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November 28, 2010

The Cougar Lounge - Foiled Again


"I was happy people made it out with all the snow."

- Wazzu men's hoop junior guard Klay Thompson after the Cougars defeated Portland in snowy Seattle last week.




"Only being in Pullman for three weeks during my first semester of college, it was a little stressful at first."

- Wazzu true freshman goalkeeper Gurveen Clair, speaking about the Cougars' season while she was away winning a gold medal for her native Canada at the CONCACAF championships this month.




"'The Price is Right' has a better system of determining a champion than college football."

- Author Dan Wetzel after another year of BCS turmoil has brought clamor for a national playoff for college football in its top division.




"It's not our first Christmas in Vancouver. I'm looking forward to it. I hope it snows."

- Actor and now, apparently, looney, Randy Quaid, who, along with his wife, has fled to Canada to escape what he refers to as "Hollywood star whackers" who he claims mean to "whack" him in some as-yet-undefined way.








The furor had receded a couple hundred decibels last week since there was no football game for the Washington State University football team. But that all changed this week when their hated rivals - a team referred to in common media parlance as the Washington Huskies - won a football game on the road over California after the Bears inexplicably decided not to fake any injuries this week in an effort to slow down the vaunted Husky offensive juggernaut. Reports indicated that the Bears really wanted to fake some more injuries after some of the defensive line had eaten too much turkey and the quarterback, thinking it was a glob of stuffing, accidentally ate some fruitcake by mistake. But they did not feign any injuries and were forced to play a real football game and unfortunately for them, that has not generally turned out to be a pleasant experience in 2010. Washington won the game and with it, crawled up to five wins - just near the lowest ledge of bowl-game eligibility at six wins. The Huskies are now hoping, with a win over the Cougars in the Apple Cup this Saturday at Martin Stadium in Pullman, they will be able to be one of the 842 teams who only have to reach the sky-high plateau of six wins to grab one of the illustrious spots in the 91 bowl games foisted upon a public still numb from L-tryptophan.



Unfortunately for the Huskies, the Wazzu soccer team will be in attendance at the game this week and since they have not lost to the Huskies in seven years [that is 49 Dawg years], they will be giving pointers to the Cougar head coach Paul Wulff on how to beat Huskies into submission over an extended period of time [this is a course for credit]. In addition to Professor Husky-Killer [also known as head soccer coach Matt Potter], guest speakers for the course will include John Chaplin [Wazzu's all-time Husky slayer with his 20-year streak from 1976-95 with the men's track and field team], Rick Sloan [12 years of Husky slaughtering from 1997-2008 with the women's track and field squad] and a video from Virginia from Tony Bennett [three years and seven games worth of Husky mauling from 2006-08].

Since it is rivalry week, it makes sense that the rivalries are not limited to those of the on-field variety in college football. Yes, just as there are Cougars and Huskies in college football this week, there are their equivalents in the world of chocolate where Reese's and Dove are going out each other, trying to melt the other's mojo. Seems as though Dove has created a little something called Peanut Butter Promises with packaging that Reese's says comes to close to looking like their venerable Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. There is only one way to sort this all out - chocolate-eating contest at noon.

At least that is how it should be contested - on the chocolate eating field - unlike what happens in the travesty called the BCS where the BCS Taliban has screwed up yet another wonderful college football season - or what would have been a wonderful college football season - with their convoluted cockamamie system. This year, the system has made the Rose Bowl into a BCS Taliban gigolo even more superficial than previous years' BCS bowl game gigolos as there exists the distinct possibility that no Pac-10 team will play in the so-called Granddaddy of them all. That is right, boys and girls, the beloved bowl game system which used to give the Rose Bowl the Pac-10 champion every year, now may give us the scintillating match-up of TCU and Wisconsin. Now, we have nothing against Wisky - unless they are playing the Trees or the Nikes in Pasadena - but TCU? What could have been worse is that it could have been Boise State. This is what the BCS Taliban has wrought - Boise State and TCU having opportunities to play in the Rose Bowl. The downward spiral is crystal clear now. With the Rose Bowl having sold its tradition off to the highest bidder, there is no tradition left any longer. The Rose Bowl is not the Granddaddy of them all, it is the Granddaddy of all them BCS Taliban hoodlums who have stolen college football from the American public. History shows that college football bowl games were never meant as a playoff but merely as exhibitions or year-end celebrations. Only when the twin devils of television money - and SEC commissioner Roy Kramer - got involved, did it become what it has become today - a giant tub of foul-smelling goo.

