The Gess is Best; What Up With Those Beavs?

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!

11 Responses to “The Gess is Best; What Up With Those Beavs?”

  1. Ludawg Says:

    For a poll question, how about your all time favorite Cougar player?


    Any other fan favorites you can come up with.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Hey. Um.. sorry…your poll is bogus. The results tell us nothing about what Coug fans think.

  3. Sedihawk Says:

    Bogus? Mmmm-kay. Sure it’s small sample-size theater here, and we’ll never get thousands of votes, but even just 140 people voting is a good cross-section of Coug fans. Besides, is it really that hard to think that the majority of people would side with Gesser? He’s the only QB in our history to take a team to consecutive bowl games. He was 20-5 his last two seasons, the best by far. Bledsoe and Leaf never even had consecutive winning seasons, and each only appeared in one bowl game. To me it’s a lay-up.

  4. kaddy Says:

    Love Gesser, love Bledsoe, love Leaf. I thought Gesser and Leaf should be a toss-up for #1, with Bledsoe third, although he was obviously the most successful post-WSU.

    OSU is the only Pac-10 team we have a winning record against, and it’s closing fast – we need to pick it up and quick! I have lots of confidence that Wulff will do just that, although he needs a couple of years, so we need to be patient.

    It all comes down to money, and as everyone knows, we are dead last by far in that category.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    True the sample is small but that has nothing to do with it. You can get within 10% of the truth with just 100 people. The thing is, your poll is conducted poorly. You have taken a total convenience sample and in the process, have createdtotal selection bias. Think about it.

    Gesser was a good person, had a crazy cool about him, and was on winning teams. But did he go on to a successful NFL career? I think not. But was he likeable? Of course. With selection bias (via participation bias) only the passionate people write in. Although this site has created a good fan base (myself included), I think 140 people in a couple of days is too much. It seems some people voted more than once. And why would anyone except the passionate fans like to vote more than once? Is this truly what Cougar fans think? Probably not.

    Now in the case of such players as Drew Bledsoe, he went on to a strong NFL career and garnered many votes. Ryan Leaf who helmed the Cougs most successful season ever, who likes the guy? Plus, nobody remembers such players as The Throwin’ Samoan. He is, without a doubt in my mind, the best WSU QB of all-time. I think if you did a well conducted, simple random sampling poll, you would find Brink with many more votes (and probably Brinkhater with a few less). While I’m sure Brinkhater is a solid QB, I’d like to see for myself how he matches up against ‘ol Rosy. Got any tapes, Brinkhater?

    Ah well, I guess it really is hard (well, more like impossible) to run a good poll online. Sedihawk just said to post questions. And I figured I’d show off my knowledge of statistics. Sorry for the rather blunt post before, it wasn’t a flat out diss. Just a concern. Go Cougs!

    PS: Any posts coming up about oour friend Rick the Slick?

  6. Sedihawk Says:

    Your knowledge of polls is impressive. Better than mine, I have no doubt about it. Polls are impossible, but this wasn’t my intention of trying to see a definite black-white, yes-no answer. It was more for user interaction with the site, something we will always encourage.

    How about using your name next time? Anonymous is nice but we’d like to know who you are.

    For what it’s worth, you can’t vote more than once unless you have multiple IP addresses. However I did find out that you can vote more than ONE candidate, which is clearly a flaw. I’ll have to see what I did wrong in setting it up, because you should only get one vote per IP, period.

    But I think you miss the point on the actual question.

    There wasn’t anything mentioned about NFL career, because if there was, then Bledsoe wins in a blowout. The question was, who was the best WSU QB of all time? When you look at the whole body of work at WSU, and in terms of particularly the wins/losses and stats, Gesser has the other guys beat. Bledsoe and Leaf had one great season, but that’s it. Same with Rosey. But none of them can top what Gesser accomplished.

    Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. It’s our first poll and truly the question wasn’t very good. It should have been much more specific, or even “Who was the most POPULAR WSU QB of all time?” But all we do know? The 140 individual IP addresses voted Gesser as #1.

  7. longball Says:

    wow, that is some serious over analysis of the QB poll. If i posted something that stupid i would do it under “anonymous” too.

    I actually voted for Leaf, after thinking about it way too much probably. i have never seen a more talented football player line up for the Cougs and he took us closer to the impossible dream then anyone since Lone Star. The final ding against Gesser for me, personally, was just the lack of an Apple Cup win. This goes for the Samoan too. I think beating the Huskies is a huge factor and the only reason Brink even belongs on this list. Overall, i cant really argue against Gesser. The sheer volume of spine tingling thrills he brought us, as well as his continued love for and involvement in the program make him the top candidate for #1 Coug athlete of all time.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Capitalize your I’s, buddy.

  9. longball Says:

    First the survey police, now the grammar police? of course, they’re both anonymous.

  10. Poux Says:

    No mention of Rypien? I figured one of you clowns from Spokane would have reminded us of his super bowl victory by now…

    FYI the margin of error with a sample size that small is about 11%, not enough to change the outcome. However, the sample is biased as mentioned. I don’t think the intent was to be sceintiic as much as it was to facilitate a discussion, right sidewinder, er, I mean Sedihawk?

    Keep up the good work gentlemen.

    PS Brink sucked.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I wrote the grammar thing not the survey thing.
    And Anonymous is actually my real name.

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