Archive for the ‘Mkristo Bruce’ Category

Have Ya SEEN the Line?

September 2, 2008

Some quick things to get your week started after the holiday weekend.

  1. Have ya seen the betting line this week? Basically anywhere from 13 to 13.5 points in favor of Cal. Not sure if you follow betting point spreads, but to think the home team automatically gets three points out of the chute, they are saying that the action is on Cal winning by at least two TD’s. I know we see some crazy early-season lines, but even with just one game in the books in which we looked pretty inept for 3/4ths of the game, this seems pretty out there.

    To put it in proper context, we have only been this big of a home underdog twice since the turn of the century. In 2004, we got an amazing 24 points against USC, but they still covered in a 42-12 romp in the sleet and rain. But in 2006, we were a 16-pt dog to USC in Pullman, and only lost 28-22. And if you really want to dig in, we are 6-2 against the number in our last eight home games as a home underdog.

    But, then again….Vegas seems to know what they are doing, don’t they? They aren’t in the business of losing money. And truth be told, they aren’t saying that 13 or 13.5 is what they actually think Cal is going to win by. They are setting that number where they think they will get a lot of betting action on both sides of the line. So we’ll see, but this bears watching as the week rolls on.

  2. Speaking of Cal, they looked impressive week one, but they aren’t exactly USC are they? They did cough up 31 points at home to Michigan State, a Big 10 team that went 7-6 last year and returned only 13 starters, third fewest of any Big 10 team. However, MSU was bringing back their leading rusher and starting QB. But sophomore WR Mark Dell, who went off for over 200 yards receiving, had just 20 catches all of last year. If you are looking for something to feel good about offensively for this week, maybe this bodes well for Brandon Gibson??
  3. All the NFL stuff shook out over the weekend as final cuts were announced. Bumpus, as we thought, made the practice squad in a move that wasn’t a big surprise. We also heard some good things about Jed Collins, and sure enough, he landed with the Eagles practice squad. Finally, MKB made the Jags practice squad.

    Not so good for Alex Brink however. He was released, as the Texans are keeping just two QB’s, and at last report had NOT been signed to the practice squad. It’s too bad, because initially the buzz was pretty positive that he looked like a guy who could have an opportunity to at least stick with Gary Kubiak’s west-coast offense in Houston. But it wasn’t to be. Hopefully he’ll find his place in the NFL, but if not, well, good luck to the “BIG APPLE”.

  4. How about that Rick Neuheisel?? Our own Longball went out on a limb and picked them to win, 28-24, missing by only a point, while I went with the rest of the national media and was convinced Tennessee would smother the Bruins. Sure enough, even though Kevin Craft had a miserable FOUR-INT first half, he played great after halftime and the Bruins snuck one out.

    Still, you have to wonder how many of these types of games they can actually survive. Just 29 yards rushing, only 288 yards of total offense, four turnovers and they still win? Maybe there’s an issue with Tennessee opening up out west, where they lost for the second consecutive year (remember their loss at Cal last year?).

    UCLA didn’t escape the game unscathed, losing three big-time seniors in Kahlil Bell, Marcus Everett and Logan Paulson. Basically their best skill-position guys on the team. But yet again, we see that there’s actually a reason they play the games! Hardly anyone saw this coming, so, good call Longball.

That’s about it for today. We’ll be back tomorrow with a full recap of Coach Wulff’s radio show tonight, plus some other stuff. Enjoy your Tuesday, and GO COUGS!

Wednesday Ramblings

August 27, 2008

When is it NOT good to lose 300 pounds? Well, yesterday for one, as the d-line has shed some weight in the form of Andy Roof. Coach Wulff wasn’t thrilled with the decision, and per Vince at SR.com, one can understand why.

“From where he was a year ago, he has changed his life around 180 degrees,” Wulff said in the statement, “and as a coaching staff we have seen the positive impact he made on this program.”

When asked to elaborate, Wulff didn’t hesitate.

