Archive for December, 2007

Alex Brink’s Final Chapter

December 31, 2007

Ok, so, Alex won’t win any popularity contests. Not here, and probably not anywhere else. But we’ll always have the Apple Cup wins with #10. And since it’s New Year’s Eve, why not look back at the biggest drive of 2007?

Happy New Year, Cougar Nation!

Advertisements

The Gess is Best; What Up With Those Beavs?

December 30, 2007

I guess it was a little predictible, but the first-ever WSU Football Blog poll question has selected Jason Gesser as the runaway winner for “Best WSU QB Ever”. More than size or stats, Gesser just plain won. And who can ever forget his guts vs. UCLA in 2002? That performance still resonates today, and will always be with Coug fans everywhere.

Gesser finished with 61 out of 140 individual votes, or 43% of all votes cast. Bledsoe took 2nd with 39 votes, or 27%, followed by Leaf, who finished with 30 votes or 21%. Also interesting…but not really….was Brink finishing way back, with 10 votes, tied with the Throwin’ Samoan.

I guess the voting shows one huge thing – wins, well, win votes. Statistically, Brink is the all-time leader in passing yards and TD’s at WSU, and even won 3 Apple Cups, but he never tasted post-season play. That is the end-result of all this. But maybe it’s not fair for Brink. Maybe some time needs to pass before it’s even much of a debate. He did what he could with limited tools, and was absolutely great in his Apple Cup performances, so he’ll always rate as one of the best. But clearly he’ll never be looked upon as THE best, and no matter if it’s 140 or 140,000 votes, he’ll likely never break the Gesser-Bledsoe-Leaf ratings.

Predictably, this is a slow time right now for the football program. The holidays, the dead period in recruiting, and of course, no bowl game. But there is a little recruiting news. Cougfan has a story about Andrei Lintz, a 2-star TE prospect out of Bellingham. He holds an offer from WSU and has the Cougs as his leader. The usual NW schools are in the mix, but he hasn’t been offered from UW, Oregon or OSU. He’s a big, versatile kid at 6-4, 227, playing both ways and even punted in 2005.

The Sporting News has a story about the 1997 Rose Bowl breakthrough (it should be on the news feed to the right, but here’s a link). What a team, and what a season. The Fab Five, the Fat Five, Leaf getting Heisman hype, Price the coach of the year, and even the defense was #1 in the Pac-10 in total D. That team was just so flippin’ special, and really, pretty damn close to winning a national title. If they execute in the end vs. ASU, and they get another snap vs. Michigan, who the hell knows what could have been?

Like Nuss wrote about on his blog, he was covering the Cougars in 1997 for the Evergreen. He saw Mike Price weeping after that ASU loss. Not because they had simply lost the game, but because that was such a special team, and such a special season. That team was NOT a paper tiger. Remember, they had to go to USC, which was never easy, to Oregon, which is always tough, to ASU, which of course was the only regular season loss, and to UW, which was a top-10 team for a lot of 1997. They had OSU as their bye, and the Beav’s were smack-dab in the middle of 27 straight losing seasons. They earned every inch of that season. Ah, memories.

Finally, hats off to Oregon State. Another 9-win, bowl-winning season. And thanks for representing the lousy Pac-10 showing thus far in the bowl season. To think that they won 9 games, and a bowl game, with a lousy QB situation (11 td’s, 21 int’s?) and the loss of the #1 returning WR in Stroughter?? Amazing coaching job by Riley by getting 9 wins out of a season that had 5-7 written all over it, especially when they were sitting at 2-3! They ran off 7 wins in their last 8 games. Nobody in the Pac-10 circles the wagons better than Mike Riley and the Beav’s. Don’t believe me? Last year, guess how they started their season? 2-3. How did they finish? 10-4, with a bowl victory. Amazing.

It really is impressive what they’ve been able to establish after so many years of misery. 27 straight losing seasons is hard to turn around! But think about where they are now – They’ve now won 5 of their 6 bowl games in this decade. They now have 58 victories since 2000, behind only USC and Oregon in the Pac-10. They’ve won 4 of their last 6 games vs. the hated Quacks. It’s all about that 2000 season, with the Erickson excitement and Fiesta Bowl romp that got it all rolling. Now they have a fantastic, intimate 45,000+ seat facility that is first-class in every way.

