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September 18, 2009
The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - Some Good Wazzu News
On the campus of Washington State University, there is parody and sometimes a lot of it. At one end of the spectrum, you have those who enjoy an alcohol beverage or 12 roughly five days a week. Then there are those that absolutely abhor even the sight of the devil's drink (I know, hard to believe they exist here). Some people feel the need to get as dressed up as possible to go class while others, like myself, feel it's fine to show up to our broadcast classes in sweats and a ratty shirt.
Even in the athletic department, there is a hilarious amount of parody. Check that, a disappointing and baffling amount of parody. A program that needs the cash desperately to fund a much needed stadium expansion is finding itself in one of its darkest and deepest holes in the program's history after many winning seasons and bowl bids. Another program, after years of floundering at the bottom of the conference are finding themselves coming on incredibly strong and experiencing their finest start since they last found themselves in the postseason.
Football is in the very depths of what could become a years-long depression if something is not corrected soon. They are suffering through a season without a win and went nearly all of last season suffering the same fate. This was a team that is not far removed from a season with at least a .500 season mark where they actually peaked into the top 25. For some there seems to be at least a semblance of a future for this squad but try telling that to others who are already jumping of the ship.
Here's where the parody comes in. Volleyball is having one of their finest seasons in a number of years. After years of struggling to even get to double digit wins, the team has equaled their win total from all of last season. Not only that, the team is off to their best start since 2002 when they found themselves in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Campus-wide, this team has not been getting enough credit for their accomplishments and this column has been no less guilty of that. These student-athletes have re-dedicated themselves under second year head coach Andrew Palileo who has transformed this program back to their success of yesteryear. Many people actually forget that the volleyball team took consistent trips to the post season after many seasons of losing and losing a lot.
Is parody a bad thing? Sometimes. In terms of quality beer production, it's probably great. But in an athletic department, as little parody as possible is the key to a school's unending athletic success. Not every team needs to be volleyball good but they need to at least have near a .500 record and be incredibly far away from what the football team has done this year. But sometimes, athletic departments have times where their lesser-attended and well-known sports are having greater success than their moneymaking programs.
Is the solution to this problem to give Palileo the head football job? Probably not, unless his credentials before his arrival at South Dakota State have an awful lot of high school and Division I-AA [now FCS] coaching in it. But maybe the demise of the football squad and the rise of the volleyball team is just the natural ebb and flow of athletics at a university. At times, the football team will be incredibly good and volleyball will find itself lower than the hardwood they play on. And still at other, the football team will bury themselves into the turf they stand on and volleyball will rise to the rafters of Bohler Gym and prosper greater than any of us have ever imagined. Alright, not more than we ever imagined but they could get up there.
As usual though, I've been rambling for somewhere in the area of 600 words and completely wasting everyone's Friday afternoon. So here's my point: the football team stinks and the volleyball team rocks. Is it that simple? No. It never is. Nature goes through its up and downs as does Cougar athletics. The football team will get back to a bowl game and the volleyball team will go back to struggling to score points against even Idaho. The point is: be patient. Everything will be back to the way you want it eventually.
Last Week: 4-5
Cal continues their dominance on the road against a tough and up and coming Big Ten foes at their brand new, open air, going to be cold as hell in the winter stadium.
Those Damn Hippies 34, El Gophers De Oro 17
Here's an intriguing one: are the Utes still good and are the Ducks still reeling? This man says yes to both.
The Beehive State University 37, The Phil Knight Lovers 24
No Rob Gronkowski? No victory. Especially in Iowa City.
Hawk Eyeballs 24, The Mike Stoops Train 10
No Jacquizz Rodgers? No victory. Are these getting formulaic? Probably.
A Cat That's A Bear 28, Corvallis Beavers 21
Alright, formula is over. This one is simple. Stanford is good, the Spartans are not. Enough said.
The Red Trees 27, If There's A San Jose State, Where's San Jose University? 7
There's a Louisiana-Monroe? I thought Monroe was a town near my old house. Who knew?
The Devilenas 48, Fighting Hawks 10
The back-up quarterback against Kansas State riding a two-game winning streak spells likely disaster.
More Wildcats 24, The Westwood Bears 17
USC has the back-up going but they still have all the playmakers to beat an up and coming Pups team.
Lords of South Central 38, Montlake Muttonheads 17
And now, for your Cougar picks:
Southern Methodist 21, Washington State 17 says good friends and former co-worker with the Mariners Maks Goldenshteyn.
Southern Methodist 38, Washington State 17 says alumni and new Thunderbirds public relations man Rick Scott.
Washington State 30, Southern Methodist 23 says hard working communication majoring freshman Chris Fredricksen
This is the last winnable game for quite some time for the Crimson and Gray. And after last week's performance, I don't know how much confidence I have in this team. They came out flat against a run and shoot offense and they are facing the same offense this week. And frankly, I just don't see any fire in the players to win even this game. They just don't care and the coaches are having a tough time motivating them.
Even I'm off the bandwagon because I really don't think this team can prove me differently.
Southern Methodist 35, Washington State 24
Obscure Pick of the Week: One is a small liberal arts and sciences college in Ripon, Wisconsin (near Fond du Lac) the other is a private, liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois (near nothing). So, a bunch of rich trust fund kids with nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon?
Knox College 23, Ripon College 10
Dunderheads of the Head: The city of Gelsenkirchen, Germany - for accidentally advertised pornography on the city's webpage. Well, the upside is young men ages 18-24 have never been so interested in city government.
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