Soft Schedule = Hope for ’09?

Wolverine opens this weekend. Early reviews? Eh. Sounds as though it’s just OK. Maybe the lone Wolverine angle can’t quite carry an entire movie? But a little something for the ladies, I’m sure there are plenty of shots of HUUUUUUUGGGEEE Jackman without his shirt on. And the X-men geeks can, well, get their GEEK on. So enjoy, as the summer blockbuster season is now officially upon us!

Meanwhile, looking at the WSU football schedule for this year, one thing hit me like a 2×4 across the face. Is it me, or does it NOT look all that difficult? Now the PAC-10 slate is it’s usual toughness, in the round-robin approach that is now the norm. In-conference road games at USC, Oregon and Cal won’t be a walk in the park. And for what it’s worth, the great Ted Miller weighed in on the craziness of the round-robin scheduling of the PAC-10.

But getting back to the schedule for a second. I know in recent seasons, we’ve had what was regarded as a difficult schedule, at least according to Phil Steele. Last year, not so bad, but still rated as the 28th most difficult schedule of 2008 (*out of 120 teams). But 2007 was entirely more difficult, coming in as the 3rd toughest in the country. So, I thought I would see what old Phil had to say about the 2009 schedules, etc. And guess what? He’s already got something up on ’09, including a breakdown of toughest to weakest schedules for the upcoming season.

And the hunch was absolutely correct – WSU is rated as having the 96th most “difficult” schedule based on win percentages from last year! Replacing Okie State with 1-11 SMU might have something to do with it….but still, when you are coming off 2-11 yourself, having a strength of schedule rating in the 90’s doesn’t sound too bad.

Side note – the school that hates us right now with the hotness of a thousand suns (UW)? They were rated as having the most difficult schedule in the country in both 2007 and 2008. But 2009? 84th most difficult. What’s weird is that includes having LSU to open their season. But they also added Idaho, so, there you go. But whatever.

In that same rivalry mode, Jerry Brewer of the Times tries to pour gasoline on the hate-fest. But it didn’t really go anywhere.

“I hate to burst your bubble, but there’s no animosity between me and Jim,” Woodward said Wednesday, adding that the two will probably have fun with this controversy during the Pac-10 Conference meetings in Phoenix next week. “I think the world of Jim.”

And our own favorite, Jim Moore, tried the same approach, to try and instigate things. This time, both sides were a little more blunt, with Woodward sticking to his “they should have told their alums to zip it” view, while Sterk saying it was just insane for an AD to criticize a school President:

“It was so unbelievable, the statement,” Sterk said. “It’s one thing to say something about a coach or an AD, but to make a statement about a president really crosses the line.

“In the higher-education world, the president is held in high esteem. Us ADs, no one gives a rip about us … I’m joking, but (ripping a) president is in a completely different category. You don’t do that.”

Maybe they can stick them both in a jar, shake it up a little bit, see if they will fight!

But you know what? It makes for good copy, but I’m over it already. Just move on. But one can imagine their handshake when they see each other next week, that Jim Sterk just might give the grip a little extra squeeze?

That’s about it for a slow Thursday. Still hoping for some news on the Martin Stadium fundraiser in the next day or so. ENJOY YOUR THURSDAY, and GO COUGS!

12 Responses to “Soft Schedule = Hope for ’09?”

  1. Stiffmiester Says:

    Sounds like Woody is trying to back track a little. Boo Hoo Fuskies, I guess your Blurple and gold is what happens when you hold your breath like a little kid too long and then piss your self.
    On the Boneball front, what a get at this late date, Welcome Reggie Moore. Had visits to UCKLA and Memphis but chose us? Outstanding.

  2. Sedihawk Says:

    I hear that Stiffy. It does look a little like backtrack. But whatever man. I’m sick of it already. They’ve said their side of things, we’ve said ours, now let’s move on. But a lot of drama between Qwest Field and their stadium failure.

    Here’s the reality though. THEY are to blame for Qwest. Sterk and WSU announced they were backing away from the table, but what choice did we have? UW’ers were the ones who were being unreasonable in regards to a “neutral” field. Anyone who would have liked the idea of UW getting 50K tickets for that game? Insane.

    The renovation tax bill, sure, there were “small Cougars making irritating noise” or whatever they want to say. But come on. Ed Murray blames the eastern WA republicans for killing the bill based on the WSU pressure. REALLY? Does he realize that eastern WA republicans don’t exactly make up a senate majority? If his bill was so great, it could have overcome their objections, couldn’t it? In sheer numbers alone, the Dems have the power in WA. But he obviously couldn’t even sell his own party on the idea either to get it on the floor for a vote. He’s simply casting wide to reel in his scapegoat, and clearly he’s going to run with the angry, uninformed WSU fan angle. It’s the easiest way out and directs the anger from his constituents away from his failures and instead towards the enemies across the Cascades.

    And man, I don’t know what to think on this Reggie Moore. It could be a major score, and it is a nice replacement for Chadwick in this class. But I don’t know much about the kid, other than he signed with Fresno St and then wanted out. It is cool to see he had visits lined up with some bigger name schools, but who knows what that means. Still, I like the idea of adding another guard who can handle the ball!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Good calls on the schedule but notre dame’s bad 2008 brings things down. They will be much tougher this season than their 2008 record.

  4. '03CouveCoug Says:

    I’m over the bickering as well, so it’s nice to talk about actual football.

