Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


EWU sports live chat transcript (Nov. 10)

Jim: OK, let's talk Eastern football, Eastern soccer and anything else.

Casey (guest): What a game at the soccer field Sunday. Ladies were dominant and played their hearts out.

KHB_GoEags: Pretty awesome for soccer! I'm hoping for a little upset!

Jim: I hope you caught my video: I felt like a little kid running out there. I could hear the football players running behind me.

Jim: Save the date: EWU soccer at USC on Saturday at 1 p.m.

EdubU10 (guest): How did we fare in the injury department at Cal Poly?

Jim: This team is quite healthy right now, with no new injuries.

Jim: By the way, sorry about the time change for today's chat. I have to jet over to Gonzaga for women's basketball practice - it's crazy this time of year1

Jim: Warmup question: anyone out there doubt that EWU will beat ISU and PSU?

EdubU10 (guest): Pending winning the last two games,what seed do you think EWU will get. My gut is the #2

Jim: You read my mind, edub: Winning out out would mean at least a #3 seed in the playoffs, perhaps higher if Jacksonville State continues to look shaky.

Guest4700 (guest): Jim, suppose to set clocks back not change time of events!! hahaha

Go Eagles (guest): 11:00 is a good time too. ISU should be the easier of the two. PSU played pretty well last weekend.

Casey (guest): No doubt about ISU. Road game in Portland is no gimme but if the team plays like they have been they should be fine.

KHB_GoEags: No doubt. But want them to remain focused.

Jim: Interesting, I was at practice on Tuesday, trying to write a touchy-feeling story on Senior Day ... nothing doing. Everyone seems very focused. Heck Zamora cut me off and said, "I gotta go!"

Guest4700 (guest): We should win both game. I believe this team is very focused on big picture.

EdubU10 (guest): PSU always plays us tough, no matter what.The game scares me a tiny bit but I think this team has something special like in 2010.

Casey (guest): They don't look at Saturday as "senior day" because they plan to play on the turf again.

Jim: I got that message too. Everyone plans to be back in December.

Go Eagles (guest): Winning out would be great. I could see anywhere seed wise 1-3, 4 could be possible but unlikely.

Jim: You never know about the selection committee - they might move ND State up.

Guest4700 (guest): Why do you think Stats poll has us @ #3. I feel our schedule alone should put us @ #2

Jim: Just a reflection of the records that SH and Jax have put together. Easy schedules,though, IMO

Go Eagles (guest): How about 3 more home games after ISU

Jim: That's the dream, isn't it - home field all the way to Frisco?

Casey (guest): How many Big Sky teams make the playoff?

Jim: That is a very tough question, Casey. Only EWU and ND are locks at this point. I think Montana gets in, because they'll win out. Poly and Weber are playing an elimination game this week. I say four teams.

KHB_GoEags: I think we have a huge chance to be the #2 seed.

Go Eagles (guest): EWU, UND, Poly and Montana

Jim: I think Weber instead of Poly, since the Cats are at home in that game.

KHB_GoEags: I think 3 Big Sky teams make playoffs.

Casey (guest): I'm not sure that we can put a lot of stock in the polls. Does anyone that watches games really think those polls are accurate? Look at the’s just as bad. The hope is that the committee does some research

Jim: It's always the same argument: what matters more, record or strength of schedule.IMO, Montana shouldn't even make the field if they lose one more game - because of that cupcake nonconference schedule.

Casey (guest): I think if the committee sees the league as down (and clearly no one respects North Dakota yet) that could hurt us. Shouldn't but could.

Jim: ND getting little respect ... so many close games, and they lost to Stony Brook and beat Montana State by only 17-15.Only two of their eight wins are by more than 10 points.

KHB_GoEags: Agreed, Jim. In order for Montana to even be considered, they have to win these next 2. I think they will have trouble on Saturday.

Jim: The UNC program is improving - the Griz better not look past them.