As Kaddy and I have conversed, OSU did it, yes, with a sugar-daddy in the Reser sponsorship. But they’ve also done a genius thing, and that is reach out to the middle-level donor. The young alums that are establishing themselves in society are able to not only get season tickets, but the school makes them feel “special” I guess is the way to put it. OSU makes the middle guy feel important, if not downright VITAL, to the program’s success, and they’ve managed to reel in those fish and not wasting energy in trying to land the White Whale. /criticism: Maybe our athletic department needs to worry less about landing Moby Dick (cough*Paul Allen*cough) and more about getting the middle guy with $500 in his pocket and would love to feel like he’s important?? /end critcism. Just sayin’.

We’ll have a new poll question up this week. The first one was an easy place to start, but if you have any suggestions, leave a comment. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Can Jed-Zilla Make it in the NFL?

December 27, 2007

In a very slow time for football news, there is a small blurb about Jed-Zilla. Jed Collins will play in the East-West Shrine game this year where old Jed can display his self-proclaimed 5+ 40-time for NFL scouts. But seriously, is Collins a true NFL propsect?

Believe it or not, Collins is in fact on the NFL draft radar. I know it’s early for mock drafts and stuff like that. But a search found this profile of Collins at something called NFL Draft Scout. But the different thing here is that Collins is actually scouted as an NFL fullback, and not at TE where he set a WSU receiving record with 52 balls in ’07. But when you really think about it? Collins projects much better at fullback than tight end at the next level. In fact, right now he’s regarded as the #5 fullback in the upcoming NFL draft! But why is he more fullback than tight-end?

Well, for one thing, have YA SEEN NFL tight ends these days? These cats are gigantic, plus almost all of them run like NFL WR’s. Collins checked in at a pro day measurement at nearly 6-2, and weighing 254 lbs. He also reportedly has clocked a 4.88. Not bad for the Pac-10, in fact that’s pretty slow, but on the next level? No WAY will that fly as an NFL tight-end. But at fullback? Absolutely.

If you’ve watched Collins much over the years, you know first and foremost that he’s what coaches love to call a “football player”. He’s the tough kind of kid that will put his head down and try to run through you vs. running out of bounds or falling down to protect himself. He leaves it all on the field, every Saturday. You appreciate that as a fan, that he’s giving everything he has for his school, and it’s a great thing to watch. But he’s also one hell of a lead blocker on running plays, and you can see why he’s regarded as a top-5 fullback prospect.

I still recall the UCLA game this year, and watching Collins time and again motion across the line before the snap, only to shoot back across and act as a lead blocker on a trap or a kick-out run on a counter play. UCLA came into that game as the top rushing defense in the conference, but Dwight Tardy gashed them for over 200 yards that day. Tardy is a pretty good back who has a bright future if he can stay healthy, but the O-line, and particularly COLLINS, was the story that day.

And in today’s NFL, if you are a fullback and, oh yeah, you can catch the ball a little bit out of the backfield? You have a very bright future. It’s easy to picture Collins as a New England Patriot, you know, the kind of smart, scrappy, team-first player that Bill Belichick absolutely covets. Collins would fit like a glove on that team. He’s be a big upgrade over Heath Evans. Or even a team like the Seahawks, where Tim Ruskell talks to janitors and lunch-ladies about the kind of character in potential draft picks. Collins could be an excellent west-coast offense fullback.

WSU Football Blog wholeheartedly endorses Jed Collins, NFL fullback! Good luck Jed-Zilla, and thanks for leaving it all on the Martin Stadium turf every Saturday.

Ho Ho Ho!

December 24, 2007

And in case you are wondering, YES, that is WSU Football Blog’s own Bad Santa. Yep, it’s Hooty McBoob, flashing the christmas onions at anyone/everyone. Even children. Bad Santa! There’s a good story behind the shot, so, maybe Hooty will swing by and elaborate?

The blog continues to evolve. Right now I’ve enabled an RSS feed of the Spokesman’s sports blog feed. I couldn’t get it to filter WSU results, so you’ll see a little bit of everything. But the cool part is that now you’ll see new SR.com blog stories pop on the right without having to go check. I’ll try to add some more as the week rolls on, but I think it’s a pretty cool feature.

AND, as the RSS feed clearly states, WE’RE NUMBER 4 BABY! How about them apples? #4 in the AP, #4 in the coaches. Tops in WSU history. Unbelievable. Once again, I’ll steal Brinkhater’s line for 2007-08 – “Enjoy this. Enjoy this ride for as long as it lasts. You and me, we have no idea if we’ll ever be in this position again. So don’t over-analyze it, don’t wring your hands, just simply enjoy the ride.”

