CF.C Mailbag

SURE, THE DISMANTLING of Oregon was the highlight of the year ... so far. But there are <i>many</i> highs (and lows) throughout a college football season -- and we're not even at the halfway point yet. Still, it was hard not to savor the avalanche of praise bestowed upon the Cougs after they went off in Autzen. Even the "experts" got in on the fun. Speaking of that merry band ...

From: Aaron
What can I do to become a college football "expert"?  I'd like to change jobs and well, that just sounds like a damned fine one..

A:  Be wrong most of the time.  Yellow journalism is also helpful.  And try growing another chin or three.

From: Rich Ski
Last week's CF.C Mailbag plugged the WSU Coach's Radio Show.  Last year, WSU awarded the broadcast contract to KXLY, and they did away with the streaming audio and show archive on the Internet!   Many Coug fans I correspond with find it difficult to either receive a broadcast or be available at that time.  What can we do to get KXLY to provide this wonderful service? 

A:  Excellent question.  Wish I had more encouraging news for you.  One issue, (of many), is that SAG and AFTRA started requiring commercial royalties for internet broadcasts a few years back - which caused most stations to simply stop broadcasting online. 

WSU could have Yahoo stream the Coach's show - but on a pay-per basis.  The question is how many people would pay for the broadcast, and would it be enough to even cover the costs.

Still, there has been a recent trend by stations to once again broadcast online.  Hopefully, some of the restraints that moved broadcasts off the internet in the first place are beginning to be relaxed and/or addressed.  Hopefully as well, WSU and their broadcasting partners can find a way to make it work.  But I wouldn't say I'm optimistic at this stage.  If anybody has any suggestions, pray tell.   Think I saw a message board somewhere around here..

From: Anonymous
I know this issue has been discussed on the boards quite a bit -- but its worth revisiting.  When are the Cougs finally going to get some respect?  Not talking about aimless or unjustified praise - just what they deserve.

A:  Its going to take some time.  But there are subtle developments that shouldn't be overlooked.  In the preseason rags, magazines, the Cougs were picked to finish in the bottom half of the Pac-10.  But in those same rags, magazines, the Cougs were consistently singled out as one of those "tough" opponents on other teams schedules.  (Ironic.  Still, something you didn't see in years past.)

Second, '03 has been pretty big on the national level so far.  Current questions from the National media are centered on ‘How is it that you guys are doing so well this year?  Is it that the cupboard wasn't bare, even with the loss of all the star power?'  You can almost hear the gears grinding. 

(But expect something of a return next preseason - WSU graduates many seniors.  But it'll be interesting to see if its to the same degree as in years past.  I'm guessing it won't be.  Each year, more and more people seemingly take notice of the program.)

Third, while the Cougs' got zero preseason props after finishing in the Top 10 two consecutive seasons and returning star talent, it still benefited them rankings-wise.  Consider: It took the Cougs three weeks to crack the top 25 this season, and they did so with a 2-1 mark.  In 2001, it took a 6-0 record before voters recognized the Cougs in the rankings.  Playing perennial powerhouses like Notre Dame and Colorado certainly helped. 

There are other issues as well - I could write a book.  Things are slowly changing.  But they are changing.

From: Frank
How much do polls really matter?  I don't think they matter - until the last one.  I know that's a cliché, but its true.

A:  I agree, to an extent.  A couple of factors. 

A team rated highly to start the season, (even if they don't deserve to be), doesn't have as far to go if they lose once or twice.  They'll fall a bit but its not nearly as difficult to make that ground up.  But a solid team that gets no preseason respect, like the 2001 Cougs.. if they were to lose but once early on, they'd have miles to go before they can claw their way into the polls, (and the spot they should have rightfully occupied in the first place.) 

Consider, oh I don't know, Washington this year.  They were ranked 17th (AP) and 19th (Coaches) to start the season.  The came Ohio State - boom.  Yet three games later, after Indiana, Idaho and Stanford; where is the UW ranked? 

18th and 17th, respectively.

Publicity and exposure are also greatly affected by being ranked.  Further, rankings can have an impact on the year round endeavor that is recruiting.  The more time you spend in the polls, the more exposure you garner for your program.

From: Anonymous
This isn't football related.  I don't know who to vote for in the California Governor's election.  Any suggestions?

A:  Rick Neuheisel. 

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