    I think the toughest part of the schedule isn’t necessarily who the Cougs are playing, but that 2 MONTH stretch of away games that’s only broken up by Homecoming on 10/10 could be a real tough haul. The Pac-10 schedule makers sure didn’t do WSU any favors in that regard. Oh well, at least the Cougs have a good shot at getting off to a 3-0 or 2-1 start with the likes of Stanford (nice to get a potentially winnable Pac-10 game early and catch them ill-prepared), SMU and UH. Perhaps our guys build a little momentum before the practically 8 week roady.

  5. Sedihawk Says:

    Couve, you are right on. It is scary what that stretch looks like, at least on paper. Better win some September game(s)? November doesn’t look so bad though. UCLA in Pullman in November? Even in the worst of times you usually like that.

    I am not thrilled with opening the season with a league game, even if it is at home vs. Stanford. But they might as well jump right into the fray! I just remember UW talking you-know-what about Oregon all summer long, to the point some of them actually believed they would win. Then the game started, and that was that!

    Good call on ND anony. They kind of have a “sleeper” feel to them this year. Even though they always play a tough schedule, it doesn’t look so bad this year. I don’t know, something feels like they are going to have a big turnaround. And it’s not like they went 3-9 or something worse last year. They did win 7 games, plus they absolutely steamrolled Hawaii in the bowl game. They might be a LOT better.

  6. Woody Says:

    What we have been witnessing the last couple of days is a serious case of CYA by Woodward and Murray.

    The blame WSU game is to distract UW Alums and Murray constituents of their own failures.
    From the very beginning of this issue in LAST YEARS Leg. Session: Sterk and Floyd were adamant, we are going to stay out of it. What part of we are going to stay out if it, did Woodward not understand.

    What no one has mentioned, if their plan was so brilliant there are far more UW Alums and Fans that could have used the same phone lines/methods to support the Bill. If it was just a little group of Cougars, surely that could have been trumped by a massive group of Huskies. Maybe it wasn’t just Cougs who thought the plan stunk? Hmmmm?

    The other thing that no one is mentioning, thanks to Murray and the UW Athletic Department for attaching that Albatross of a stadium renovation on the Key Arena legislation, it looks like Key Arena/Seattle Center plans are history. So, if you are a fan of the Sonics and Pro basketball and had a glimmer of hope that we would get a team in the next 10 years, call the UW athletic department and Sen Murray and thank them for ending those chances. If you are a Husky and Sonics fan you get nothing out of this!

    Also, thank them for allowing Clay Bennett to not have to pay the 30 mil he owes Seattle, because our legislature could not get anything done. That would have helped 70% of the city’s budget shortfall. Hmmm, could we say thanks to UW greed and feeling of entitlement, people in Seattle are going to lose their jobs? Maybe that is too harsh.
    But without question the Key Arena Bill would have had far more momentum and chance without the Husky Stadium Albatross and if that would have passed Bennett would have had to write a 30 mil check to the city of Seattle.

    If you are a UW alum and mad there is plenty of blame to go around, start with your own house move to your own legislators and THEN head east of the mountains if you are not satisfied after that.

    Go Cougs!


  7. '03CouveCoug Says:

    Well said, Woody.

    Going back to the schedule… Sedi, like you, I wasn’t thrilled about kicking off the year against a Pac-10 foe, but I choose to look at it as a great motivator for our guys. Nothing like an in-league game starting the season to keep you pumped for those 6 am weightlifting schedules and 3 pm conditioning sessions in 90 degree heat during the “optional” summer time training! Also, glad its Stanford and not Cal, Oregon, or SC (although Stanford is no slouch…I think they’ll make a bowl this year).

    Plus, you can bet that our guys won’t have the attitude that UW did going into the UO game in their opener last year. I can imagine that Coach Wulff will have no trouble keeping this group humble and hungry to prove that they are a MUCH better team than last season. The mutts thought they would win simply because Jakey-poo was taking the field for them!

  8. kaddy Says:

    ’03 Couve Coug –

    You going to the auction on 6/5? I’m on the auction committee – if so, any chance of you finding 9 other people and buying a table?

    It saves everyone $10 if they go that route, rather than buying individual tickets.

    Let me know –

  9. '03CouveCoug Says:


    As a matter of fact, I’m already all set at a table…going with my father-in-law and family. I’ll see you there!

  10. kaddy Says:

    Good – if you know of anyone else that might be willing to get a table, let me know. I have the invitations, and we need to sell tables! Only 3 so far – yours, mine, and another guy’s.

  11. Lucas Says:

    Patrick Simon recommitted to CKB today! Giggity

  12. Sedihawk Says:

    That’s another potentially good “get” for Bone! The guy is on a roll right now.

    Anyone notice that in Simon’s article with Grippi, he comments on the up-tempo change to the offense next year? That’s the same kind of thing the new kid from Beach, Moore, said the other day. Here’s what Moore said:

    “Coach Bone is trying to change to a fast-paced program,” said Moore, who first talked with WSU before former coach Tony Bennett left for the University of Virginia. “That’s what really attracted me.”

    Then here’s what Simon said today:

    “We talked about strategy, about how he was changing the offense and defense and how I fit into it. I liked how it was going. I liked the up-tempo, kind of freeness of his system.”

    Up-tempo? Freeness on offense? What the??!? Next year might be a real shock to the system after all. Maybe that’s why nobody is bailing on the current roster, including the trio of young impact kids coming in? That the only one to even back out of anything is Chadwick, and that was in part due to a huge family tie to the Bennett’s? Hmmm….

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