Happy Holidays to you and yours. “Enjoy the ride” with your family and friends. Life is too short and like the sports analogy, you just never know when you’ll be here again. Just remember: Tomorrow is guaranteed to no man!

How Much Will the Cougs Miss Harmeling?

December 23, 2007

Uh-oh. I hope this isn’t the beginning of the dreaded injury bug (knock on anything resembling wood right now). But 6th man and legit 3-pt threat Daven Harmeling is now out at least 4 weeks with a broken thumb. Damn.

I guess we’ll see how much moxie these guys really have. That Pac-10 schedule to open up the year is pretty brutal, with the first 3 and 5 of the first 7 on the road. By the time they get Harmeling back they could be in a gloomy hole. Our guy Nuss on Hoops has a good write-up here on how this injury could hamper the offense.

It didn’t hurt today, however, as the Cougars rolled over Idaho State in an outcome most saw coming. But that early Pac-10 schedule was going to be a grind anyway. This only makes it a little more “sticky” to say the least!

But it’s not the end of the world. This is a shot for some of the younger guys like Caleb Forrest, Thomas Abercrombie and Nikola Koprivica to try and fill the void. And who knows, maybe what we’ll see is Low and Weaver really take charge over the next month. Then the younger guys will get some serious minutes, hopefully building some much-needed confidence in the process. Then when Harmeling comes back, it could be almost like acquiring a big-time shooter for the stretch run?? That’s best-case scenario, obviously. Thank God we have the talent and skill of Low and Weaver right now!

On the football front, not a lot happening. We’re still running with the story that our source told us McEndoo has been hired, but it’s still not officially announced. We haven’t got the why just yet, but McEndoo is the new o-line coach.

In recruiting, Cougfan has a story that Wulff and company did apparently make some in-roads in California($) in a very short time. A 3-star DE from Santa Margarita named Logan Russell is interested, and has now received a WSU offer. He’ll be taking a trip to Pullman on 1/18. On the trip with him will be a quick WR named Kevin Norrell out of Long Beach Poly HS. Should be interesting to see how this class comes together down the stretch. Not that we’re expecting a lot, but if anything, we’ll likely see some lower rated, yet high-in-character type guys in this class.

Excuse Our Dust….

December 22, 2007
Aw, cheer up sweetheart. YES, WSU Football Blog has changed, but don’t worry! It’ll be ok. Turn that frown upside down!

As you, loyal reader, can see, WSU Football Blog has undergone a bit of a “lift” so to speak. It was time. The old Crimson-n-Grey lady was showing some age and saggy-ness since being born in the fall of 2004, so it’s time to step up. Like Paul Wulff is rebuilding the program, it’s time to go under the knife around here and add some cool new stuff to keep YOU coming back, day after day.

First, your regular blog contributors are still here – Hooty McBoob, Brinkhater (artist formerly known?), and myself, Sedihawk. But after a season on the shelf, our old friend Rooster has been coaxed out of retirement and is going to climb on board! Welcome back Roost, old friend. We look forward to your biting commentary and humor. As they say, you can take the Rooster out of Reardon, but you can’t take the Reardon out of Rooster.

You’ll notice some new features right away – we’ll be running some weekly polls, so you are encouraged to vote early and often. We’ve kept our standard links, so don’t worry about that. But we’ve added some news feeds to the right, as well as a scrolling ticker-style news feed at the bottom if you are so inclined. Should be much easier to get your mainstream media stuff now. We’ve also embedded some YouTube WSU video for your viewing enjoyment to the bottom-right. You can view the YouTube video from right here in our little blog without ever having to leave! Isn’t that wonderful???

Speaking of video, stay tuned there. We’ve got stacks of DVD’s from our glory years and not-so-glory years, and you’ll start to see more clips and such. Some will be from the YouTube feed, but some will be embedded right here on the site. We’ll try to get something fresh and new up on a weekly basis to tide you over until spring ball hits next year.

As ALWAYS, your feedback is welcome and highly encouraged. Keep it coming. And if you do comment, put a user name. If you’ve noticed, you can just enter a name on the fly now at Blogger and not have to validate anything with an e-mail address or a sign-up. But we’d like to know who you are with your user-names.

Finally, little WSU Football Blog is all growed up! From what started as a way to not choke corporate e-mail servers with our inane blabbering about the Cougar football program, it’s really come a long way. We are at nearly 45,000 hits in the last two years. Not exactly ESPN, but we’re not really trying for that anyway. We don’t promote this site, we just do it out of a labor of love. But somehow, you found us. Keep coming back, because it will be worth your while.

