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November 21, 2010
"There's a lot of similarities between the 2008 season and this season. In that year, we just had the characters that could make the difference get us the win."
- Wazzu head soccer coach Matt Potter, comparing this year's Cougars to his first NCAA squad which went 10-6-5 and lost to Texas in the first round.
"It's great to see our people play hard [in the second half] but we did not play hard, did not play smart in the first half and that's where the big deficit came from."
- Wazzu head women's hoop coach June Daugherty, speaking about the Cougars' loss to Portland, 91-80, after allowing the Pilots to build a 52-30 first half lead.
"I thought we competed well again tonight."
- Wazzu head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo after last week's loss to Arizona State, keeping the Cougars winless in conference play.
"People are spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook and I wondered - what could possibly be so interesting and how could you have 900 friends? I mean, no one has 900 friends!"
- Late night talk show host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who proceeded to declare last Wednesday [November 17] as National Unfriend Day.
There was a welter of confusion in the Lounge last week after the football team unexpectedly won a Pac-10 conference game and a holiday was promptly declared and it was decreed that everybody could have as much nog as they wanted on this holiday. Naturally, the Lounge clientele was more than happy to celebrate this impromptu holiday and the finalization of the inaugural Pac-12 schedule for football was deemed worthy of another helping of nog since the first two games - both at home - on the 2011 football schedule for Wazzu are a Division I-AA [now FCS] opponent [Idaho State] and a Division I opponent who might as well be a Division I-AA opponent [UNLV]. That is two easy wins right off the bat - especially now that the Cougars have proven that they can defeat a Pac-10 team other than the Washington Huskies. So some members of the Lounge clientele have already begun making their bowl game preparations [not the bowl game preparations like head coach Paul Wulff says his team is undergoing this week before playing the Apple Cup against the Huskies next week - we mean real bowl game preparations that involve airline and hotel reservations and restaurant and pub scouting] - even though six of the next 10 games on the 2011 schedule are road games [Wulff has one road win in three years], four are against teams that are currently scheduled to go to a bowl game and all 10 teams have at least four wins - meaning they have better records than the Cougars in 2010. But some of the giddiest members of the clientele have already begun scouting which of the 892 bowl games the Cougars will be participating in next year and while caution was being tossed to the wind in some areas of the Lounge, we do not discourage any nog-related hysteria.
Unfortunately, then came the big nog-dampening blanket tossed over the gleeful melee - the one team of those 10 that Wazzu was able to defeat - Oregon State - will not be coming to Pullman as expected. Instead, the Beavers were selected as the opponent for a game to be held in Seattle, essentially creating another road game [since, unless something changes between now and then, Seattle is not Wazzu's campus] and a neutral field for OSU. This, of course, is not mentioning the fact that a conference game is being moved off campus in the middle of the season because it was something that new athletic director Bill Moos had always wanted to do since his arrival as the new AD earlier this year and something which he wants to continue doing in future years with other Oregon teams [so Nikes, pucker up, because you are next to receive the big wet Cougar kiss of love] to enhance donor schmoozing opportunities in swankier hotels and restaurants than can currently be found in poor Pullman. Wazzu still holds a winning record in recent [since 2002 - not counting previous excursions to the Emerald City for so-called "home" games] "Seattle games" with a 4-3 mark but the movement of the OSU game to Seattle does two other things - ensures that the students in Pullman will see only three quality [ISU and UNLV may not apply] opponents and none of them will be a Pacific Northwest-based Pac-12 opponents and creates a stretch of six road games in eight weeks [with one bye week included]. Besides Moos and Seattle-based Cougar fans and well-wishers, there is one other segment of society extremely happy about this announcement - Oregon State and Beaver fans and well-wishers.
There is good news on the horizon, however, and it comes in the form of the Wazzu soccer team, which is coming off a disappointing 7-13 season and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in three years. But head coach Matt Potter has a few aces up his sleeve for 2011. First and foremost - his rebuilding [any teams that loses the likes of Kiersten Dallstream and Carly Dobratz has to rebuild - no debate will be accepted on this topic] team played against 11 NCAA-bound opponents and while they lost to all but one of those opponents, the vast majority were competitive matches - six were one-goal losses, three were two-goal losses and all were winnable. The one victory was the best win any Cougar team in any sport can get - a win over the Huskies - and that made it seven consecutive years in which Potter-coached teams have not lost to the Huskies, the best non-losing Husky streak of any Cougar coach in the last three years and places Potter in a tie for fifth in the all-time Husky non-losing streaks [The current record is held by the men's track and field program, which hammered the Huskies an astonishing 20 consecutive times between 1976 and 1995]. But the better news is that Potter will be returning virtually the entire team plus will be getting back injured proven performers such as Tiara Pittman and adding talented newcomers like defender Nicole Sertterlund and forward/midfielder Bethanie Skelton. In short, most of those one-win losses this year will likely be turned around next year and Potter should be back to the NCAA tournament in 2011.
