CLIMBING BACK TO respectability isn't as easy as I was hoping. Still aiming for that perfect week, but let's face it: Should've had it last week. Two things I learned: Don't make picks out of spite (Beavs) and don't expect Dirkles to pull starters when up four touchdowns. And yes, I know what a palindrome is. I also know what a joke is (I'm just horrible at telling them. My apologies to USC/CSU (and the 57 of you who wrote to me telling me I missed it).

The best part of Pac-10 play beginning? Fewer jokes to come up with each week!!! New material is becoming harder to generate. I can only make fun of my friends for so long before all my shoes get filled with toothpaste and mustard.

Here is your scorecard for this week:

Make up your mind, Dawgs! Is it your offense that's embarrassing your team or your defense? I've said a little prayer that it's both. Carlyle Holiday has gone on record saying UW is the best 0-2 team out there. My apologies to the Ave Shackers, I was going to point out Buffalo was better, but they're 0-3. Irish

Take the under. I don't care what it's set at. Take it. Bet your house. Bet your children's house. Hell, bet your children. Take the under. Cougs

In follow-up to last week's Idaho jabs, did anyone else notice Idaho doesn't have that gigantic inflatable mascot anymore? Somebody must have gotten my list titled "Things more ridiculous than a Watato."
You have to wonder why Jonny DuRocher didn't wait to transfer until AFTER this game. You would have played the whole second half, bro!!! Ducks

Buddy just woke up from a two-week nap. Somebody get him a juice box or something. He may need a couple to deal with what's coming for him. Don't worry Eugene, to soften the blow for the impending beating this weekend, I've Googled a list of Pokemon tournaments in your area for this Sunday. E-mail me for the hook-up. Trojans

There's a joke in here somewhere about the Reser boys flying down to play a field covered in tortillas. I'll leave it up to you to find it. Wouldn't you fall out of your chair laughing if the Beavs called a fake punt during their first drive? Sun Dirkles

I have a friend who sells Hondas in Malibu. He's trying to get Maurice Drew to come in for a test drive this weekend. We're putting together a pool for the down payment. Meanwhile, Cal officials will spend the weekend finding Coach Godford's replacement upon his impeding departure. Wait a few weeks, Bears: Gilby will be available, soon…

Last Week: 5-2
Season Total: 16-8

Seeing as I'm still broke from the beating I took a couple weeks ago, the mailbag remains open. We'll start with:

Dear Rambler,
Are [the Cougs] in need of a kicker? I'm not sure these guys are as automatic as those in year's past. Any thoughts?
-Larry, Ritzville

Larr, can I call you Larr? I have to say I was skeptical of a kicker named Peanut, with all the Charlie Brown/Lucy references to keep us jinxed for four years. In my vast knowledge of the inner-workings of football, I've come to realize that few 18 year olds can kick better than Jason Hanson. So, I'm happy with him so far. Although Peanut, if you're out there, I'd really like to know if you like being called Peanut or if it just happens to be something that people much larger than you have chosen to call you. If it's the latter, I'll find you a more imposing nickname. It'll be all the more imposing when all 110 pounds of you delivers the first concussion on an unassuming kick returner…

Dear Rambler,
Do you find anyone more annoying than Husky grads?
-Joe, Concrete

First of all Joey, I'd like to congratulate you on being the first person from Concrete to own a computer. Second of all, yes there are more annoying people than Husky grads. For starters, the guy who came to my house a few Fridays ago that tried to sell me a Dianetics book and wouldn't admit that it was a religious thing. Even more annoying is my friend Ozzy who actually bought the book (from the same guy) and now tells me how fascinating his new goal-setting life has become (Hey Ozzy, first goal: get off the Scientology mailing list!!!) But the most annoying people on the face of the Earth are Western grads. You know how you can find the Western grad in your office? He's the one who waits until AFTER the Apple Cup to come tell you how bad the Cougs lost. But when you question where he went to school, he's adamant about how he bleeds purple (ugh!). This question came at a great time as Western and Central get set to go at it this Saturday. Do yourselves a favor: root for Central. If and when Central wins, give the Western grad hell for it. Tell him you didn't go to Central, but you've ALWAYS been a huge Wildcat fan. He'll think you're an idiot, but it'll keep your desk from being painted purple in November.

Have a question or comment? Need a stock tip? Can't find a date for your High School Reunion (or better yet, your prom?) Hit up the mailbag at ramble_on@comcast.net

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