Uncle Hooty’s Holiday Grab Bag

December 21, 2007

Holiday Greetings, Cougies!

The McBoob children were happy to see Santa Butch last week on the CdA lights cruise. May your holiday be filled with cheer and good will; and may your kids be cute as mine.

It’s Day 4 of Invasion of the In-Laws ’07 at the McBoob residence. The bad news is that I gave up my mattress pad for the guest bed and my back is killing me. The good news is that Auntie Doris is taking me to the casino tomorrow. Karma, guys – it’s a beautiful thing.

I am happy to let you know that Jason McEndoo has in fact, accepted the position of O-Line coach at WSU. This, according to a source close to the program. Why the announcement is being delayed is anyone’s guess but these two things are certain: 1-Yes, we have a source (and it is even somewhat credible.) 2-This is a good hire for Coach Wulff.

Not only is Coach Mac an accomplished artist (remember these t-shirts?), he can also coach a little bit. Jason just wrapped up his 4th season as O-Line coach of Montana State, where he is credited with putting together one of the best lines in the program’s history. Among his pupils was Jeff Bolton, the 2005 Rimington Award winner for 1-AA. Bolton, who played only 6 games as a center in college “gives credit to his versatility as a lineman to his offensive line coach Jason McEndoo, who came to MSU at the start of Bolton’s sophomore year. “He was an amazing coach. He taught me almost everything I know about playing offensive line,” Bolton said. “All my technique and everything I owe to him.” (Idaho Mountain Express, 2/28/05)

When a coaching change occurs, there’s a lot of adjustment and learning that happens for both the players and the coaches. When McEndoo arrived at MSU in 2003, he inherited a group that included Brent Swaggert, who would go on to earn first-team Big Sky honors that year and has since bounced around the NFL. The coach recognized that in his situation as “the new guy,” he could learn from his players as much as they could learn from him, saying of Swaggert “The most important thing about Brent is his leadership, and his ability to talk to the young guys and help them through situations. That really helps me.” (msubobcats.com)

So what are we getting in McEndoo? First and foremost, a Coug. But also a young coach with enthusiasm; knowledge of the game (MSU employed a zone blocking scheme, similar to the Denver Broncos); the ability to coach-up young players and the versatility to help them achieve award status; AND a guy who is not afraid to delegate some of the responsibilities for the unit to his upper-classmen. With our mix of experience and youth on the line in ‘o8, I’m pretty pleased with this hire – and it helped to find out that over the last few years McEndoo has paid a few visits to Coach Yarno for some pointers.

Mike Belotti to UCLA?? I imagine that “The Phil” will have his hand in this one way or another but our resident newshound, Hawk found this interesting tidbit this morning about the very possibility. Don’t worry, Mike. Wherever you go, we’ll still hate you.
I was out last night and only got to listen to the second half of the basketball game on the radio as I made my way home. I hadn’t listened to a game in a long time but it lead to a few observations…

Bud Nameck has really improved his play-by-play but you can tell the difference between a really good play-by-play guy and one who’s a little less experienced by how they handle time-outs and breaks in play. A seasoned vet continues to break down the game, and provide other insight that may have been quickly skipped-over during the rapid pace of the game. Nameck, on the other hand, was giving play-by-play of every on-court promo that took place – in great detail. I don’t care that some schmo just won an X-Box for hitting a half-court shot; I want to know how many elbows Aron Baynes has thrown .

I placed a call to my little gay friend, Poo during the game and he was sitting with the Mayor of Mt Vernon (2012) courtside, right behind Kevin Durant. Did anyone (who knows him) see him?

It must have been nice for Durant to be back in front of a big crowd. Over 12K in attendance! I wonder how many will be there for the NC A&T game on the 28th? At least two – me and my Father-in-Law. (I see more good karma in my future…)

At the end of the game, Bud was all excited and emphatically proclaimed “… the undeafeated, 6th-ranked Cougs head to Pocatello, Idaho!” Did anyone else hear this? I’m as excited as the next guy about the status of our basketball team but Pocatello, Idaho doesn’t have quite the same credibility as Durham, North Carolina, does it? I hope this soft non-conference schedule doesn’t come back to bite us.

QUESTION:

Playing in front of what kind of crowd, will better prepare your team for Pac10 League play: A or B?


A

B

One last thought from last night’s game. Being new to this whole “We’re a Basketball School” thing you’ll need to bear with me… With a 30-point lead in the second half, against a team of 5 Freshmen, is it still cool for the crowd to chant “You Got Swatted!”; or like a booger in your grandma’s nose, do you just politely pretend not to see it? We need to know these things.