Jim: That leads to a question: would you like to see the Griz lose this weekend, costing them a playoff spot but also costing the conference a berth?

EdubU10 (guest): Agreed, I think UNC has a realistic chance of beating Montana


Casey (guest): This is a fun site to look at for prognosticating.Does a little write up as well.

FCS Football Bracketology | College Sports Madness


Jim: That's a great site - I've checked it out before. It will be a good read next week for sure!

Go Eagles (guest): I don't think EWU will get hurt even if the BSC is perceived as down. BSC bubble teams might. Agree with Jim on Montana. One more loss and they are out, but at 8-3 they get in.

EdubU10 (guest): I would like to see Montana lose

Casey (guest): Montana played at Northern Iowa and won which is more impressive than us beating the same team at home. NIU is certainly down this year. I still don't think Montana deserves to get in. But for future reference would rather see 4 teams get in from the sky

Jim: No, they don't deserve to get in at 7-4. That will be very interesting if they still get a pass with that record. FYI, a lot of folks, even Baldwin, were upset that North Dakota got snubbed last year with a 7-4 record but a difficult schedule.

KHB_GoEags: I never want to see Montana in the playoffs. I don't think it will cost us a berth, I think it will to someone else. I saw Cal Poly in action on Saturday, and they are good. They have always been this good team that flies right under the radar. This year, I think they are currently in 3rd place, too, right?

Go Eagles (guest): I think we would all like to see Montana lose.

Casey (guest): One of the things they talked about on that site is how the "last few in" group is such a jumbled mess across the country. THat helps the Griz

Guest4700 (guest): Always remember NCAA loves the gate @ Montana. If any program gets in with a suspect record/schedule it will be Montana.Just the way it is IMO

Casey (guest): 4700 is absolutely correct!

Jim: Great point, 4700 - In fact, the Griz will host a first-round game should they make the field. That's solely because of their fan support.

Casey (guest): And the UND snub last year was absurd! Also giving the griz a home game and making PSU or NAU (can't remember which) hit the road was terrible.

Jim: Actually, NAU didn't make the field either, but PSU was at home (losing to NIU in the second round).

Jim: Related question: Are we OK with EWU hosting North Dakota in a second-round game? That's quite possible with the current rankings.

EdubU10 (guest): I've never fully understood this but with the FCS playoffs, does the NCAA get every single dollar from ticket sales? How is none of that revenue given back to the schools? That doesn't pass the smell test when the BCS gives the big boys loads of cash during bowl season.

Jim: That's right: it

Jim: NCAA money. Different rules for the big boys, who get money thrown at them. Then again, they generate massive TV revenue.

Go Eagles (guest): PSU was a seed last year. NAU missed the playoffs. Southern Utah hit the road and went to Sam Houston.

Jim: That's right, and it bothered me because SUU was the Big Sky champ.

Casey (guest): Ok...I can't remember the details (who cares if it isn't EWU right?) but I recall something being rather fishy and the Griz benefiting.

Casey (guest): The Bracket is set up to keep teams regional initially and reduce costs. That ends up with lots of conference foes facing each other in round 2 (Montana a few years ago), but I think a more west coast team makes sense over UND.

KHB_GoEags: I don't care who we host, I just want to host. Still bothered by the UND schedule,anyways.

Jim: That's why they're ranked lower.

EdubU10 (guest): Yeah, I'm fine with hosting UND. A dome team coming to Cheney in December sounds good to me.

Casey (guest): Thanks GoEagles. I knew it was something terrible.

Guest7936 (guest): I'm a little late to the party so this may have been asked. What is Calhoun's injury? I heard he may be out till the playoffs

Jim: He's been out for two games with a hamstring pull. Doubt he plays this week.

Jim: Also, center Jerrod Jones is questionable this week.

EdubU10 (guest): How many more TD passes does Kupp throw this year?

Jim: Good one! To see two TD passes from him in one game was remarkable.

KHB_GoEags: I meant sharing the BSC title. Who wants to share?


