I've been hearing a lot of talk about how WSU's football team is showing promise this season.
(Case in point: Vince Grippi's piece on Page D3 of today's Herald.)
Among the popular evidence that the Cougs are improving: They led early against Oregon, which is now the No. 2 team in the country, and they haven't suffered blowout losses every week. However, I'm a person who responds to cold, hard facts, and let's face it — when you're talking numbers on the Cougs' season, several of the figures are quite pitiful. Look at the Cougs' 1-5 overall record and 0-3 mark in Pac-10 Conference play. They had the same record at this point in 2008, and they were 1-5, 0-4 in 2009. Also, their only win this year was a one-point squeaker over an FCS team. How is that showing promise?
But maybe I'm being too harsh on the Cougs. At this point last season, they scored 89 points. This year, they have 128 points. They have scored in double digits every game this season. Also, their passing offense is ranked 33rd in the country with an average of 252 yards.
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And yet, they still rank near or at the bottom in several defensive categories. Only Eastern Michigan and New Mexico have allowed more points among FBS teams. And the Cougs are No. 120 — out of 120 — in rushing and total defense. (They're 108th in pass defense.) I don't know how they expect to win if their defense doesn't click.
Do you think the Cougs are better this season? Worse? The same? I'd love to hear your thoughts. And perhaps I will have some to share after watching the Cougs play Arizona at 4:30 p.m. today on Versus.