Raider Begins: Sometime during the 3rd quarter of last Thursday’s game, I tweeted this to our good friend and proprietor of @BlockU:
"@BlockU if he ends up w/a 5-7 record or worse this year, I would say yes. What does his contract look like?"
There’s a point where I think I might go too far with thinking things won’t work out. That I just might be wallowing a tad too much in my own sourpuss agenda. And there I am, watching Chuckie Keeton make the Ute defense his own personal game of Madden, not really wanting to “go there”. For everything that Kyle has done for Ute football, for taking over for Urban Meyer when he could have just as feasibly coached 40 miles due south, it would have been kind of unsavory for me to start calling for anyone’s head let alone Kyle’s.
So let me try some optimism for a change. I do feel better about this year’s team at the very least making it to a bowl game, which was all I ever really wanted and hoped for this season anyway. Travis Wilson may not have looked polished at times (and I did see some tweets last Thursday indicating that he “isn’t that good”), but consider this: is he better than Jon Hays? Could he be better than Jordan Wynn? I might not be the sunniest person in the fan base right now, but he’s not T.D. Crowshaw.
Let’s get to the games for this week and I’m kind of excited now for this chance to go 2-0.
MAC Answers: I think we all have to admit that when Chuckie Heisman came out and led USU to that third quarter touchdown, we all had to be wondering about Kyle a bit. I mean this wasn’t a game we could afford to lose. I myself suffered doubts. But then as a I said at the end of the game, just like after UNLV in 2007, every time I’m about to quit Kyle he reels me back in. Now we have the Weeb Cats and “We lost to Eastern Washington” and then travel to, “We lost to Virginia” before the mighty Bruins come to town.
I also had a couple of getting ahead of myself thoughts. If we’re 4-0 with UCLA coming to town that is a HUGE GAME. But if we’re 5-0 when Stanford comes to town, it just might be the biggest game in the history of our program.
YEAH I SAID IT.
ASU v. Sacramento St/Cal v. Portland St/Colorado v. Central Arkansas
Raider: Apparently, FCS schools beating FBS schools is the thing to do these days, so of these three, which is the most likely to win? My guess would be Cal, but for the sole reason that I want to type the sentence “this will remind them of their Tom Holmoe days”. Yes, I’m also grouping the early season “paycheck collection” games together because I don’t want you to read “boy, the Hornets are converting a lot of 3rd downs, that could be trouble for the Sun Devils” any more than I want to type it.
MAC: Here is what I know. Sacramento St. are the Hornets and Scottie Pippen went to Central Arkansas. I also had a friend apply for a professor position at Central Arkansas and the faculty openly told him that sometimes they just need a grade for an athlete and he’s expected to do it. So go Scottie Pippen.
Hawaii v. Oregon St
Raider: Do you remember the series of losses during the 06-07 basketball season where we lost to Southern Utah, Albany, and Colorado and we all kept saying “oh, but they’re all going to be really good this year”? Well, I can only imagine how that must feel in football, having to rationalize away a home loss to a top flight FCS program in Eastern Washington. A loss like that does make me feel a lot better about the Utes lot in life.
MAC: Now if they lose to Hawaii, well holy crap maybe Mike Reilly isn’t a genius after all.
Washington State v. USC
Raider: I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in over a year, so if anyone is going to take on the task of consuming all the liquor that I used to drink, who better to do it than Wazzu faithful? In fact, if WSU aficionados want my unsolicited advice, find a way to memorialize this sentence:
“Your fans drank us completely out of beer”.
Now, if only they could find a way to schedule Ole Miss, as the aristocratic nature of The Grove coupled with the drinking prowess of the Palouse just seems like a great side show.
As for USC, maybe Lane will get to a point where he goes out of his way to get fired on purpose? He didn’t have to try all that hard when he worked for Al, but this one may incur even more drama. And could we make it some sort of statute that whenever Lane gets fired from any job from here on out, the person doing the firing presents the reasons why via overhead projector? I’m not asking for much, just frequent amounts of levity.
