Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Autumn of Our Discontent

As if we didn't have enough to be depressed about already this month:

  • An election that left Eastern Washington residents out in the cold as Seattle-area Democrats increased their majority in the state legislature

  • The intimidating tactics of liberal WSU professors chilling free speech on campus

  • Growth in Pullman is frozen due to yet another costly, lengthy, and ultimately futile PARD appeal

  • Another post-Thanksgiving Arctic blast

  • Now comes this from the Seattle Times:

    Cougars won't go bowling for the holidays
    The college team whose motto was "finish" but failed to do so in November got some expected bad news Tuesday: Its season is finished.

    Washington State, which had entered November ranked 25th with a 6-3 record then lost consecutive games to Arizona, Arizona State and Washington, will be home for the holidays.

    The Cougars' slim chances for a bowl were extinguished when the Emerald Bowl, to be played in San Francisco on Dec. 27, Tuesday exercised its right to pick UCLA as the opponent for Florida State (6-6).

    The Bruins are expected to lose to USC on Saturday and finish 6-6, 4-5.

    The decision by the Emerald Bowl meant that the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Dec. 24 had no choice but to pick Arizona State (7-5, 4-5) as its Pac-10 representative because ASU was the only Pac-10 team with a winning record and no bowl.

    Left out of the bowl picture are WSU (6-6, 4-5) and Arizona (6-6, 4-5).

    "I feel badly for Arizona and Washington State for getting left out, but I don't think anyone imagined we would have eight bowl-eligible teams," said Pac-10 spokesman Jim Muldoon.

    Teams with 6-6 records are eligible to play in bowl games with which their league has a contractual arrangement. The Pac-10 has arrangements with six bowls. A 6-6 team can't be invited to fill an at-large berth in a non-affiliated bowl if there are teams with winning records available, which is the case this year.

    "I have been disappointed the previous three weeks so this is the fourth week in a row," said WSU athletic director Jim Sterk, who had been lobbying for WSU and said he wasn't surprised by the announcement.

    Sterk and Muldoon said the size of the Los Angeles television market worked in the Bruins' favor.

    Sterk also said he figured the Emerald Bowl didn't want Arizona State because coach Dirk Koetter has been fired and will be coaching his final game for ASU.

    Jim Donovan, executive director of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, said Tuesday his bowl had been "leaning in the direction" of picking UCLA over Arizona or Washington State if those had been the choices. However, he said no decision had been made.

    The Pac-10 bowl picture fell into place Tuesday when the Bowl Championship Series "released" California (8-3, 6-2) from consideration from a BCS bowl. Cal then accepted a berth in the Holiday Bowl. Oregon State (8-4, 6-3) already had been ticketed to the Sun Bowl. Oregon (7-5, 4-5) announced it was headed to the Las Vegas Bowl, and the Emerald Bowl announced its choice of UCLA.

    The Cougars haven't been to a bowl since 2003, when they beat Texas in the Holiday Bowl.

    Sterk acknowledged that many fans are upset with the Cougars' failure to get to a bowl after positioning themselves at 6-3. Sterk said he remains committed to coach Bill Doba and said, "I think he's a very good leader."

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