The Dirty Dozen of Cougs and Dawgs

PULLMAN--On paper, it is, without a doubt, the rotten Apple Cup. On the field, it is, without a doubt (well, almost), going to be a splendid Apple Cup. There's going to be plenty of scoring against paper mache defenses; Jake Locker is damn exciting; and Brandon Gibson and/or Michael Bumpus is going to make a catch - or two, or three - that drains the purple right out of the heads of Husky fans.

NUMBERS & OPINION

Does anyone honestly believe that young men brimming with testosterone are going to give one iota less effort because their teams are 4-7 instead of 11-0? Not a chance. Now, in the unlikely event that one team gets buried early, that could change. But don't count on it.

The Apple Cup is one of college football's greatest rivalries for reasons that transcend sport. West side versus east side, big city versus small town, yachts versus tractors, quiche versus burgers, champagne versus beer…it is wonderful stuff, minus (for the most part) the true hatred and wacked-out emotions attached to so many fierce rivalries.

Whether you're there in person, watching on TV or listening on radio…soak it up. There's nothing else like it in our state. Cheer for your team, be respectful of the other guys, and have a great time. It's what college football is all about.

1. View From Pullman: Cloudy. Will the Cougars be extra jacked because they might be playing to save Bill Doba's job, or will they be extra tight for the same reason?

2. View From Seattle: Dry. What else would you expect from Tyrone Willingham? I mean, has the man exhaled since he got to town? Reporters covering the Cougars thank their lucky pigskins that they deal with Doba instead of Willingham, who is to interviewing what Britney Spears is to parenting.

3. Scouting Report: Doba said it best about Locker: "He's a running back who throws the football." The 6-foot-3, 225-pound redshirt freshman is gifted, and don't forget that he would have gone high in the baseball draft if he had chosen that sport out of high school. Louis Rankin has run for a thousand yards, and frosh backup Brandon Johnson ran for 121 last week when Rankin came out with a hip pointer after running all over Bears. Brink, Gibson and Bumpus are a dynamic trio on the Cougar side. As for the defenses…ah, forget about it.

4. Betcha Didn't Know: Willingham has the worst record in Husky football coaching history for the first three years on the job (11-23). He is the only one of the 12 Husky coaches who have lasted three or more years who failed to post a winning record in at least one of his first three years. Willingham's 6-19 record in the Pac-10 is the worst over the past three years, right behind Doba's 7-18 mark.

5. The Rankings: The Huskies are 63rd, the Cougars 70th in the weekly FOXSports.com rankings.

6. Cougar Trivia Department: Seven Cougar football players wound up playing for the Huskies during or after World War II when they were transferred by the Navy or Marines. In addition, ex-Cougar basketball player Al Akins wound up playing football for the Huskies during the war, when WSU's player ranks were so depleted that the football program was suspended in 1943-44.

7. Husky Trivia Department: In 1968, Husky Stadium became the first major college football stadium in the country to install artificial turf. Surgeons are eternally grateful.

8. Alumni Hall: Dem Dawgs of the past include former Washington governors Dan Evans and Booth Gardner, former U.S. Speaker of the House Tom Foley, World War II fighter pilot Pappy Boyington, Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon, former NBA star Detlef Schrempf, musician Kenny G, "Dennis the Menace" cartoonist Hank Ketcham and actors Rainn Wilson ("The Office"), Julia Sweeney ("Saturday Night Live"), Dawn Wells ("Gilligan's Island"), Richard Karn ("Home Improvement"), John McHale ("The Soup"), Patrick Duffy ("Dallas") and Anna Faris ("Scary Movie").

9. Cougar Talk: Quarterback Alex Brink, giving a deadpan response to a question about the Apple Cup rivalry: "I don't think we like each other."

10. Husky talk: Offensive tackle Jordan Reffett: "None of my kids -- and I plan on having more -- are going to be at WSU, because I want them to be able to get a job some day."

11. Opinion Of The Week: It seems impossible to think that Doba will return next year. The public cries for his head just keep getting louder, the media mentions it every day, and if he was coming back, why was recruiting sabotaged by not announcing it? Still, $2.8 million is a ton o' cash to pay off a coaching staff at a school that checks under the sofa for change. The $2.8 million question is: Will you lose even more money if Doba stays and you (possibly) lose more games, fans, ticket sales, booster donations and television revenue?

12. And Stalwick's Final Score Is: Washington 41, Washington State 38.


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