MAC: I went to law school with the sister of a Wazzu player. Every road game the family would drive in from Okanogan, (Think Rock Springs, WY) and gather at a sports bar to watch Wazzu. It was always 11 or 12 people and they never consumed less than 30 pitchers of beer. I’m not sure the folks at the Grove would lower themselves to playing someone like Wazzu, then again they did go to Wyoming.
As for Kiffin, if he’s fired at USC, surely Alabama will hire him as that guy seems to fail upwards like no other human on earth. Although I’d miss doing my Kiffin interviews.
Arizona v. UNLV
Raider: Recently, I made an off-hand comment to another follower of mine on Twitter about how many locals back in my days in Reno about how they hate two things: Hot August Nights (the local classic car show which brings in various foreigners from faraway places as Fresno and Long Beach) and UNLV. Well, sure enough, some deeply offended nose-picking UNLV fan tweets back at me about how the only thing worse than a UNR fan is a Ute fan and that “we’ll see who has the better record in football this year”. Now, that’s a level of stupid I just don’t tolerate, so I just go ahead and block people like that, but after I read your two cents about how he apparently went on about the Rebels titles in ballroom dancing and rodeo (!), I knew I had made the right decision.And so while I typically don’t have much of a horse in these early games, I’m in full support of a big Wildcat victory. Just remember kids: UNLV Football is for pointing and laughing only.
MAC: Yeah I decided to engage said Rebel fan. He made fun of our skiing and gymnastics titles and promptly bragged about ballroom dance, rodeo and claimed Tark was innocent. It was all so very adorable. I’m not sure about this Arizona team but Rich Rod is quietly doing recruiting work down here. Question, does he want to build OR does he want to do just enough to jump?
San Jose St. v. Stanford
Raider: San Jose State fans hate Stanford. Yes, there are actual San Jose State fans. I’ve seen them on the Internet and they can’t put things on the Internet that aren’t true. The rivalry–in the non-traditional sense–sort of goes like this: SJSU: “We Hate Stanford!” Stanford: “Well, we will likely be hiring these guys before too long, and at least they aren’t from Fresno, so there’s that.”
MAC: If you’re San Jose St., why do you keep playing football? I mean at best you’re a training ground for coaches who would rather be at Colorado. At some point don’t you have to give up.
Oregon v. Virginia
Raider: All I have ever known about Virginia is the one time Colin Cowherd ripped the Cavs about being “soft”. It’s pretty Cowherd-ian, he reminds them about how they pretend to be a national power, how Va Tech actually cares about their football program, and something else that pays him the big bucks at ESPN. At least Mandy Pepperidge was much more willing to tolerate softness with Greg Marmalard.
MAC: Colin Cowherd and Kurt Cobain are essentially from the same place. I don’t know what that means. Cowherd also went to Eastern Washington and his first job was play by play for the Triple A team in Vegas. Cowherd’s greatest skill is to be able to take both sides of every argument and never to be bogged down by something he said yesterday. I bet he’s kind of a dick in real life.
Weber State v. Utah
Raider: I’m about to do some research, as it’s the Utah thing to do, so everyone please stand back……okay, you can take your safety goggles off now. I did some research and the last time the Utes lost to an FCS school, they were called I-AA schools, and it was a home loss to the University of Idaho in 1993. I’m sure this thrills a vocal minority of Ute folk, as many Vandal alum end up going to school here for various sorts of reasons.
And I’m fine with that, the more the merrier. But as looking at sunshine instead of darkness is the theme of this week’s rantings, I thought I would put a smile on my face and say “my bad, Kyle. I misunderestimated you. We can go 2-0 this week, and I, for one, can go through the next week or so with a smile and ponder our collision course with the Sun Bowl. Heck, maybe we’ll make it to the Holiday Bowl! For a nominal fee, my wife and I will serve as your designated drivers-* as you meander your way throughout the Gaslamp District, maybe even La Jolla!
(*-offer void in Tijuana)
MAC: I don’t know if you know this. That Idaho team was coached by John L. Smith. Smith was then hired by Utah St. where he beat Ron McBride in 1996 and 1997. Now I thank McBride from raising us up from the Fassel era. But just think, we lost to USU twice and he kept his job for another 5 years, and John L. Smith had his number. That was why we used to not be able to have nice things.