Left Photo: Bruce Thorson/US Presswire
Lost Lettermen is counting down and ranking all 124 FBS college football teams from best to worst by comparing each to a well-known song. We will examine one team per day through the summer in the lead up to the 2012 season. Today’s team: The Washington State Cougars.
2011 Record: 4-8
Head Coach: Mike Leach
Returning Starters: 17 (8 offense, 9 defense)
Key Players: WR Marquess Wilson, OLB/DE Logan Mayes
8/30: @ BYU
9/8: Eastern Washington
9/14: @ UNLV
10/6: @ Oregon St.
10/27: @ Stanford
11/3: @ Utah
11/17: @ Arizona St.
By Mark Burns
After a two-year hiatus from the college football coaching scene, Mike Leach returns to Washington St. in 2012 looking to change a culture that has grown accustomed to losing and lots of it; the Cougars have won a combined nine games over the past four seasons. With him comes former UCLA running back’s coach, Jim Mastro, who is familiar with Leach’s use of the Air Raid offense. Following 82 catches for close to 1,400 yards in 2011, No. 1 wideout Marquess Wilson will be Leach’s go-to guy on the outside. Defensive coordinator Mike Breske has switched the defense from a 4-3 to 3-4 set and hopes that his newly-formed front seven can muster a pass rush better than in 2011.
Washington State’s upcoming schedule lines up rather comfortably for Leach to obtain five wins at the very minimum. With home contests against Washington, Eastern Washington and UCLA, and away games at UNLV and Arizona State, Leach will arguably make a little noise in the college world following his outing at Texas Tech. We’re not saying in the least bit that Washington State is going to be recognized as a national contender by any means. But, in 2012, what’s for certain is that Leach will certainly be roaming the sideline in Pullman, WA, like a boss – as heard on Rick Ross’ track. Someone just needs to get Leach a pair of Ross’ vintage sunglasses to complete the part.
FBS 124 Countdown