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Why You Should Hate: Washington State Edition

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Sports tend to bring out hate in even the most introspective and civilized of fans. Whether your team is playing their long-time rival or a pitiful underdog, there's always room to hate.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Disclaimer* I would like to remind everyone that this is a satirical article and those likely to be offended should refrain from further reading its contents. Thank you.

It’s time for my hands to return to the plow for my latest installment of the Why You Should Hate series. The out of conference games are a thing of the past now and it’s time for Oregon to start Pac-12 play. Up first, the Ducks will travel to Pullman to take on Washington State (1-2).

Did I feel bad picking on Wyoming? Yes, absolutely. Will I feel pity for any Pac-12 opponent? Hell no. Whether it’s Washington State or Stanford, all 11 teams deserve our utmost hatred.

Reasons to hate:

Washington State is certainly not in the upper echelon of the Pac-12. Most Duck fans feel neutrality at best for Washington State due to them typically being a doormat year in and year out. Washington State hasn’t beaten Oregon since 2006. With that being said, the Coug’s have beaten the Ducks more than the Huskies have in the past 10 years. I loathe them for this.

Washington State deserves our scorn simply because they routinely make the conference look bad. Last year, Wazzu lost their middling bowl game to Colorado State of the Mountain West.

Prior to this season the Pac-12 had finally started to receive some long deserving acclaim. Some pundits were even saying it was the best conference in all of college football. Washington State decided to celebrate this newfound recognition with a loss at home to Rutgers. For their encore in week 2, they lost to Nevada. Sadly, Southern Utah put up a better fight in their matchup against Nevada than the Cougars did. Southern Utah.

They then proceed to beat the teams they shouldn’t: Last year Wazzu beat Arizona. The following week, Arizona would go on to beat Oregon, which pretty much ruined the Ducks season. The Cougars also beat Utah, who upset Stanford, who has been the thorn in Oregon’s side the past two years. In addition, Wazzu beat USC, the other Pac-12 team that beat Stanford. Really Wazzu? Really?

Their Quarterback: Connor Halliday broke a Pac-12 record for passing yards last Saturday against Portland State. It broke the previous record (also held by him), which was set at Autzen last year in the Cougars 62-38 loss to the Ducks. Portland State Connor, I’m SOOO impressed. Connor Halliday is likely to throw for 5000 yards this season and his team will finish dead last in the Pac-12 North.

Connor Halliday is breaking all sorts of records these days and it’s all for nothing. Connor Halliday is the guy in basketball who throws the ball off the backboard to cap off a triple-double. He’s padding his stats on a team that is floating up shit creek. Connor Halliday is not a prolific passer in my eyes. He’s selfish. You’d think they’d be trying something new in Pullman with their nonexistent success of Connor Halliday throwing the ball a hundred times a game. Nope, they seem content. You keep getting yours Connor.

But all of Mike Leach’s quarterback prodigy’s flame out in the NFL, so I’d hit the books if I were you.

Their stadium: The Cougars home, Martin Stadium has by far the lowest capacity of any stadium in the Pac-12. It holds less than 33,000. What is this, a stadium for ants?

I don’t care if it just underwent a $61 million renovation. Cal’s stadium was built right on top of the Hayward Fault and it still doesn’t suck as much as Washington State’s. Despite renovations in recent years, the stadiums capacity has remained virtually the same (even minimized in 2012) because even the architect (Mugatu) knew his state of the art additions wouldn’t put butts in the seats for Cougars football.

Their city: Pullman makes Eugene look like Seattle, which is a sad, sad thing. It’s also a few miles away from Wazzu actually being Western Idaho University. It’s easily the worst city out of all Pac-12 schools. I’m noticing a trend here.

Because Wazzu actually poses a threat to Oregon, seriously people. Some pundits put Oregon on upset alert and while I fully believe the Ducks will come out on top, this game has all the makeup for the upsets we see every year in college football. It has a top-ranked team playing on the road to an inferior, in-conference opponent they’re likely over-looking. Barring an upset, Duck fans should still expect this game to be closer than the South Dakota and Wyoming games. Washington State is going to throw the ball all game and put up points. It’s inevitable. The Cougars lost to Rutgers and Nevada but will miraculously put up a fight against Oregon. Because of this, I say screw them.

Honorable mention: The two Wazzu fans that sat next to me at Autzen last year who felt the need to stand up and scream "Cougars first down!" after every WSU conversion amidst a blowout. But maybe I’m just sour because I was dumb enough to pay for a ticket for Washington State since I didn’t get a student one. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Players to hate, aka key players: On the defensive side, DL Xavier Cooper is likely their best player, and Cyrus Coen has been the best linebacker for the Cougars through their first three games. The Cougars secondary is a youthful mess. If Michigan State’s secondary is the "No Fly Zone", then Washington State’s should be called the "Air Traffic Control", because they’re letting everybody through.

