We're at beautiful CenturyLink Field – afraid of the news reports, we got here four hours early, and wasn't the first writer in the press box – and, after hearing the horror stories about the drive over, I want to say to all you West Side folks that drive to Pullman, I now understand your pain. Read on.
• Before we get into tonight's game I wanted to clarify something I wrote earlier. When I relayed the conversation I had with my boss about wishing I could see the Cougars next year because they have a chance to be pretty darn good, I wasn't rooting for that. After covering one so-so year dominated by "will Bill Doba be fired?" talk, then having to cover two god-awful seasons, then dealing with another bad, just not terrible season, it seems like karma would dictate at least one season filled with darn good football, don't you think? Sure, the Cougars are better this season, but they aren't eight-, nine- or 10-win good. A year with some toe-to-toe-with-the-big-guys games would be fun to cover, don't you think? Ah well, as the Stanford game showed last week, that's not to be. ... Which is not to say WSU won't win tonight. The Cougars could, possibly even should. But they could also play poorly and lose. Or play well and lose. You never know. ... The Cougars are on the field with their crimson helmets, light gray jerseys and dark gray pants. Will they stay that way for the game. ... As for the strategy tonight, I will stick with one main thought. Even though I picked the Cougars to win by three touchdowns, this game could turn on a special teams play. Washington State has to be solid in that part of the game. Not great, just solid.
• That's it for now. We'll be back, like always, when we get everything done tonight. Until then ...