“I didn’t know what to think about it,” Leach said of the schedule, which was unveiled by the Pac-12 in January. “So I quit thinking about it.”
He finds it so odd that he even turned the question back to solicit a reporter’s view on the pros and cons.
The reporter talked for a bit, referencing the chance to build momentum, before Leach reclaimed the floor.
“Five straight … I’ve never seen it before,” Leach said. “It might be so great I’ll want it every year … I love the first half but am not as fired up about the second half.”
The Cougars open 2017 in Martin Stadium on Sept. 2 against Montana State and then follow with Boise Sate (Sept. 9), Oregon State (Sept. 16), Nevada (Sept. 23) and USC (Friday, Sept. 29).
Over the subsequent eight weeks, they’ll play five road games and two more home games (Oct. 21 vs. Colorado and Nov. 4 vs. Stanford). They have a bye the week before the regular-season finale at Washington.
WSU athletic director Bill Moos sounded as shocked as Leach when talking about the schedule the day it was released. He said at that time:
“We face a unique situation this fall starting the season with five-straight home games. The schedule is out of our control and we will make this a positive, having the opportunity to build momentum early in the year without having to put on a road jersey until Week 6.
"Ideally we would like to have our home schedule more spread out, but playing seven home games for the second-straight season gives our fans the chance to enjoy Martin Stadium at the best time of the year and get us off to a fast start.”
Leach, on Wednesday, struck a tone that fell somewhere between wonderment and bewilderment.
“It’s kind of an odd thing,” he deadpanned.
COUGAR FOOTBALL 2017:
Sept. 2 – Montana State
Sept. 9 – Boise State
Sept. 16 – Oregon State
Sept. 23 – Nevada
Sept. 29 – USC
Oct. 7 – at Oregon
Oct. 13 – at California
Oct. 21 – Colorado (Homecoming)
Oct. 28– at Arizona
Nov. 4 – Stanford (Dad's Weekend)
Nov. 11 – at Utah
Nov. 18 – BYE
Nov. 25 – at Washington (Apple Cup)
(home games in bold face)