Jim: Sorry, but that's going to happen. ND's regular season ends this week. However, NAU is no gimme.

Guest7936 (guest): I think Kupp gets a couple more but teams are going to expect it now

KHB_GoEags: Do you think Simba will be back for playoffs?Or is that wishful thinking?

Jim: Not wishful at all: He practiced on Tuesday.

Go Eagles (guest): UND SDSU state winer to Fargo would make some regional sense. Poly-San Diego, winner to EWU.Montana and UND could also play in the first round since they did not play in the regular season. There is some talk about spreading the conferences throughout the bracket. We'll see.

Jim: Not a bad prediction, but could you imagine the outrage when an 8-3 Montana team (5-3 in the Sky) hosts a Big Sky co-champion ND in the first round?

Guest4700 (guest): Did anyone see the Easterner Article about the Athletics budget? I would link but do not know how.Curious if other programs run similar deficits

Jim: Here's the link:


The Easterner : EWU athletic department generates over $4 million in revenue

Jim: But this is old news. Like most FCS schools, Eastern gets most of its athletic dollars from the university.

Jim: If you want to know more about how athletic departments get their cash, you MUST read this:

NCAA | Finances | USA TODAY Sports


Jim: Back to football ...

EdubU10 (guest): Does UND beat NAU this weekend? My guess is no, NAU looks to have righted the ship.

Jim: Yes, after EWU knocked out Cookus (for the year, as it turned out) his backup has played very well.

Guest4700 (guest): Remarkable;so is his QB rating

Guest7936 (guest): I have a feeling NAU runs the table

Jim: That would make them 6-2 and 7-4 with a six-game win streak to end the season. That would get them in - and give EWU the title by itself should the Eags win out.

Jim: I'm guessing you guys would be OK with that!

Go Eagles (guest): I think NAU wins this weekend. Too bad it's not in Flagstaff.

KHB_GoEags: If it was at NAU, I would be confident with a Lumberjack win, but... its not. I am HOPING they beat UND. I hate sharing titles

Casey (guest): Jim do you see much of the special teams practices when you are out in Cheney? Does Roldan look good in practice hitting FG's?

Guest4700 (guest): Thanks for the links, I know how to open at least. haha

Guest7936 (guest): So if Cal Poly wins their last 2 and NAU wins,does Montana still get in?

Jim: The Griz get in at 8-3 but not at 7-4 - I think that's an absolute.

Casey (guest): I only ask because this is still an area of concern that could bite us down the road. Didn't attempt any FG's against Montana and missed the only attempt last week.

Jim: Sorry, I only go to practice on Tuesdays. Every kicker looks good in practice.

Guest7936 (guest): I think Montana will be tougher if we play them a second time.

Jim: 20 minutes left and we haven't talked about Idaho State. I guess everyone is pretty confident- they aren't very good.

Guest4700 (guest): Every kicker looks good in practice, Just like putting harder when the pressure is on

Guest7936 (guest): I think their offense will keep them in the game but I think EWU's offense is a bit better and we have a much better defense

EdubU10 (guest): Does Kramer get another year with ISU?

Jim: I don't know. They seemed to turn the corner in 2014, but regressed when their QB graduated.


Go Eagles (guest): The 1st half show they put up against Montana is slightly concerning. I don't think they have the ability to stop the offense. We are monster favorites in this game.

Jim: But they lost their QB in that game. He's doubtful for this week. Word is they're going with a player who started the year at QB and was moved to WR before returning to QB late in the Montana game.

Guest4700 (guest): I watch part of the ISU game with Mont, and they are not as bad as record.Play very hard, good effort, QB seems ok

Casey (guest): If the article about Kramer is any indication, the guy doesn't deserve another year. Sounded like a lot of whining in there.

Jim: Which article?

Go Eagles (guest): The Arias/Vern show was a lot of fun a couple years ago.

