First and foremost, I would like to let you all know that my girlfriend and I had a baby last Friday so it’s been a crazy tiresome week in which I simply haven’t had time to write. The baby’s name is Braxtyn Lee and we plan on turning him Coug as soon as he learns what it means haha. The weekend and throughout this week we’ve actually had an uptick in Cougar-centric news, and I’m here to hopefully catch you all up! Let’s take a look:
In the most recent news, it was brought to my attention by WSU Sports Blog that Anthony Laurenzi, one of our presumable starters on the D-line coming into the season, was let go by Mike Leach and the team yesterday. It was confirmed by Cougfan today. Laurenzi was apparently caught stealing headphones from Walmart and let go sometime Thursday. I am shaking my head at this move by anybody with a scholarship at the D-1 level. I guess live and learn, but this is a tough one for Laurenzi and especially for the Cougs, who are already thin in the front 7. With Fall camp a week away, the Cougs will reshuffle their D-line and probably get much younger in the process.
Before getting to more football news, thought I’d mention that the 2012/2o13 Cougar Men’s Basketball Schedule has been released, and it gives us 3 or 4 pretty intriguing matchups in the pre-Pac portion. The first away game is at Pepperdine, which we should handle but the road test is always a different challenge, especially after EWU and Utah Valley come to town to “warm-ups”. Obviously Kansas will be a real difficult challenge in Kansas City, and either STL or TAMU after that. And then a huge six game home stretch keeps the Cougs in Pullman and hopefully they can take full advantage of rivalry games against Idaho and Gonzaga, as well as an always pesky Portland squad. It’s a ways away, but some interesting things are on deck for Cougar basketball when we start getting into that.
On the docket earlier in the week was Pac-12 Media Day, in which all coaches and a select player or two from each Pac school is represented in a preseason “questionnaire” by various media. Jeff Tuel and Travis Long joined Coach Mike Leach to field questions and give their spin on the upcoming season. To comment on our photo: Jeff Tuel looks like our model American citizen while Travis looks like our model American college student, just classic. And look at dad in the background! I got a kick out of that.
But to continue on the original thought, all the hubbub surrounding our Cougars has been about the BYU game, since it is a: the first game of the year and televised by ESPN, b: a game signifying the return of Leach to his alma mater, and c: of course the first game of the new regime of Cougar football. So naturally, there were some questions thrown out about the Cougar on Cougar battle that will show-down Sept 29 in Provo. Here is a nice article wrapping that up. And then a nice little blurb from Tuel speaking to Scott Enyeart:
Also, WSU has released a prelim depth chart, via Christian Caple, giving us a look at what the coaches have in mind going into Fall camp. It’s actually not at all a bad group of playmakers, but the issue will be staying healthy all year to avoid exposing major depth issues throughout the roster. Looking at the starters:
QB: Jeff Tuel – RB: Ricky Galvin OR Carl Winston – BH: Max Hersey – WR: Marquess Wilson, Kristoff Williams, Bennett Bontemps – O-line (from left to right): John Fullington, Wade Jacobson, Matt Goetz, Dan Spitz, Rico Forbes
SS: Deone Bucannon – FS: Tyree Toomer or Casey Locker – CB: Demante Horton and Nolan Washington – LBS: Eric Oertel, Chester Sua, Travis Long (BUCK) and Darryl Monroe – D-line: Xavier Cooper, Kalafitoni Pole and Steven Hoffart
It’s nice to be a mere 5 weeks away from our first Cougar football game and as the season draws near we’ll be ramping back up here at ACU. Hopefully you’re as excited as I am to watch the Cougs in action. A final couple notes, the girlfriend and I were able to drive by Martin today and all she could say was “WOW, that’s even bigger in person!”. It is breathtakingly different than anything we have had and I am excited to see the dynamic of the crowd effect as the sound resonates back off of the new structure. After looking at it I compare it to what used to be (in retrospect) a high school structure at a college field. Truly puts us on the stadium map in Pac-12 football.
I’ve also heard that the Crimson endzones are being put on hold this season and probably for next season too because the brand new Football Operations Building will require an entire field turf re-installation at it’s completion. Since that structure has been speculated to take 15 months to complete, it stands to reason that two seasons will pass before we see crimson in the endzones, which is too bad as I was really looking forward to the new look. However, we will see a white outline on the mid-field logo apparently, so that will hopefully make the logo “pop” a bit more (like we need more “pop” right?). Speaking of the Football Ops Building, this is yet another step (assuming it’s approved as it should be by Regents after the 2012 season) in the maturation of the Cougar football program and overall program at Washington State, putting us in the limelight as a legitimate Pac-12 program. I am just very excited for what’s here and what’s on deck.