If you aren't familiar with Ted Miller's Best/Worst Case Scenario Posts, then you definitely need to check them out:
This is the first in a series looking at potential dream and nightmare scenarios for all Pac-10 teams, starting at the bottom and working up from my 2010 predictions.
Understand: These are NOT predictions. They are extreme scenarios and pieces of fiction.
The Cougars open up their 2010 season with a trip to Stillwater, just hoping to keep it close. Little did they expect to be leading going into the fourth quarter. But after giving up a Touchdown and a Pick-6, Wazzu looks dead. They get a Field Goal to cut the Cowboys lead to 4, but Oklahoma State milks out the clock to send the Cougars back to Pullman with a loss. Still, Washington State's spirits are high after proving they can play with a Big 12 Team on the road.
In Week 2, the Cougars demolish an upset minded Montana State team. With a load of confidence, the Cougars go down to Dallas looking to snatch a win from the SMU Mustangs. It is a sloppy game, with the score tied at 10 going into the final few minutes. But Kicker Nick Grasu puts the Game Winner through the uprights, putting Washington State at a 2-1 Record.
Martin Stadium is loud and crazy when the WSU Kick Returner takes the opening kickoff to the endzone to give the Cougs a 7-0 lead on the Trojans. Unfortunately, USC rolls of 40 consecutive points, and the Trojans win 40-10.
After taking a 13-3 lead into the Locker Rooms at the Rose Bowl, the Cougars stumble back to their old ways and choke away a Pac-10 win, a 27-13 loss to the Bruins.
With a packed Martin Stadium welcoming in the #10 Ducks, you can fell that something special is about to happen. But for two quarters, the Ducks high-powered offense can't be stopped. Oregon takes a 27-13 lead into the Locker Rooms, but the Cougars don't give up. Wazzu rolls off 14 straight points to tie it going into the fourth quarter, and after an Oregon Field Goal, tie the game again with a 49 Yarder of their own.
Oregon's Hail Mary pass with time running out is Intercepted, and the game goes into Overtime. The Ducks begin OT with the ball and quickly go 3 and Out. The Field Goal Attempt is blocked, and Martin Stadium goes nuts. On the next play, the Wazzu QB finds Daniel Blackledge in the corner of the end-zone to give the Cougars a 36-30 Win. The Zzu Cru rushes the field, and Washington State is the talk of the College Football Universe the rest of the weekend.
Next up are the Arizona Wildcats. The Cougars suffer a letdown, and Arizona pounces on the oppurtunity. The Wildcats get out of Pullman with a 20-7 Win. It doesn't get any easier for Washington State as the Cougars travel to Palo Alto. The Cougs hang around, but Stanford pulls away in the fourth quarter for a 34-13 Win.
After losing three in a row, the Cougars desperately need a win. They find one in Tempe. Dennis Erickson's squad plays their worst game of the year, and the Cougars improve to 4-5 with a 21-10 Win in the desert. Washington State goes back to Pullman to face a hot California Team, and for the first couple quarters it looks like Wazzu could pull another upset.
Not this time though. Kevin Riley throws for three second half touchdowns and the Golden Bears win 38-28. With the Cougars needing a win to keep their Bowl Game hopes alive, they travel to Corvallis. Unfortunately, Oregon State also needs a win to keep their ROSE Bowl hopes alive, and the Beavers send the Cougars back to Pullman with a 28-10 loss.
Finally, the Cougars welcome the Huskies in for the Apple Cup. Jake Locker and the Cougars go back and forth the whole game, until the Cougars finally pull ahead 30-27 late in the final quarter. Jake Locker's Hail Mary is Intercepted, and the Cougars end the season with a record of 5-7. Caught up in the emotion of the moment, Paul Wulf exclaims "That this is the turnaround of Cougar Football!"
Worst Case Scenario after the break
Once again, the Cougars flunk the three month test of College Football miserably. Washington State squeaked out a win against Montana State, and hung with SMU and UCLA on the road, but in the end the Cougars finish the season 1-11. Paul Wulff is fired, and Coug Center is shut down.