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November 27, 2011"It was a tough loss. Any time you play your rival, anything can happen."
- Wazzu head volleyball coach Jen Greeny after the Cougars lost to rival Washington in the final match of the season.
"I did the 'O' once - and I never did it again."
- Oregon running back LaMichael James upon learning that the "O" sign made by Oregon fans means "vagina" in sign language.
"The bottom line is - the BCS is flawed."
- Stanford head football coach David Shaw expressing his disdain for the BCS Taliban and their dysfunctional feudal system after unheralded Virginia Tech inexplicably leapt past the Cardinal in last week's rankings.
"Well, my wife was an immature woman, that's all I can say. Sometimes, I would be at home taking and bath and for no reason at all she would come in and sink all my boats."
- Actor/comedian/director/filmmaker Woody Allen, talking about his first wife in a standup routine.
The 2011 Apple Cup for football is over - and so may be the short but tortured reign of Wazzu head football coach Paul Wulff. Wazzu received the opening kickoff and the Cougars' first four offensive snaps of the ball game were a perfect microcosm of the Wulff Era - such as it is. On the Cougars' first play from scrimmage, center Matt Goetz simulated a snap and was called for an illegal procedure penalty. On the second play, Goetz snapped the ball poorly to quarterback Marshall Lobbestael, resulting in Lobbestael having to quickly throw the ball away because the "improved" offensive line [which has "improved" to allowing only 40 sacks this year] had graciously invited several Husky defensive linemen into the backfield to have a tea party with Lobbestael and Lobbestael, not wanting to appear to be a poor host, tossed the ball away to nobody in particular - resulting in an intentional grounding penalty. On the third play, Lobbestael connected with receiver Marquess Wilson for a 16-yard gain that brought up fourth down because of all the yardage lost on the previous two plays and finally, on their fourth play, punter Dan Wagner's punt was blocked and returned for a Husky touchdown. In a series retrospective, While the majority of Wazzu fans and well-wishers would be unhappy about the opening series in the big picture, Wulff's supporters - of which there are few now - would say - "Look at that great play Wilson made to gain 16 yards!" In reality, it was a precise replication of the Wulff Era - one good thing offset by three others not so good - then touting the one good thing as representative of overall progress being made. The majority of the Lounge clientele remained unconvinced and whether their starting point of doubt was 2008, 2009, 2010 or some game this season, the end result is another loss. This time, more painful because it is yet another Apple Cup loss to rival Washington that was largely met with indifference since there was nothing at stake other than beating a mediocre Husky team. Now, the hour is nearly at hand where Wulff will officially be former head football coach Wulff - 9-40 in four years at the helm with only two wins over BCS conference teams during that time span.
Wazzu athletic director Bill Moos is expected to announce either today or tomorrow that Wulff's services as head football coach will no longer be required and residing at the top of Wazzu's wish list for a potential replacement will be former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach. However, Leach currently has a lawsuit pending against ESPN and his former school and whether or not he can be hired without too much baggage remains to be seen. Leach is also the first choice of the majority of the Lounge clientele but if Leach is not a person who can be hired due to the lawsuit questions, the Lounge consensus has agreed that the next head coach of the Wazzu football program should be California defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast - orchestrator of the league's best defense in 2011. In third place, would be Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen.
The Wazzu volleyball season also ended their 2011 campaign under first-year head coach Jen Greeny with a sour Apple Cup taste in their mouths - getting swept by rival Washington for the season series to end their year at 12-20 overall and 4-18 in league play. That was good enough for improvement to 11th place in the inaugural Pac-12 season but had it been the old Pac-10 without the addition of Utah and Colorado, Wazzu would have finished in last place again - as only Colorado had a worse record at 1-21 - and the Buffs' lone victory came at the expense of the Cougars. Wazzu began the season strong with wins over weaker, non-conference opponents and it appeared as though Greeny had turned the program around in one season, but as the season wore on and conference play began, the losses began piling up and the Cougars finished with 13 straight losses - all too familiar territory. Greeny got frustrated and blamed the players after the Colorado loss and now, without her best player and one who is responsible for nearly half the offense, Meagan Ganzer, returning due to graduation, 2012 looks to be an uphill battle for Greeny and the squad Pac-12 wins will be especially hard to come by next year without Ganzer.