Casey (guest): Our defense has a propensity to give up two scores in the first quarter and then lock down. As long as we are able to continue locking down then we can remain confident.

Casey (guest): The one tweeted by your paper. Where he mockingly called the conference the Kooper Cupp conference and talked about bus rides

Jim: Oh, that one, which I wrote! I thought he was just having fun with the subject.Here's the link:

Big Sky football notes: ISU coach Mike Kramer can’t wait to see EWU’s Cooper Kupp graduate | The Spokesman-Review


Jim: Kramer has a great sense of humor, always has. But he's struggling on the field.

Casey (guest): Yes you wrote. I think he wants that to be the perception but that's his nature.Make jokes while taking shots.

Jim: That could be. I could tell he wanted to complain about the bus rides, but he caught himself.

Jim: But can you imagine WSU football taking a bus to Corvallis? Unthinkable.

Casey (guest): Guess its just that perception. Does a good job deflecting the attention from his team.

Jim: Not successfully. Folks at ISU aren't happy. He's on the hot seat, though it's not as warm as the one Jody Sears is sitting on at Sac.

Guest7936 (guest): I think we handle ISU by 17 or 21 but PSU is going to be a shootout

Casey (guest): Gage should carve up their secondary like Chalich did last week. Would be nice for Reilly to get some snaps this week. Never know...

Jim: This is a horrific Bengal defense, probably the worst EWU will face this year. The offense isn't bad, though.

Guest4700 (guest): Wonder if Paul gets the SAC job is they let Jody go?

Jim: Good question. They will fire Sears, though. Too bad, because he's a class act and did a great job as the DC in Cheney. Just hasn't been able to get it done on the field.

Casey (guest): Or even Jordan as he is a senior and won't see action in the playoffs.

Go Eagles (guest): Calling it again. West gets reps. EWU by 28. 49-21. 37 point favorites in this game.

Jim: That sounds about right.

Casey (guest): We should win by more than 21. As someone that has been critical of the defense,we are really playing well (minus the first quarter) and even though ISU moved the ball and scored points last week, that was against a bad Montana Defense. We will force turnovers as well because they will have to gamble.

Jim: Turnovers have been coming in droves lately. I wrote about that this week:

Eastern defense has feasted on turnovers | The Spokesman-Review


Casey (guest): The attacking defense has led to more turnovers, as someone pointed out this week...

Jim: Yes, in the story DC Jeff Schmedding alluded to that.Also, more maturity and experience by the secondary.The corners have done a great job lately in holding coverage for that extra second.


Casey (guest): It’s refreshing to see. Was worried Schmedding was just going to be the same as Graham (and it appeared that way last year) in terms of bringing pressure. Defense has been very impressive.

Jim: Pressure with only three down linemen and some well-disguised blitzes. You don't see that with Cover 2.

KHB_GoEags: Defense had HUGE stops last week, and they continue to improve week after week. Cant really ask for more. I love the intensity they have!!

Jim: Five minutes left ... let's hear some predictions. I say it's 52-17.

EdubU10 (guest): Gotta scoot.My prediction is 48-24 Eags. Thanks again Jim!

Guest4700 (guest): EWU 48-17.Hard to believe it is last home game....... not this year

Go Eagles (guest): Kupp breaks the all time receptions record by half time

Jim: He needs six catches to tie and seven to break the FCS career record.

KHB_GoEags: 63-19.... Go Eags!

Casey (guest): Saturday should be lots of cannons and sunny skies. Looking forward to it.

Casey (guest): Thanks for taking the time Jim. Much appreciated.

Jim: You bet, we'll do it again next week at the regular noon time.

Go Eagles (guest): Thanks as always for the great Eagle coverage

Jim: Before I go, I must plug tomorrow's paper, which will have multiple stories on the aforementioned Cooper Kupp.Wake up and read it! Thanks, everyone - we'll do it again next week!



Jim Allen
Jim Allen joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently covers K-12 education and women's basketball.

Follow Jim online:

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.