Merry Christmas, Cougs!

Thursday Quick-Hits

December 20, 2007

We’ve written before about the on-the-field ramifications of missing out on bowl games. The extra 15 practices were always something Mike Price would talk up as the invaluable experience for his younger players in the program. These days it’s even more important, due to the limit on the number of hours per week that a coaching staff can hold organized practice sessions, etc. But if you factor out the last 4 years of “I’ll be home for Christmas” for our Cougs, that’s roughly 60 practices that our youth has missed out on! No wonder some schools continually go to bowl games, while others like UW, WSU and Arizona struggle to get back up there when they have a few down years.

But not only do the players miss out on the practices and the hope of nice weather and the bowl gear and extra attention on national TV? But they miss out on REALLY COOL STUFF. ESPN ran through what some of the gifts each player will receive just being on a bowl team roster this year. For a lot of poor college kids, imagine not only getting the bowl game experience, but also getting a $500 gift on top of everything else? How cool is that? And how much does that SUCK for non-bowl teams??

Moving on…..seriously…..the mother of the Spears children must sure be proud these days. Not only has her oldest daughter completely veered off the tracks, but trainwreck number-2 is now knocked up…at 16??? Say it ain’t so, Zoey 101! How do you piss away a couple of millionaire gravy trains like Britney and Jamie Lynn? Simply put, UNBELIEVABLE. Lynne Spears, right now you are looking like a number-1 seed in the white-trash Southeast Region in the Worst Mother Ever tournament.

The Cougs get it on with the Citadel tonight. Nice to see that a projected 10 K will be there as the wet side fans get a first-hand chance to view their heroes. Jerry Brewer had a good write-up of Tony Bennett and the boys. He makes a good point too, in that it’s hard to have a sustained run of success if you haven’t ever done it before. Sure, you can rattle off a couple of winning seasons in a row, maybe even make a deep run (see: UW). But the key is how long can you actually sustain it? Two years ago UW looked like it would be a top-3 Pac-10 team, year in and year out. Now, even with the splashy recruiting class of a couple of years ago, they are barely .500 and don’t look like a tournament team, for the second consecutive year? Kind of amazing really. Now Brinkhater will likely point out later that this run is in fact sustainable given Tony Bennett and the kind of program he runs, that not only is so unique but also places a premium on heart and character over talent. Like the great quote in the Brewer story, “Make a mistake on talent, but don’t make a mistake on character”, you know that most years Bennett is going to have the right kinds of kids in the program. But, I guess the point is, enjoy the ride while it lasts and most of all, don’t worry about tomorrow!

Did Cougfan jump the gun on announcing Jason McEndoo is the new o-line coach at WSU? As Corso says….well…you know what he says. It appears so. At first, the story headline was that McEndoo had been confirmed by two sources as the new coach, but now, there’s a bit of back-peddling going on. Another story appeared here, again saying the official stance from WSU officials is that no announcement is pending, and it may not be until after x-mas or even new year’s before there’s something to say. As a former offensive lineman who dominated Mike Lustyk, Hooty gets the floor in all things offensive-line-speak. He should be putting up a post in the next day or so about McEndoo, IF in fact he is the choice??

Tru Gets His Due

December 18, 2007

Sooooo happy to see a classy kid get his Pro Bowl nod today. That’s right, Marcus Trufant, PRO BOWL STARTER for the NFC. And you can’t say he didn’t earn it this year. The numbers don’t lie, and 7 INT’s is huge.

Reportedly a lot of credit can go to Jim Mora on this one. I heard an interview earlier this year where they said that one of the first questions Mora asked when he showed up in Kirkland is “why isn’t Trufant a left corner?” Left corners are where the true, elite, shut-down types usually go, and Trufant has battled shoulder injuries over the years that made it more of a struggle on that side. But Mora insisted he move back to his natural position, and the rest is beautiful music.

Now the bad news, if you are a Seahawks fan – Trufant will be a free agent this year. Not bad timing to have your career year at age 27 and free agency looming?? I’d love to see him stay in Seattle and keep building his career and reputation in the area, but at the end of the day, money talks. Will he stick around, or will a huge signing bonus with $10 – $15 million up front lure him elsewhere?

A few other notes poached from Cougfan:

WSU is hosting a JC All-American pass rushing specialist this weekend for an official visit. Grant Valentine is a 6-4, 240 lb 4-star defensive end from Glendale, CA. Fresno State leads right now, but WSU is in the mix with K-State, NC State and West Virginia (although with Pete Rodriguez, maybe Michigan gets into the picture?).