“For any … person on our team, we’re always looking for people to better themselves,” Wulff said during the conference. “To continue to make smarter and more wiser decisions. When people are doing that, and are clearly showing those signs, we want to continue to reward those people in our program.

“That’s what we’re here to do. They’re going to make mistakes, we’re here to help them along the way.”

There are some decent arguments on both sides of the fence on this one. Do you abandon a troubled kid who has suddenly turned things around? Wulff is right, kids are going to make mistakes and they want to have the support system in place. But he’s also right, in that good behavior needs to be rewarded, but bad behavior? Not so much.

The timing, for one, stinks. As “Kaddy” pointed out in comments yesterday, we’re less than a week from school starting. Roof was on campus, not only practicing with the team but also enrolled in school and had an apartment. Now that Roof has been expelled, well, who buys out his lease? Should the student conduct board pass the hat to buy it out?

Then again, as “Michelle” pointed out, let’s get real. It’s not like this was a one-time offense. Roof was on his fourth strike, and normally it’s a three-and-you-are-out system. He has to be held to the same standards as the other students on campus, and if he’s given a free pass, well, isn’t he just being enabled? Behavior like his cannot simply go unpunished. Regardless of how well he had been doing in the most recent of times, he had his chances, and the entire body of work is taken into account.

It’s a shame though, any way you slice it. And we certainly don’t know all the details of the latest offense, as there is a lot of talk out there as to what happened. But in the end, everyone loses – Roof, the coaches, the fans. The trickle-down to what it could mean to the defense is a big concern. On the surface, one might shrug at the thought of a backup tackle leaving the program. But this team? Where the tackles were thin to begin with? The young, thin defensive interior just got younger and thinner. And in this case, young and thin isn’t what you want on the inside….

Moving on, lost in the shuffle was Dan Rowlands stepping away from football while he still can. Bum shoulders have ruined his last season of football, so the o-line will continue it’s shuffle. Micah Hannam will now slide outside to replace Rowlands, and young sophomore guard Brian Danaher gets his chance. Danaher, well, we don’t know a whole lot. He did play in one game as a backup last year. I guess we’ll all find out on Saturday.

Next, is time running out for Mkristo Bruce and Michael Bumpus? Mkristo got off to a hot start for the Jacksonville Jags, recording 2.5 sacks in the first pre-season game. But then he had a couple of tackles the second week, and now after the third game, he didn’t record a single tackle. Meanwhile, the only first-round holdout still left in the NFL, Jacksonville DE Derrick Harvey, finally agreed to a contract last night after missing the first 33 days of camp. Hopefully old MKB can stick with the team, but, well, you can more or less read the writing on the wall.

Bumpus was making waves early on in Seahawks camp, routinely singled out by WR coach Keith Gilbertson and even the big show himself, Mike Holmgren. But after three catches in week one, then two catches in week two, Bump didn’t get a ball on Monday night in San Diego. Now Seattle did make a few roster cuts last night, including WR Joel Filani, so it still isn’t over for Michael. But Bump didn’t get much PT on Monday, and with just one game left on Friday night, this is it. Bump has been a long shot, at best, to make the final 53, but let’s hope he made enough of an impression to be on the practice squad. That’s not exactly the end of the world, and hey, Jordan Kent from Oregon was on the practice squad last year, and now clearly will not only make the club this year, but could even start in the 3-WR sets. Hang in there Bump!

Have you seen the new Martin Stadium sign?

It’s, well, it’s “alright” from the pics at the official site, which you can see here. A little different than I think we thought it was going to be, at least from the artist renditions.


It’s not the super-terrific Taj Mahal grand entrance that folks were dreaming of, but it is certainly better than what we used to have, which was, uh, nothing. Remember??

Yeesh.

Finally, we thought it would be a good idea to see what the Okie State blogs had to say about grand old WSU. I couldn’t find a whole lot, but there is some stuff floating around.

That’s about it for a busy Wednesday. Look for our first official “Football Friday…Only on Thursday” tomorrow. Enjoy your day, and as always, GO COUGS!