CF.C Mailbag

RECRUITING AND THE polls. Just some of the topics capturing the interest of those mailing the CF.C Mailbag this week. Oh, and there's also a game this Saturday. And a chance to see the future at linebacker in the form of a redshirt freshman. He's yet another one of those Cougars that just.. makes.. plays.

From: Raymond Lancaster
I know.. I know.. one game at a time.. give it a 110%.. stay focused..  But I was rooting for the Cougs long before this team and will be rooting for the Cougs long after this team is history.  We have lots of new faces for next year.. Who they going to be, and what's the outlook?

A:  We, too, are enjoying the ride this year -- but we're always casting one eye to the future as well.  The ridiculously short answer to the part about the outlook is this:  Good.  And much better than many think.  (Can't wait for the Pac-10 media pool next year, boys.  You crazy scamps, you.) 

As far as "who", and a more detailed answer on the outlook, there's no way to cover that in this short a space.  There's probably no way to completely cover it in an article all on its own.  But that's what we're going to do.  Sometime between November 24th and January 1st, there will be a CF.C mailbag dedicated solely to this topic. 

In addition to the new names, we're pretty confident that players such as Scott Davis, Jason Hill, Odell Howard and Steve Dildine, (just to mention a few), will figure prominently in the article.  Stay tuned.

From: Chris Lewis
What is a "Soft" commitment?  Thanks.

A:  First off, I'm assuming you're talking about recruiting and not what the UW employs on pass protection.  Most often, it means a recruit verbals but still chooses to continue the recruiting process, such as taking official visits to other prospective schools.

So what's the point of an athlete making a soft commitment?  Good question.  It seems pretty unnecessary from this chair.  We'd rather a recruit just say "So-and-so is my leader but I still want to take my remaining trips."  But hey, that's just us. 

Currently, we know of no WSU recruits who would be classified as a soft verbal.  That being said, verbal commitments are not binding.  Every school has lost players who at one time verbally committed.  And undoubtedly, that will continue.  Welcome to the wonderful world of recruiting.  

From: Anonymous
In your opinion, which are some of the better polls? And how about some of the worst ones?

A:  As far as some of the better polls, it really depends on your criteria and its hard to pick one that doesn't have its share of foibles.  But if you want to pick who is the worst, the answer is pretty clear.  The NY Times Computer Ranking, hands down. 

Taking a look at a few standout examples from last week's NY Times poll,  Oct. 4 - 10. 
--They had Oklahoma at No. 6.  Sixth.   
--They had UNLV as the 14th best team in the nation. 
--Boston College checked in at No. 19.
--Both UNLV and BC ranked higher than Purdue, (20th) Southern California, (22nd) and Washington State (25th).

Turning to this week's effort, Oct. 11 - 17, they still do not have Oklahoma in the top spot, placing them at No. 2.  Florida State, No. 5 the prior week, was soundly defeated by Miami.  Yet FSU remains right where they began; in 5th place again this week.  How pleasant for them. 

While we believe Notre Dame is better than their record, and we fully recognize the ranked teams the Irish have played, we're just not sure a victory over Pitt should have vaulted a 2-3 team 36 spots, into the NY Times Top 20.

The beat down of Stanford last week at the hands of Southern Cal vaulted the Trojans 14 spots, to No. 8.  No argument there, they should have been around that spot to begin with.  But provided the Cougs take care of business in a similar manner in Palo Alto, lets compare where the NY Times places Washington State next week.  Just for fun.

Keep in mind The NY Times Poll is used in the BCS.  Keep in mind they also refuse to divulge the methodology used to determine their rankings.  Probably because it's a bunch of monkeys who flunked out of Shop at Monkey State College who are happily jumping up and down on a computer running software created by Jayson Blair

Other than all that, we think The NY Times Computer Ranking is just the tops.

Editor's Note: We're still researching several questions.  If yours wasn't answered, look for it in the coming weeks.  And send in another one just to teach us a lesson.   

We'll answer as many letters as possible each week.
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