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TheCoug.com Site Update
Written by Magic   
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 19:00

It's been a big year for TheCoug.com.  This blog has seen exponential growth over the last year, growing traffic over 600% over last year.  We've been linked to from ESPN.com External link, built a nice little following on Twitter External link, started a Facebook page External link, and even have a presence in Google's search results (yes, check out who is the first result when you search "fire harold etheridge" External link).  We've also started the public discussion on a few early-stage stories, and inadvertently stirred up a little controversy here and there.

 

But the biggest and most significant development of the last few months has been one you've probably already noticed:  we are now part of the Yardbarker network External link.  This comes with a few nice perks:

- You've probably noticed the Yardbarker bar at the top of the page

- We have a Yardbarker widget along the left side of the page

- Stories from TheCoug.com show up in Yardbarker's WSU team page External link

- Stories from TheCoug.com show up in FoxSports.com's WSU team page External link under "Headlines from Yardbarker"

 

Being part of the Yardbarker network, and by extension FoxSports.com, is an exciting development for a blog such as ours.  We want to thank our regular readers and commenters, and encourage those of you who are reading but not commenting to join in the discussion.  It's been a big growth year but, just like the Cougs themselves, we feel like we're building a foundation to grow upon for years to come.

 

 

 

 

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Spring Mid-Term Report Card: WSU Football
Written by EC Rules   
Friday, 09 April 2010 11:44

So, we've reached the midway point of Spring drills with the football team and the tone is noticeably more positive. Part of that is truth and part of that is spin from a coach trying to breed confidence in young players and spark some excitement among the fan base. Based on what we've been hearing from folks with feet on the ground and among the big donor base it looks like the progress is definitely real…..the expectations just need to be tempered. I don't think a lot of people are talking bowl games next season who have been observing the team but there will be players and moments to get excited about and build off of over the course of the season. What I hear continually for a best case scenario is something similar to Jason Gesser's first full season in which the team went 4-7 with a ton of really close losses. I'd take that in a heartbeat this coming season and I think that would be plenty to keep Paul Wulff and staff employed. Lots of downside risk in that number though and depending on the health of freshmen and sophomores over the course of a season in which they will play eleven straight weeks is a potential recipe for trouble ahead.

 

There is a LOT of time and growth before the trip out to Stillwater, OK in September and lots will change but we've bucketed some of things we've learned into some creative groupings. It's impossible to build concrete conclusions in the Spring. The team is playing against each other after all but there are things that we think you should be happy, sad, and confident about and those are listed below.

 

Let's take a look:

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Did we pass the WSU karma to Oregon State?
Written by EC Rules   
Saturday, 03 April 2010 09:43

I’m betting most of you aren't freaks like me so you haven't really kept track of what's going on around the Pac-10 as Spring practice is in full swing. In truth, I've only glanced occasionally at what other teams are up to these days. Gone are the days when we were so good that I would watch the activity of our Pac-10 friends because the loss of a tight end at SC or the bum knee of a running back at Oregon could give us the edge on the race for a Pac-10 title or better bowl. I can't wait for those days again.

 

Nevertheless, I did take notice of what is going on over at Oregon State. They are probably the team I hate the most in the Pac-10 right now. Mostly because they are most similar to us. We recruit head-to-head with them more than anyone. They take players from Washington State while we are down and they develop players the way that Paul Wulff talks about developing players in Pullman. Some say that we should like them because they are similar to us. I don't subscribe to that. College football is a highly competitive field and the teams most like us are the ones taking the players we need to fit our program, taking the TV time slots on Saturday's from us, taking advertising and donor dollars from our budget. Make no mistake, football success is a mutually exclusive endeavor. The failure of our closest competitors increases the likelihood of WSU's success….and it's about time WSU caught some breaks not only in Pullman but in places like Boise and Corvallis. Those teams slipping up just a bit will help us as well along the way to rebuilding the team.

 

So, how are things looking so far in Corvallis this Spring? Let's take a look:

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Thames, Harthun, and Brown are gone: What does that mean for WSU basketball?
Written by EC Rules   
Sunday, 28 March 2010 21:05

The first three dominoes have fallen and none are that surprising. Anthony Brown, Michael Harthun, and Xavier Thames are all packing up and heading out of Pullman in search of more minutes. It should be interesting to see where they end up. You have to figure that Thames is headed to another BCS conference (or Mountain West) school, Harthun should be going non-BCS Division-I, and Brown would be wise to move down a level or two. We wish them all well. Kudos to Cougfan for breaking the story on all three here External link.

 

Ok, down to business….let's focus on what this means for the WSU roster next year.

 

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Who is a possibility to transfer this offseason?
Written by EC Rules   
Saturday, 27 March 2010 14:06

UPDATE (3/27 10:46PM)

Cougfan is reporting that Anthony Brown is out. It's a pay article but you can find details here External link. Also, rampant speculation that X Thames is also on the way out.

Our take: Brown was a no-brainer and it clears up the spot for Aden officially. Losing X (if true) hurts bad and we are now solely dependent on Reggie Moore at the point. Let's choose to remember how phenomenal he was at the start of this last season and not how indifferent he was on defense at the end of the season.

 

As we enter Year Two of the Ken Bone Experience we are about to see another wave of change. Inevitably, there will be some turnover on the roster as players come to grips with the reality of what Ken Bone is looking for and more importantly the skills he rewards with minutes. Bone alluded to the fact that a few guys were ready to take a look last season and now they might just be ready to take their career in another direction.

 

There have been whispers of a little discontent from a few players. Probably nothing out of the ordinary when a team struggles for a period of time and adjusts to a new coach and style. Expect to see some movement in the coming weeks as Bone meets with each player individually and they assess whether or not they'll get minutes at WSU. Unless you see a mass exodus this sort of movement should be considered a fairly natural part of the changeover from a defensive minded program to one that is focused on offense.

 

Let's take a look at each player on the roster and who is more likely to switch jerseys next season.

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