The Washington State Cougars beat the Utah Utes on Saturday, Nov. 23rd; this win makes the Cougs bowl eligible for the first time since 2006. Another great thing about this win is that it avenged the 2011 loss in Martin Stadium.
This game was huge for the team, the fans, the program, and the school. WSU has been a laughing stock nationally since 2009 — thanks for being that title in ’08 UW! — and has watched its football program struggle to overcome the slow collapse that started around 2006.
Is the program completely out of that hole? Not even close.
Is the program getting closer? Hell yes.
As I sat in the control van, for Martin Stadium’s giant video board, I broke down in tears as I hit the “COUGS WIN!!” graphic while Halliday was taking the final knee to secure the victory. The last time this program was in a bowl game, I was ten years old and so full of energy that I could barely be hassled to watch the entire game on TV.
Ten years later, I am anxiously waiting to find out what bowl game WSU will land in…so I can begin the mad scramble to find a way to make it to said bowl game — personally I’m hoping everything breaks the right way and the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl is available, that involves a lot less hassle for me (I’m selfish, deal with it).
The one thing I’m really struggling to come to terms with is that this didn’t happen my senior year (when I was fully expecting it too). I had spent all off-season prepping myself for the fact that this team might not make a bowl game this season; and it put me at odds with West Coast Bias author Brett Miller — he has had the Cougs finishing the 2013 season at 6-6 for a while now. So I could potentially get two bowl games, as a student!
I want to give out major props to the 2013 senior class, those guys have clearly worked their asses off and have made the entire team a lot better.
You guys will be sorely missed.