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October 19, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - A Giant Bite For Mankind


"It was a poor decision to allow this to happen."

- Arizona State head baseball coach Pat Murphy, responding after the NCAA publicly reprimanded the program and Murphy for allowing two of his Sun Devil players to stage a fake fight at last year's super regional against Fresno State.




"I am the famous Wang Hao! I am the world champion! Does it matter if I beat you?"

- Chinese Olympic gold medalist ping pong player, Wang Hao, reacting to a security guard who had tried to prevent the drunken Hao from urinating outside a karaoke club.




"I didn't even know 91 was a multiple of seven."

- Offensive line coach for Estero High School in Florida Pat Hayes, after his team lost a game, 91-0, and giving further evidence that Florida residents only know how to multiply like rabbits.




"This is not an excuse for you and a bunch of your friends to have a pool table and goof around with something you think is neat."

- Partner at venture capitalist firm Sequoia Capital Michael Moritz giving executives from their portfolio companies, due to the current financial crisis, an idea of what to expect in start-up funding in the near future.








The Lounge knows what you are thinking. You are thinking, I wish I had that infamous giant ball of ear wax - the one the guy spent 37 years accumulating and then one day, mistakenly unleashed it from its pen, allowing it to roll down the hill and crush the unsuspecting farming village below. If you are not thinking about that, then, surely you must be thinking about how you were so hungry that you could not wait any longer for those slowpoke Guinness World Record guys to figure out how to operate their measuring tapes and decided to eat the world's longest sandwich before it actually, um, became the world's longest sandwich. D'oh!


One thing we know Cougar fans and well-wishers are not thinking about is that Cougar football game last week against USC. Because if one were thinking about that, then one would have to think about the nation's second-longest scoring streak being history, the team being on pace for school records in scoring the least amount of points since the Pac-10 began [making delicious brownies since 1978] and giving up the most points ever, the Trojans scoring on 10 of their 12 possessions in the game, the offense not being able to cross midfield at any time during the game, the Cougars are now, at 1-7, officially ineligible for any of the 183 bowl games offered this season, why Fox Sports saddled what small television viewing audience there was with Petros Papadakis and the fact that the starting Cougar quarterback for the rest of the year [barring further injury, of course], Kevin Lopina still has yet to throw a touchdown pass in 2008. If one wished to think positively about the game, well, we could not blame them and, therefore, here are the Lounge's officially sanctioned Four Positive Elements Of The Game: 1] The opening kickoff was mishandled by USC and almost recovered by Wazzu, which would have given the Cougars their best field position of the day and perhaps allowed them to attempt a field goal; 2] Senior defensive lineman Matt Mullennix blocked USC's extra point attempt on their fourth touchdown; 3] receiver Jeshua Anderson having the longest run of the day on a 24-yard gain from a reverse and 4] USC head coach Pete Carroll not running up the score by having his three backup quarterbacks attempt only one pass [for 10 yards] in the second half [You taking notes, Riley?]. Plus, if one thought about it, then it means one would also have to devise their personal version of a Cougar football bailout plan while also seeing if there was an extra $750k lying around that they could use to have naming rights for one of the pillars on the yet-to-be-finished Martin Stadium renovation. Of course, offering naming rights to inanimate objects is a big trend these days, it is even something the Los Angeles Dodgers do. Hmmm….on second thought, that might not be the best example.

But not to fear, the Lounge clientele has a plenty of positive things to think about this week. First and foremost is the undeniable fact that, with the first appearances on the shelves of the telltale holiday cartons - it is officially nog season! Yes, beautiful, delicious, tantalizing nog. Our good old tasty concoction friend has come along just in the nick of time. That, by itself is enough reason to leap for joy [just make sure you are not leaping from a tall building or bridge so people do not mistake your joy for despair about the football season]. But, as if that was not enough, basketball season has officially begun with practices beginning last week and soccer, with their big Pac-10 win over California last week - and coming off their impressive showing in Los Angeles the week earlier - are looking at possibly getting that NCAA bid they have deserved for at least the last two years.

Not only that, but there are grad rates. The NCAA recently released graduation rates encompassing the years 1998-2001 and Wazzu fared well in most sports with football being second only to Stanford in that time span.

If one is really down in the dumps about Cougar football and nog, hoops, soccer and grad rates are not pulling their weight, then the Lounge must resort to Secret Plan X-16, which is, essentially, look, it could be worse, you could be married to Madonna - and have to deal with all the eccentricities of Her Royal Madgeness.