Here’s some video straight outta Youtube. Looks pretty good to me! (#51 in your programs). You may want to adjust the volume on your speakers. Some of the lyrics in the song, well, might not be safe for work if you follow me? You’ve been warned:

Cougfan also has a good perspective story on this year’s recruiting class. The premise? Don’t get too high and think we’re going to reel in commited 4-star players. But we’re not going to sign anything with a pulse either. The examples of Stormo, or possibly Cody Mackay, where it’s just the right fit overall is what’s likely to happen. And that’s ok. Don’t waste scholarships on kids that don’t fit! The story goes on to talk about California, and maybe there are some under-the-radar kids that would love to be in the Pac-10 and haven’t yet heard Wulff’s pitch. But we’ll see!

I also caught Wulff on KJR last week and he talked about going after kids who had committed. He wanted it to be clear that THIS year, yes, they are going to pitch to kids who haven’t met them yet on behalf of WSU and hadn’t heard what Wulff and staff have to say. But in the future, don’t expect that practice to continue. Sure, there will always be a few kids that change their minds, I mean it is what it is. But Wulff was very clear in the interview that this is not going to be the norm. I guess you can take that as it is. Personally I’d like to see him pursue kids he has a chance of landing, regardless of their commitment status. If they open the door a crack, see what can happen. But don’t waste time and energy going after a kid who’s repeatedly said no, because you do that and you’ll miss potential gems elsewhere! So the approach is one way now, but will be different next year.

You Just Never Know

December 17, 2007

I guess these two guys should never, ever sit together (but the shlub directly to the bottom-right thought it was a funny picture too).

West Virginia is PISSED today. Their coach, a guy they considered a lifer and a guy who was building something really special in Morgantown, has bolted for greener pastures in Ann Arbor. Once again, the coaching carousel has left two sides to the story – half the fans in this are rejoicing over a savior on the way, while the other sides burn the coach in effigy.

But I can’t do it justice. AOL’s Ryan Ferguson covers it well today, but no, I don’t post this here because of a West Virginia/Michigan/WSU football connection. I post this because of the point of the article is the false sense of security all programs happen to feel about “their guy”. Because you just never know, it can happen to you (US) too. Now I don’t think Wulff will up and bolt at the first moment of success……of course you never know…….but I’m more thinking about you-know-who:

I know, I know. It’s far too early in the year to be paranoid all over again about the hot young coach looking elsewhere. We’re not even into Pac-10 play yet, and there’s so many twists and turns that will happen as the year grinds on. But that AOL article today got me thinking about how many schools around the country have felt like “nah, not OUR guy, he’ll never bolt” to suddenly waking up to rumors and press conferences and stories about private planes with our coach on it. The whole Rodriguez thing reminded me a lot about Mike Price and how he left on the cusp of a BCS bowl. I don’t want to rehash the whole fiasco, the burnt bridges, etc, we’ve beaten that thing to death. And although the whole Price-to-Alabama thing drug out for about a week of rumors and such, and this Rodriguez thing started on a Friday and was over by Sunday night, but still, it goes to show that no matter what program you are, no matter who your coach might be, no matter what bowl you are about to play in, you just never, ever know.

All I do know? As this hoops season gets into the meat of the schedule, I’m going to constantly remind myself that things are absolutely great RIGHT NOW, and I’m not going to wring my hands over Tony bolting. Sure, he says all the right things, but let’s be serious, every big-time job that comes open this spring/summer and Tony’s name will be thrown into the rumor mill. Even if he’s not a true candidate, the media will at least throw his name against the wall and see if it sticks. What if Coach K is sick and tired of the back problems and decides to call it a career at Duke? What if Roy Williams gets another One Shining Moment at Carolina, and decides at his age, it can’t get any better, so enough is enough? When you are that young and that good, it’s only natural that you will be on every AD’s radar if you are looking to implement a great program. So brace yourselves, because we all know it’s coming.

As a true fan, I’m going to embrace the “precious present” and not fret over what the future may bring. I’m going to enjoy this as much as I can, because we may never get back to this spot again (seriously, we’re #6 in the nation and undefeated right now!?!?!). I look at highlights from our 2002 football season or the 2003 Holiday Bowl, and think of how long ago that feels already, and man, why didn’t I enjoy it more? I refuse to make that mistake again. I will enjoy this ride, for as long as it can last.