By Jim Moore
The Cougars end a 10-year bowl-game drought when they face Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday. If you can’t watch the game on ESPN, you can listen to it on 710 ESPN Seattle. The pregame show starts at 9 a.m. with the kickoff at 11.
I’m disappointed that I won’t be in Albuquerque to watch the game. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t find reasonable airfare. The cheapest flights I could find were around $900.
Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday, the nation’s fourth-leading passer, could have a big day against Colorado State’s 109th-ranked passing defense. (AP)
I would’ve gone with my wife and 9-year-olds, which meant it would’ve been a $5,000 weekend with hotel, rental car, food and beer, and I can’t afford that, especially at Christmas-time.
The only good part about being in Seattle right now is catching all of the latest details regarding alleged payments by Washington assistant coach Tosh Lupoi to a tutor for a high-school recruit from Lynnwood.
I don’t know if Lupoi really delivered cash in a coffee cup to the recruit’s shotput coach. I don’t know if he really left cash in a brown bag in a bathroom stall at the Northgate Ram for the same coach.
Lupoi tweeted that these are “untrue attacks,” and they won’t “break my focus!” An NCAA investigation is under way, and we’ll find out what’s what soon enough. Lupoi could be cleared of any wrongdoing or there could be sanctions coming for Washington and maybe even Coach Sark.
As a Coug, I’m hoping for all kinds of chaos because I’m a small person who welcomes the return of Probation Nation to Washington. Santa can put coal in my stocking as long as he drops sanctions off on Montlake. If that happens, he won’t be the only one saying: “Ho, ho, ho!”
Meanwhile, the 6-6 Cougs face a 7-6 Colorado State team that features a terrific running back. Kapri Bibbs has rushed for 1,572 yards and 28 touchdowns for the Rams.
Connor Halliday leads a passing offense for the Cougs that ranks fourth in the country. He should have a big day against a pass defense that ranks 109th.
As always with Halliday, there’s a concern with interceptions, but Kevin Gemmell of the Pac-12 blog on ESPN.com notes that the Halliday went from 18 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions in his first eight games to 10 touchdowns and four picks over his last four.
I wish I’d written 10 touchdowns and three interceptions because that would mean that maybe the Cougars would’ve won the Apple Cup instead of having their last drive end on a bad Halliday throw to the wrong team.
The over-under for this game is 66, which means that oddsmakers expect a shootout in Albuquerque. They also favor the Cougs by 4.5.
Both teams have six losses, but Washington State played a much tougher schedule. And I keep coming back to this: Colorado State lost to Colorado. How good can the Rams be if they lost to the Buffs? Not good enough to beat the Cougs.
Prediction: Cougars 38, Rams 35
Season record against the spread: 7-5
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.