The Lounge was not intrigued to see the latest BCS Taliban standings - mostly because there was not much change with Oregon remaining atop the standings - though it will be interesting to see if Stanford can wangle their way into a top five spot after their demolition of California and creating an even more interesting scenario if they can get to the #2 spot and somehow get a rematch with the Nikes. A Nikes-Trees rematch in the title game - and it not being played in Autzen this time - would be extremely interesting. Either that game or Oregon against TCU would be the best match-ups barring what should be a perfect 16-team playoff scenario.
The crack Lounge research department had a bye week and that means they can research whatever they damn well please and since they did not have to worry about tailgating and either pork or beans, they decided to go all high brow and were determined to find out what collection of adults collects the most art. Surprisingly, all three major Pacific Northwest-based cities [that would be Seattle, Portland and Spokane] were in the Top 10 of collecting bits of they-don't-what-it-is-but-they-know-what-they-like with Portland being the third in the country in this regard [behind Denver].
"Now that the practice games are over and I want to see if they can really play," says Dr. Bombay, about Wazzu's first two men's hoop wins of the year over Southern and Idaho.
Well, we would not exactly refer to them as "practice" games Dr. B, but they certainly were not as challenging as most of the rest of the 2010-11 schedule will be in the coming months. In fact, this particular upcoming month-long stretch of the schedule with Portland, Fresno State, Kansas State, Gonzaga, Santa Clara and Mississippi State as six of the next eight games [only Sacramento State and Texas-Pan American qualify as breathers] will be telling for Wazzu's post-season possibilities in March. The consensus of the Lounge clientele is that Wazzu will win at least five of these games and if they can get two out of the other three, will be well on their way to planning for some post-season action. The only unknown is how soon sophomore point guard Reggie Moore will be able to re-join the team after suffering a wrist injury that has kept him out of the first two games so far this season. Moore is expected back before Pac-10 play but the sooner, the better to help the Cougars pick up some much-needed wins for their RPI.
"Why can't they win?" pleads Miss Understood about the women's hoop team, which has begun the season with three losses and faces a tough Nebraska squad tomorrow in Pullman with most of the students gone for Thanksgiving break.
Well, Miss U, this has been a problem which has been puzzling mankind and womankind for most of the last two decades after Wazzu began their Pac-10 affiliation. The Cougar women's hoop program has seen bad [Przekwas], mediocre [Rhodes] and good [Murrell] coaches fail over the last two decades and now current head coach June Daugherty is also struggling as she lost the first three games of her fourth season at the helm and now stands with a 24-69 record. Daugherty has recruited well as the team has improved athletically with on-court talent such as April Cook, KiKi Moore, Jazmine Perkins, Sage Romberg and Carly Noyes but the wins have not accumulated as expected. Additionally, in 2010-11, the loss of Moore to a transfer [to Fresno State] and Cook to injury [though she is expected back] have been at least two big reasons why the Cougars are winless coming into the game with Cornhuskers. More broadly, however, the program may require some infrastructure surgery to prop it up. When good coaches like Murrell and Daugherty are successful elsewhere but fail in Pullman - the only constant in the equation is obvious. With increased television revenue expected to come from Wazzu's inclusion in the recent Pac-12 announcements, help may be on the way if AD Moos directs it that way.
With Turkey Day coming up in a few days, it is officially family time and family time means only one thing. Yes, awkward family photos. Whether it is the Napoleon Dynamite moon boots, the pregnant mirror or the Ninja family - there is no shortage of awkwardness this holiday season.
The Lounge Scientists were up all night partying last week because they had just witnessed the birth of a black hole. Although they were unsure if it was a boy or girl black hole, they were sure that it was going to eat them out of house and home one day. The new bouncing black hole can be found 50 million light years away on the outskirts of the Messier 100 Galaxy near the constellation Coma Berenices in the Virgo Cluster. Scientists gave it a preliminary name of SN1979C but some scientists would like to give it a better name - like Jim or Maxine [depending on gender] or Floopy [if gender is in question].
"We've never known before the exact birthday of a black hole and now we can watch as it grows into a child and teenager," says Lounge Scientist #50, Kimberly Weaver, an astrophysicist at NASA scientist who, reputedly, had a quasar as a friend in high school.
Scientists are still debating who will have to change Baby Black Hole's diapers and, subsequently, who will be responsible for dealing with the inevitable jaded teenager mood swings.
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