Cougar celebs weigh in on WSU vs. Auburn

IT IS CLEAR the majority of Cougar notables we asked for predictions on Saturday's WSU vs. Auburn tilt can identify with Tim Robbins' character in The Shawshank Redemption.

"Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies," voiced Robbins' character in a letter.

The balloon to open the Cougars' 2013 season hasn't popped yet and this is a fun time for many WSU fans, and fans all around college football whose seasons have yet to begin, because of one thing: hope. Here's how several Cougar notables weighed in on how they see the season opener unfolding.

I think the Cougs take it, 28-24. I think Auburn is going to be a little shocked by WSU's offensive capabilities. I haven't seen a lot of WSU but the way Coach Leach runs his system, I think it's going to be better production and more consistent this year. And I think the D might get fatigued, but I think they're also going to be better and hopefully more consistent this year.
Alex Brink, Former Cougar, NFL and CFL quarterback

The future is now. Cougs win by two TDs.
John "Crimson Seer" Witter, CF.C Managing Editor Emeritus

WSU by 3.
Patrick McManus, Writer and humorist known for his work in Outdoor Life and Field & Stream.

I feel like the Cougs are going to surprise people this year. I had a chance to watch them practice this year and they are practicing fast. Playing at that pace and all the hard work is going to pay off -- if they believe. It all starts Saturday with a 32-27 Coug win!!
Robbie Tobeck, WSU center who played 14 seasons in NFL

So many imponderables -- how WSU's offensive line performs, how Nick Marshall does in his first college start at quarterback, how much to attach to Gus Malzahn's transition in his first year as Auburn head coach? I'd be surprised if this isn't competitive. Auburn 27, WSU 23.
Bud Withers, Seattle Times College Football Writer

The atmosphere and the fast play will give the Cougs trouble early. But I predict a 35-28 Cougar victory. GO COUGS!
Michael Bumpus, Former WSU receiver

Maybe the most difficult thing to do is predict early season college football outcomes. Without a preseason like the NFL, we really have no idea how the talent level stacks up. So, with that disclaimer, I am all in until proven otherwise. Maybe the best WSU defense since 2003, the deepest group of wide receivers in the conference and an improved offensive line going against the least talented team in the SEC. WSU 27, Auburn 24. Furney from 50 late to win it!
Ian Furness, KJR radio host

I think WSU will win 32-24. Halliday passes for 3 TDs and has 300-plus yards passing, WSU with a late interception to seal the game.
Michael Bush, Former WSU receiver

Auburn 35, WSU 27. Cougs will show definite signs of improvement and growth. Let the Leach Era (truly) begin. GO COUGS!!!
Mary Nam, KOMO-TV News anchor

Mike Leach says the lower half of the Pac-12 is better than the lower half of the SEC. Time to find out. Weren't the Tigers 3-9 last year just like we were? So why are they favored by 16 points? Cougs on a Furney field goal as time expires. Cougs 34, Tigers 31.
Jim Moore, Sports journalist

Being from the South and understanding the weather (humidity) plus all that I've read about their QB Nick Marshall. I think the Cougs are in serious trouble. Considering their typical rabid southern fan base and the capability of their new coach, I predict Auburn could win by as many as 28 points.
Jim Walden, Former Cougars coach and WSU radio analyst

The biggest thing for me is this game provides an opportunity. One school has a chance to get their new coach off on the right foot. The other school has a chance to prove they really do have one of the best coaches in the last 15 years of college football. I don't know who will win but I do know the game has the chance to answer some really important questions.
Shawn McWashington, Former Coug receiver and second-year WSU radio color man

My prediction for the WSU @ Auburn game on Saturday is WSU 31, Auburn 28. WSU Defense picks off a pass inside their 30-yard line with less than a minute left in the game to secure the W. Connor Halliday throws for 390 yards and 3 TDS with 2 interceptions but plays well enough late in the game to lead the Cougs on the season to a upset over the SEC and home team Auburn Tigers.
Paul Sorensen, Former WSU All-America Safety

I think the Cougars will be competitive into the third quarter and we'll see significant improvement from the offense. However, with Auburn's size and athleticism, Cougs will wear down in the fourth and lose 38-27.
Jason Puckett, KJR Radio Host

I'm gonna say 20-17 Cougs. Furney hushes the crowd at Jordan-Hare with a clutch FG to win it.
Tony Thompson, Former WSU tight end

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