Paul Wulff Victory Dances: Three

You know, like the one he did after the 2008 Apple Cup. We're going under and with zero. For the sake of humanity.

Over/Under Wins: Five

Over. I'll see you at the Las Vegas Bowl.


PICKS:

Last Week: N/A
Overall: N/A

It's the first week of games. These are all no brainers except for four. You'll get analysis with those (and yes Minnesota, you playing USC is a no brainer).

LSU and Oregon are having some big problems with the NCAA right now. But Oregon still has their starting quarterback!

Oregon 28, LSU 20
This is the beginning of the end of Neuheisel. I really think his team is worse than many are making it out to be. And they're playing a team with a healthy Case Keenum.


Houston 31, UCLA 17

Cal is another team I think a lot of people are really overrating. Good thing it's not Fresno State version a few years ago.


Cal 27, Fresno State 20

Oh hi there newcomer! You're playing Hawaii to start your season and you changed coaches? Have fun!


Hawai'i 41, Colorado 20

Utah 38, Montana State 10

Arizona State 42, UC Davis 6

USC 52, Minnesota 14

Oregon State 34, Sacramento State 7

Stanford 49, San Jose State 13

Arizona 62, Northern Arizona 0

Washington 45, Eastern Washington 21



This is an easy one. We faced an FCS opponent to start the year last year but Montana State was actually good. Idaho State is just plain terrible. Mike Kramer may be a good coach. But he isn't this good. Hard to believe but I actually fully expect a big win here.

Washington State 48, Idaho State 10


Obscure Pick of the Week: It's cupcake week so we're just going to pick a bad FBS team and the crappy FCS team they're playing. Sorry Mike Price.


UTEP 52, Stony Brook 14


Dunderhead of the Week: The woman who turned onto the street in front of me as I was about 75 yard from the turnout of her drive way and proceeded to go about 20 in a 35. Why must you do this to me driving gods??????

And, of course, John Buccisgross.





+++++++sponsored by Greg Davis Sports Photography+++++++++

The 2011-12 athletic season is here…and you know what that means…It's time for a whole new season of Cougar Athletics! Football, soccer and volleyball, just to name a few, are playing their 2011 seasons. If you need "game action" photographs for your newspaper, magazine, web site, blog, etc., then Greg Davis Sports Photography should be your choice for all things "Cougar" and "Pac-10 Conference"! Coverage for specific athletes or upcoming events is also available. Check out the images from games, practices and events from last season, and be sure to come back often for uploads from all of this season's action.


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