"I cannot wait until the first basketball game gets here!" burbles a visibly excited e.e. sneezelle about the prospect of hoop season beginning in a few short weeks.

That is the overwhelming consensus in the Lounge now, double.e. Every year has produced a unique element for Wazzu hoops and this year is no different in that respect. For the men, the expected success of last year becomes the unexpected mysteries of this year. The Cougars return five experienced players from their back-to-back Big Dance appearances but that leaves 10 inexperienced players on the roster and at least two to three open spots on what head coach Tony Bennett likes to use in his usual game rotation. With a tough non-conference schedule lined up to prepare them for the even tougher Pac-10 schedule later on, who emerges from the practice session scrums and non-conference testing grounds as the "elite eight" will be a heavily watched development. Meanwhile, on the women's side of the coin, there is clear anticipation to see what head coach June Daugherty's "kiddie korps" can do this year. Daugherty and staff recruited a nationally ranked class last year and those seven freshmen will be getting their initiation process this year in non-conference play and more so when it comes to the Pac-10. Who will play and how quickly they can turn the corner and produce competitive results against the higher caliber teams on the schedule will be almost as great a mystery as the mystery facing the men.


"Can we start talking about the NCAA now?" asks Mr. Smarmy Whelk about the Cougar soccer team once again nearing that dangerous territory.

Well Whelk, they say third time is a charm and Wazzu was clearly dissed for the last two years by the NCAA selection committee. The Cougars cannot play scared of the NCAA selection committee and there are several reasons to believe that, this year, the situation may change next month when the tournament selections are made. First, head coach Matt Potter made a distinct effort to get his team in front of East Coast-type eyeballs by taking Wazzu on a four-match pair of road trips early in the year. Those road trips produced one loss and three ties but all four of those opponents [James Madison, William & Mary, Illinois and West Virginia] are all currently either nationally ranked or in the Top 10 of the regional rankings. Second, Wazzu is playing with the ferocity of a tornado these days and came within 57 seconds of returning from their season-opening Pac-10 road trip against third-ranked UCLA and fifth-ranked USC undefeated - losing on a fluke goal to the Bruins and tying USC. Those results - although not producing any wins - were considered impressive by the coaches pollsters and - despite the fact they did not come back with a win - moved them up one spot in the poll. Third, the two wins [UCSB and Cal] over ranked opponents are of extremely large proportions and none is larger than their victory over the Bears - as recent history has proven - despite the inanity of its inherent logic - that a win over any of the traditionally strong California-based Pac-10 schools will be required to get the NCAA selection committee's short attention spans. But the Cougars play Stanford today and a big loss like the one the Cardinal hung on Washington earlier in the weekend could be equally large in a negative sense as the win over Cal was in the positive sense. But if Wazzu can get a win or a tie against Stanford [thereby securing a 2-1-1 or 1-1-2 record against the recognized elite of the Pac-10], then they should be favored to win the remaining matches on their Pac-10 schedule and if that were to occur, would likely have an opportunity to host in the NCAA tourney or be sent to Portland where the University of Portland is expected to be host should another team within 400 miles be selected to the NCAA tournament. But, first things first, Whelk - Stanford today.

We are always hearing the voices in the Lounge clientele - most of them are either drunk [Father Lotto], hallucinatory [Dr. Bombay and Fr. Lotto again] or just plain nutty [numerous individuals]. But we love the nuttiness and it is for that nuttiness that we provide the Halfbakery. Here, deluded people can gather in innocent frivolity and put forth their ideas for winning a college football game [this might be helpful for the Huskies], dance running, gnome bounties and a variety of things to do with a bar of chocolate.

The Lounge Scientists woke up and got a whiff of nog this week and that inspired them to pursue study on sleep patterns of adult humans. The generally accepted notion is that eight hours of sleep is the standard but most adult humans [children between age eight and 17 average closer to nine] get between seven and seven and a half hours and consider themselves sleep-deprived by the end of the typical work week. But research has found that these amounts of sleep are, in fact, not much different from what they have been over the course of time for adult humans. In fact, some - perhaps most - adult humans will even ditch sleep in favor of, say, a Halloween party.

"Given the choice, people will happily forego extra sleep in favour of other leisure activities," says Lounge Scientist #38, Jim Horne, a researcher at the University of Loughborough in the UK, who uses the British "u" and is reported to have lost many hours of sleep whilst conducting his research.

Mmmm…that sandwich sure looks good….





+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Autumn is here and you have the hunger. How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor - home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for nine consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small hot chocolate.


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