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September 26, 2010
The Cougar Lounge - Frequent Flyer Miles
"We are extremely excited to win a tournament title and the two clean sheets definitely show progress."
- Wazzu head soccer coach Matt Potter, after Wazzu skunked Hawai'i and Pepperdine last week to win the Hawai'i tournament title.
"I said whoever made the least amount of errors would end up winning and we made too many errors."
- Wazzu head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo explaining the Cougars' 3-1 loss to Oregon State over the weekend.
"We figured the Big Ten has gotten away with that for awhile, we can get away with it for one year."
- Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott talking about the possibility of the Pac-10 being an 11-team conference next year and deciding what to call it [referring to the Big Ten still calling itself the Big Ten despite having 11 schools] - until Colorado decided to join and officially make it the Pac-12 in 2011.
"We made several tests and noticed that the fermentation was more vigorous, more active."
- Belgian beer brewer Roger Caulier explaining the mystical effects of brewing a beer under a full moon.
It did not take long before the Cougars became addicted to losing by large margins again in football. So far - with the notable exception of a one point victory over a Division I-AA [now FCS] school, the Cougar football team has lost by double digit amounts to their last 12 Division I opponents and they have yet to play closer than 13 points to any Pac-10 conference opponent since the memorable 16-13 double-overtime win over a winless Washington Husky team in the final game of 2008. That win also represents the only Wazzu football victory over a BCS Taliban conference opponent in the last three years. Prior to 2008, Wazzu had regularly won games over Division I, Pac-10 and BCS conference opponents - in 2007, five D1 wins [three over Pac-10 opponents], in 2006, six D1 wins [four over Pac-10 opponents] and in 2005, three D1 wins with one over a Pac-10 opponent [the hapless Huskies again]. All told, in the three years prior to 2008, Wazzu won 14 games against Division 1 opponents and eight Pac-10 games in all. Since then, using the symbolic image of a sheer cliff to illustrate the difference may be the only way to adequately express the change. But not only have the Cougars not won games against Division 1 opponents - they have not even been close - the numbers do not lie. In fact, in the recent loss to USC .well, let us not go there just this moment, let us put that ugliness aside for the moment and move on to more pleasant - or at least more interesting - Lounge topics such as .
How far has the Rose Bowl fallen in recent years? What used to be the Granddaddy of Them All in the bowl game universe has been reduced to just another BCS Taliban bowl to be prostituted out for the BCS Taliban's fabricated national championship game. No longer does it possess the prestige of matching up the best team from the Big Ten and the Pac-10 with traditionally intriguing match-ups from the past involving Wazzu, USC, Oregon and Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. Instead, we get Ohio State-Texas or some other teams that have no West Coast connections. Now, because of all the money spent on marketing teams from across the country that have no business being in a traditional Rose Bowl in the first place, for this year's game, they do not even have enough budget for proper media swag - it has been reduced to a mere cardboard coaster set. When the Pac-10 gets watered down to the Pac-12 next year with the arrival of Utah and Colorado, what will it be then - a paper clip and a piece of pocket lint?
Yes, we know, you are currently crying big crocodile tears because poor old Loungey did not receive a coffee mug and a year-long gift certificate to Starbucks for this year's Rose Bowl media swag but we can make those fake, sarcastic tears go away real quick when you hear what we have to tell you - the Southeastern Conference [SEC] has been shown to have the most number of ladies who love college football. A recent study concluded that 20% of the 13 million women surveyed say they are "very interested" in SEC football. Now, the Lounge cannot assure you that they all look like the photo shown here, in fact, we think this photo probably represents about .01% of the 20% who say they are interested in SEC football, but that is still better than the Pac-10, which rolled in at fifth place with a paltry 7% - just nipping the Big East. Clearly, the Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott has his work cut out for him here - and the addition of Colorado and Utah is unlikely to help matters. The Lounge clientele is firm on their stance with this - Scott needs to improve the hot babe ratings for the soon-to-be Pac-12 - and with USC, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State making up a third of the conference, they feel he can get this done by 2011 and at least surpass the brat and corn-fed women of the Big 11 in second place at 13%.
