After getting on the right track last weekend with a 56-6 blowout win over Idaho, the WSU Cougars have a bye this week… pretty much disrupting any momentum they have established.
I wrote in this space a week ago that the WSU Cougars were in trouble* after falling to 0-2 against two non-FBS football programs. It doesn’t take a site expert like me to understand the importance of their game last Saturday against perennial doormat Idaho. With head coach Mike Leach calling his team soft, entitled, annoying millennials, and his team facing prospect of entering Pac-12 play without a single win outside the conference, a 56-6 blowout was exactly what they needed.
So what’s next? Uh, a Bye Week. I’ve never played organized football with uniforms and pads and crowds, but I can imagine the relief a bye week brings. You’re sore, you’re hurt, you’re feeling the pressure to perform from everyone–the fans, your coaches, other players, etc.–and you could use a break.
Bye weeks are a great respite from the pressure and pain of the season. But a bye week coming after a much-needed win to watch the rest of the conference play each other while sitting at home with a 1-2 record is less than ideal.
The WSU Cougars still have much to prove this season. Their first two losses to Eastern Washington and Boise State will hang around their necks likely all year, unless they can make some serious noise in the Pac-12 North. And they don’t get to play dark horse Washington until the Apple Cup at the end of the regular season.
Quarterback Luke Falk found a good rhythm against Idaho, the defense played much better and may have found yet another useful linebacker in Frankie Luvu. But the team will have to keep their newfound confidence confined to practices for another week before meeting Oregon on October 1st at home. We’ll have to wait another week to see if this team is for real. For now, WSU Cougars fans, wring your hands and hope.
*I might not have used the the words “were in trouble,” but it was the gist of the article.