Men's hoop has not been much better as the season began with losses to Gonzaga, Oklahoma and New Mexico with wins against only Sacramento State and Portland to show for it. Point guard Reggie Moore was expected to fill in some of the scoring void left when Klay Thompson bolted for the NBA [which now looks like they will get in an abbreviated 66-game season beginning on Christmas - though whether or not Thompson will get much playing time remains to be seen] and that has not occurred. Instead, the scoring has mainly come from Brock Motum and Faisal Aden while Moore and Mychal Ladd have generally disappeared and DaVonte Lacy looks like the next heir apparent to Thompson's star status.
The women's hoop team has been inconsistent as well - with wins over Marquette and Wisconsin - but an upset loss to South Dakota State and a ginormous loss to Michigan. It looks like another mediocre year is in the cards for the women's hoop program but they may be able to get enough wins here and there to get to a double digit win total this year and that may be good enough for some of the fan base after five years at the helm for head coach June Daugherty.
"I knew it was going to be a heavy drinking night when I saw the first series," says Mrs. B.H. Smegma after the Cougars' first offensive - and "offensive" is the correct word - series in the 2011 Apple Cup.
Well, Mrs. Smegma - we fail to see how heavy drinking can be implied as a bad thing - but when running back Rickey Galvin fumbled on the Cougars' third possession of the game to make the Cougars' first three possessions go - blocked punt - punt - fumble - the Lounge clientele was just happy that they were playing against a mediocre Husky team who could not take advantage of the miscues and momentum and "only" built a 14-0 lead instead of the 28-0 or 35-0 lead it would have been had the Cougars actually been playing a good team. So there was some solace in that - and the fact that we do not expect to hear Wulff extolling the virtues of the Washington defense as the best they have ever played in the Pac-12 league to date - so there was not that road block keeping Wazzu from scoring more than 21 points against a team that averaged giving up 34 points per game coming into the Apple Cup.
"When will we have a good defense again?" asks Horst P. Horst, Lounge Aficionado, with that pleading sound in his voice.
What, Horst? You are not happy about giving up 32 points per game and being ranked 93rd in the country in that department? Well, we must admit you are an unreasonable cad for having those kinds of high expectations! If Leach proves to be unhireable, and Moos hires Pendergast - those fears may be over. But until then, look for more high numbers and expect some difficulty in winning even the fabled Rick Neuheisel Pacific Northwest Championship next year - this year, Wazzu lost to all three Pacific Northwest-based Pac-12 teams by a combined total of 125-60 - even with their "improved" offense.
Even though Wazzu could not beat the Huskies in the 2011 Apple Cup - there will always be Washington's dream season of 0-12 in 2008 for Wazzu fans and well-wishers to rekindle fond memories of whilst they take a sip of hot cocoa and ponder this morning's rankings on the Coaches Hot Seat - where Wulff currently occupies the third spot - highest of all Pac-12 coaches, even his mentor and all-around, upstanding citizen, Dennis Erickson, at Number Five as well as Neuheisel checking in at Number Four.
With the result of another Apple Cup loss, the Lounge Scientists were the recipients of many questions from Wazzu fans and well-wishers inquiring about how quickly they could move to Mars to avoid the obnoxious Huskies they would be encountering in the coming weeks and months. But NASA first must determine that life can exist there or has existed there in the past in order to possibly sustain it in the future and sent their rover to find methane molecules as evidence of life support. Some scientists, however, have already seen enough of the results from the rover.
"Based on evidence, what we do have is, unequivocally, the conditions for the emergence of life were present on Mars - period, end of story," says Lounge Scientist #28 Michael Mumma, a scientist at NASA who, reportedly, does not yet have the film rights to the story.
The period at the end of the Paul Wulff story, however, is about to come in only a few hours.
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