Whilst staring at the SEC gal, perhaps it escaped your attention that the UFL launched last week. What the hell is the UFL you ask? Well, it is a a five-team professional football league that plays in big-city markets that where they do not have professional football. At least three former Cougars - defensive back Omowale Dada, wide receiver Devard Darling and offensive lineman Sam Lightbody - have found their way onto teams in the league.
Meanwhile, the crack Lounge research department has conducted a study of their own. It is not as sexy as that other Ladies of the SEC study, but ladies who love the SEC still need to buy their groceries somewhere don't they? The Lounge research department discovered that they better not buy them in Honolulu, because that is where the groceries cost the most in the country, followed by - uh-oh - the SEC cities of New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida. In fact, four of the top 10 cities with the most expensive groceries reside in SEC locales. Who needs to eat? Better to spend that money on moonshine.
"I don't even know what to say anymore," says Rancid Polecat #2 after the Cougars' lopsided loss to USC in football.
It is a tough assignment for Cougar fans and well-wishers for football in 2010. What began, in August, as a hope that conditions might improve, has turned into, not the same old, same old - but even worse than the same old same old. The first game of the year - a 65-17 blowout loss to Oklahoma State program which the Cougars lost to by 26 two years ago represented a severe drop of expectations. Then came the slim one-point victory over Division I-AA [now FCS] Montana State - a game which they were losing by 15 points in the fourth quarter only to come back and squeak out a win thanks to MSU miscues, still represented a drop - Wazzu defeated their lone lower division opponent [Portland State] two years ago by 36 points. The only victory Wazzu got last year was a 30-27 win over SMU in overtime - but this year, improvement eluded the Cougars once again as they lost to the same Mustang program by 14 points and only because a late fourth quarter bomb cut it to that margin. Then came USC. Last year, the Cougars surprised the Trojans by playing them within three touchdowns at the Coliseum. With the game being at home this year and USC appearing vulnerable in their first three games, there was still reason for hope. Instead, USC trounced the Cougars by 34 points - and it could have been worse. In the last three years, the Cougars have scored 23 points against USC - an average of eight points per game - while USC has scored 146, an average of 49. Needless to say, the numbers seem to imply that the Cougars are currently going in the wrong direction in 2010. Instead of making up ground, they are losing more of it - and the schedule only gets tougher as UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, Stanford, Arizona State, California and Oregon State all lie ahead - with no bye week between any of them.
"Why can they be successful early but not sustain it?" asks Dereck "The Avant-garde Left Wing Namby Pamby" Eau de toilette, about Wazzu's first quarter drive for the initial lead in the game.
One word, Dereck - adjustments. More specifically, the opponents have tended to appear to be able to make them more seamlessly than the Cougars. Partially, this is due to the disparity of athletic talent usually on display on the field - opponents typically have more and better talent than the Cougars - but it is also due to fundamentals. On offense, the Cougars have to be, essentially, consistently near-perfect in their execution [sophomore quarterback Jeff Tuel tossed three interceptions against USC, including one returned for a touchdown] for them to have a chance to put themselves in a position to win a game. The defense, well, the Lounge consensus there is that there are too many broken parts, but they do have the athletes here and there to possibly make some noise - but again, it has to be near-perfect execution and positioning to succeed. So, in three words, the Cougars' problems are adjustments [a relatively close 28-13 halftime margin wound up being a 50-16 loss], blocking [the Cougars gave up four sacks against the Trojans and rushed for 67 yards] and tackling [USC had 613 yards of total offense]. Other than that, the weather was great!
The Lounge would like to take your mind off the football wreck that was the Cougars' game against USC by temporarily enjoying somebody else's problems, specifically, a bunch of Cake Wrecks. A can of tomato soup for your Andy Warhol-loving friends, a "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha" cake for your Brady Bunch-loving friends and a Homer Simpson on a couch - these, along with the subsequent sugar high, are sure to make you forget all about that football game from the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Lounge Scientists would like to announce that - for the next week only - the planet Jupiter will be visible in the night sky as a bright object not unlike a light at the end of a tunnel.
"Jupiter is so bright right now, you don't need a sky map to find it," says Lounge Scientist #6, Tony Phillips, a scientist at NASA who, reputedly, once had a jawbreaker shaped like Jupiter when he was a kid.
The Lounge has been notified that a "Ladies Who Love the SEC" cake is presently being baked - and the Rose Bowl might use it on a coaster.
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