Only a playoff system can determine a national champion and what a playoff system it would have been this year. Whether it would have been a 16-, 24- or 32-team format, the playoff would have been exciting. In a 16-team format, going off last week's rankings, first round match-ups would have been Oregon/Virginia Tech, Auburn/Nebraska, TCU/Missouri, Boise State/Oklahoma, LSU/Arkansas, Stanford/Alabama, Wisconsin/Michigan State and Ohio State/Oklahoma State. Every single one of those games would have been well-attended and intriguing while a 24 or 32-team format would have tossed teams like South Carolina, Nevada and Iowa into the mix. The Rose Bowl has even gone so far as to give Pac-Man his own float in the Tournament of Roses parade - it is a good thing that Wazzu was able to play Michigan in the last real Rose Bowl in 1998. So with the Rose Bowl's traditional relevancy already lost, simply put, a college football playoff for the top division of the NCAA has to happen or the inequities and travesties of the BCS Taliban will continue to be exposed on a continuing basis.

With this being Apple Cup week, the crack Lounge research department was on a mission because they wanted to find out - who owns a dog? Turns out that most dog-owners reside in Oklahoma - Tulsa and Oklahoma City, to be exact - and the rest of the Top 10 has mostly southern locales until you come to the #10 spot that is occupied by Spokane. So there you have it - Spokane has officially been exposed as being full of closet Husky fans.

"Can the Cougs win this game?" asks Mr. Bossy Boots, about Wazzu's chances in the Apple Cup.

This is not a question of "can", Mr. BB, this is a statement of "when" the Cougars win the Apple Cup. The Huskies come into the Apple Cup with five wins and all the momentum from beating a horrible California team last week with a quarterback who could not throw the ball. Of course, the Cougars could not beat the same California team with the same quarterback at home - but that was before the Bears hit upon their devious fake-injury ploy and before it was exposed, causing irreparable emotional harm to the team. The simple fact of the matter is this - Husky quarterback Jake Locker, who still has lingering effects of a broken rib, was throwing the ball against the Bears and if Locker throws the ball against the Cougars, Wazzu will win the game. If Locker runs the ball more than 66.6666% [Lounge scientists have worked it out to this exact numeral] of the time, then the Huskies will win. Since we have yet to see Locker approach those numerals so far this season, the consensus in the Lounge clientele is that Wazzu will win the game and might even win it handily, depending on whether or not Locker starts running the ball after facing a halftime deficit.

"I am impressed with the hoop team" says Splenda Jenkins about the men's hoop team and their currently undefeated status.



The Lounge clientele is with you on that one, Splenda. Not only is it impressive that the Wazzu men's hoop team is undefeated so far this season, but it is impressive that the team has won the games while overcoming three major obstacles - transitioning a JC guard - in this case, Faisal Aden - immediately into the offense [normally this takes half a season], enduring the loss of point guard Reggie Moore to a wrist injury yet still getting the wins and overcoming the loss of both Moore and DeAngelo Casto [to a foot sprain] and yet still winning - on the road - without both of them. In particular, the offensive output of Aden has strengthened Wazzu to the point where, if they can win five of their next eight non-conference games, they can go into Pac-10 play with a 10-3 record and 10 wins in conference play [they got six last year] should put them in Big Dance contention. If Moore is able to come back before Pac-10 play and if Moore and Casto are able to play in the latter half of the non-con schedule, an 11-2 record is possible and 11-12 wins in Pac-10 are possible. Then it will only be a matter of seeding in the Big Dance. But the Lounge clientele is jumping ahead. The Cougars are capable of 20 wins in the regular season this year and if they can get in double digits in conference play, the Big Dance awaits.

With Apple Cup only days away and Spokane officially being outed as a bastion of closet Husky fans and well-wishers, the Lounge has found something one can do about that situation with some suggestions from Stuff On My Mutt. Sticky notes and buttons are okay - but wrapping the mutts' heads in a crimson and gray bandana would seem to be the most appropriate accoutrement for this week.

The Lounge Scientists figured people might see some dogs flailing and flopping around on Saturday so research was conducted to see what happens when dogs shake themselves into a frenzy, which might help determine if a dog could be turned into a washing machine. But after watching dogs shaking and flailing, further research was deemed necessary.

"It's surprising, but we still do not understand why washing machines work so well," says Lounge Scientist #4.6, Andrew Dickerson, a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology who, reportedly, shook himself as part of the experiment.

Scientists have determined, in separate testing, that the best way for a Cougar to beat a Husky is to put a soccer ball in front of it.




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