Witnessing the Ultimate Coug-It

Washington State Cougars mascot Butch and Colorado Buffaloes mascot Chip perform a mating ritual on the sidelines of Martin Stadium that will surface and resonate only in my deepest and darkest nightmares. Colorado won 35-34. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

It is tough to be a Cougar fan. The toothless wonders just got smoked at home by what most pundits were calling the worst team in the history of the Pac 8/10/12 Conference. Not so mighty Colorado was coming off a 69-14 shellacking at the hands of WAC power Fresno State but they were still able to shake that loss off by knocking around WSU for a rare comeback victory on the road.

If you are a Cougar fan this scenario is all too familiar. Colorado had WSU just where they wanted them while trailing 31-14 early in the fourth quarter. WSU lost their focus, stopped playing defense, and gave up 21 points to lose the game 35-34 to a team that they seriously should have had no problem finishing against.

Finishing is what it is all about in college football and the Cougs aren't capable of it because they haven't collectively bought into the new coaching staff. Leach is going to get the job done sooner than later but before that happens there will be plenty of attrition and 25-30 man plus recruiting classes to change the stinky culture over in the Palouse.

Over at Coug Center they have a rule that until recently I was truthfully unaware of. If you utter the word Coug-It or any derivative of that word/phrase (Not making this up) you either get banned or given a stern apocalyptic warning. A brief glance this morning at their summary and game-thread shows that Nuss and the boys seem to have relaxed their moderating/censoring standards in the wake of another crushing loss.

So if you happen to be visiting the Coug Center website today to inspect the damage make sure that you "rec" all the posts where a WSU fan has used the term Coug-It. Be courteous, don't post, don't troll, but let them know by this simple act (the rec) that we support the average Cougar fans first amendment rights to not only Coug-It, Coug-It well, but to be able to express those Coug-It feelings in any forum that they like.

I am saying this not to be just a common smart-ass (admittedly that is certainly part of my make-up)...but we (Husky fans) can commiserate with the average Coug fan because as Husky fans we have seen a day like this in recent history. We too once played what was supposed to be the worst team in conference history at home and lost.

Back in 2006 when the infamous Tyrone Willingham roamed the Washington sidelines like a deer stuck in the headlights of a Peterbilt. He had lost star QB Isaiah Stanback to injury at mid season but was still limping toward a 6-6 record and probable bowl game.

Stanford and WSU were the only two games left on the schedule so it was a foregone conclusion that unless something drastically wrong happened the Dawgs would be bowl bound and Tyrone would be awarded his first contract extension. Not so fast as my friend Lee Corso is so fond of saying.

For some strange reason Willingham decided to piss off every single player on the team by announcing a number of forced graduations (suddenly senior week) during the days before the Stanford game. The decision backfired as leadership on the team mailed it in and the Huskies ultimately lost 20-3 to a 0-8 Stanford squad.

In retrospect it was a pretty good loss. It kept Tyrone Willingham and his boss Todd Turner from getting contract extensions which came in pretty handy a couple of years down the road when Mark Emmert decided to fire them. Secondly it led to the Huskies upsetting the Cougars the following week in Pullman 35-32.

As much as the leadership of that 2006 team hated Coach Willingham they hated the Cougars even more (after-all they are true Huskies) so they decided to end their careers at Washington on their own terms and go out with their heads held high.

That 35-32 win knocked the WSU out of a bowl game even though they finished 6-6 and technically in bowl contention...which brings us full circle to today because the Washington State football program has been in a death spiral ever since that Apple Cup.

So maybe Coug fans...just maybe this loss to Colorado has a silver lining in it somewhere down the road. Maybe this is the week when Mike Leach finally gets the attention of his players and the Cougs start finishing games rather than Coug-ing them in historic fashion.

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