On offense, analysts say Wazzu has a loaded receiving corps and perhaps the best in the conference. Vince Mayle, River Cracaft, Dom Williams, Rickey Galvin, and Robert Lewis have been the main targets thus far. Isiah Myers leads the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns and is all the rage among Wazzu fans these days. When Halliday isn’t busy calling his own number, he hands the ball off to one of these guys: Theron West, Jamal Morrow, and Gerard Wicks.

What you shouldn’t hate: The Pirate himself, Head Coach Mike Leach.

Mike Leach sounds like he’s three sheets to the wind off of white Russians and Coors Light every time he speaks, but boy his insight sure is entertaining. Some would say Mike Leach is a bit crazy. It's not intended in a Ron Artest type of way, but rather like the belligerent uncle we all have who makes us dread family gatherings. I find that more endearing. Where to begin; Mike leach is cuckoo for pirates and other historical subjects. In fact, many of his coaching principles stem from his love of history. He’s always telling his players to swing their swords, for which I honestly don’t know how to interpret. Like most sports bloggers, I think his crazy antics are adorable.

He rose to prominence after building a winner from scratch at Texas Tech with some help from Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree and ever since has been jabbering more nonsense than Ted Nugent.

Throughout the years he’s built quite the repertoire of nutty moments.

Leach is perhaps most famous for his rant after a loss to Texas A&M, where he blamed his players for listening to their "fat little girlfriends."

It turns out Mike Leach is quite the Casanova himself. Here he is dishing out some solid dating advice.

And here’s Mike Leach doing a weather report!

Leach also allegedly locked a player in an equipment room. The accuracy of these claims is still disputed however. Regardless, the situation left Leach feathered and tarred and out of a job in Lubbock.

This is the same guy who ran the score up on lowly Idaho 42-0 last year. When the Vandals were threatening to score late in the game, Leach put his starters back in to keep Idaho at zero and give Wazzu their first shutout since 2003. NOT UP IN HERE IDAHO.

Leach doesn’t give a rat’s behind what anyone thinks about him and for that I commend him. He’s like Chip Kelly back in his Oregon days, only with less talented players.

Even though Leach is an uninspiring 10-18 at Washington State, including a 5-13 record in Pac-12 play, his success can’t be measured in wins and losses (mostly losses in Wazzu’s case). Mike Leach is teaching more than the X’s and O’s of football. He’s teaching his players life lessons in Pullman; like how a pirate can beat a soldier. Whatever that means.

Washington State’s biggest rival is the Washington Huskies. This pleases me. The enemy of your enemy is your friend, to some degree. However, their annual matchup, the Apple Cup is hands down the lamest title of all rivalry games out there. I understand your state is proud of its top-notch apples, but there’s a reason the best rivalry games aren’t named after agricultural crops.

Urban dictionary the term, "Coug’d it." Wazzu fans at least seem to recognize their football teams ineptitude unlike their in-state rivals.

Their best player from last season, safety Deone Bucannon is now in the NFL, which means our receivers don’t have to worry about getting beheaded off of a slant route anymore.

Most inglorious alum: The biggest bust in NFL draft history, Ryan Leaf. Leaf’s stats at Wazzu make him the greatest player to ever don the Crimson and Grey, even though he forwent his senior year to enter the 1998 draft. Leading up to the draft, scouts were torn between two players who were believed to be head and shoulders above the other prospects. Ryan Leaf was one of them. The other was a guy named Peyton Manning. Both were quarterbacks expected to lead two franchises out of futility and into years of success. These two gunslingers were neck and neck down to the very end. Manning was thought of as the safer bet whereas Leaf was said to have the better arm and more upside. Analysts said Ryan Leaf was a "can’t miss" player Haha. In the end, Manning went number 1 to the Colts and the poor Chargers selected Leaf with the 2nd pick. For those of you who don’t know how these two players careers unfolded, here’s a chart.

Manning Leaf
Seasons 16 4
Pro Bowls 13 0
League MVP's 5 0
Super Bowls 1 0
Pizza chains owned 1 0

On the bright side, Wazzu fans at least have one successful NFL QB in Drew Bledsoe. Drew Bledsoe had a long and lustrous NFL career that should be acknowledged far more than it is. If Mo Lewis didn’t literally crush his insides with a vicious hit back in 2001, it likely would be. Forget a concussion or ACL tear, the poor guy suffered internal injuries from it. No exaggeration, Bledsoe almost died from the hit. Insult to injury came when his backup, a 6th round draft pick would go on to become a top three quarterback of all time with Super Bowl trophies and a super model wife to boot. Bledsoe never got that same job back. Worst of all, he’ll most famously be known as the guy Tom Brady replaced. These Coug’s can’t catch a break.

Despite Mike Leach’s "air raid" attack, the Ducks should prevail and move to 4-0. Keep swinging those swords Washington State, and I hope the Apple Cup remains in Pullman until the end of time.

Next Up: Arizona