Happy Humpday Cougs, as we hope all is well with you and yours. Tonight the Coug hoopsters take on UW in Vegas, as the strip comes alive with Coug fans walkin' around, checkin' stuff out. Of course, the last time Cougs were in Vegas, well, we kind of made ourselves at home?
something something something GO COUGS!
Anyway, lots of stuff floating around and not much time, so, here we go…..
The Seahawks shocked pretty much everyone when they added Percy Harvin to the box of toys for the offense. As shown above in the Madden screenshot, Harvin will sport #11 for the Hawks, as of course #12 is OFF LIMITS in Seattle. Sure, as Danny O'Neill puts it in the Seattle Times, Harvin has been a pain in the ass in the past. Is he high-risk? Absolutely. But is he also high-REWARD? Of course.
Everyone is all smiles on press conference day, that much we can expect. And Harvin was just rewarded for his "petulant" behavior in his last days in Minnesota with a six year, $67 million dollar deal (but those are NFL dollars. The real number to concern yourself with? $25 million, as in only up to $25 million of the deal is guaranteed). But it's easy to get carried away in March and think about the dynamic abilities of Harvin in this Seahawks offense. They already have Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice, Zach Miller, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, etc. But to add in a playmaker like Harvin to this offense, an offense that averaged 33 points per game over the last nine games of 2012?? How can you not be excited about what's to come? Maybe Harvin will explode on the scene and then start to become miserable in a few years, but it sure will be interesting to see how it all comes together this fall. Plus, the dude is JACKED with quick-twitch muscle, have you seen the body on this guy??
Do this a lot next year, please? And preferably against San Fran.
What's crazy is how flippin' young the Hawks core is at the moment. Russell Wilson just 24, but Harvin will only be 25 this season. Marshawn Lynch has taken some serious pounding, but he will be just 27 this season and has a couple of potentially strong years ahead before he hits the dreaded age of 30 for NFL running backs. Sidney Rice will be 27 this season, and despite the injuries still looks to have a lot left. And you still have Golden Tate (will be 25), Zach Miller (27), Doug Baldwin (24), Russell Okung (25), etc. And that's just the offense! The D is loaded with youth as well, from Richard Sherman to Earl Thomas to Kam Chancellor to Bobby Wagner to Bruce Irvin, I mean the young talent John Schneider and Pete Carroll and the rest of the front office have put together is just a sight to behold. Sure, the day is going to come where they will have to make some tough decisions and, perhaps, a young star or two will walk to free agency due to salary cap issues. But for now, I don't know about you but I am going to enjoy the ride.
What's cool is to see a franchise like the Hawks go out and get a guy like Harvin. A young team that was 30 seconds from playing in the NFC Championship game, to keep their core intact and add a guy that some said was playing like an MVP candidate before his ankle issue last year? A guy in Harvin who had more catches in 9 games (62) with Mr. Samantha Steele at QB, than any Hawk receiver had in the entire 2012 season? Bring it on!
Meanwhile San Fran went out hours after the Harvin deal and nabbed Anquan Boldin. Boldin was last seen shredding the 49er secondary in the Super Bowl with 104 receiving yards, using his big physical body to make some huge catches in some key moments in that game.
Boldin is starting to get up there in age, as he will be 33 for most of next season. There was a rumor floating around that suggested Boldin could possibly retire a SB champion instead of going to a new organization, but that's not going to happen. He's still got a lot left in the tank if last year's postseason run was any indication, and he should fit in nicely opposite Michael Crabtree and give Colin Kaepernick a strong second option in the passing game. So San Fran is definitely better today offensively than they were a few days ago.
As someone on Twitter asked aloud when it all went down, uh, when did the Seahawks-49ers become the Red Sox-Yankees?? It's like the rivalry just continues to grow, and as KJR speculated the other day, one can imagine the jockeying going on with the TV networks over who gets to broadcast the Seahawks-49er games next season. Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football anyone?? GET YO POPCORN READY!
Moving on, I saw this tweet from Phil Steele the other day and it got me thinking about Paul Wulff:
S/'00, only 10 time has a HC been retained after 6 or less comb wins the previous 3 yrs. None of the 9 had a win yr. Bobby Hauck UNLV is 10.
— phil steele (@philsteele042) March 12, 2013
So since 2000, 10 head coaches were retained for a fourth year after winning 6 or less games combined the prior three years. Paul Wulff fits right in there, with 5 combined wins over his first three years in Pullman. We all know what happened after that, as Wulff was sent out of town after failing to win in his fourth year, and now, here we are.
What's kind of crazy however is that even though he went 4-8 in 2011, his last in Pullman? You do have people who made the case that he should have been retained, and that even that 4-8 record could have been a 6-6 bowl season had they hung on vs. UCLA and pulled out the Utah game. If Jeff Tuel doesn't get hurt in the opener, well, who knows. But one could also take the other side and say well, they got lucky as hell vs. Colorado and were very fortunate to win that game, and it didn't hurt that Idaho State and UNLV were two of the worst teams in the country at the time we played them, while ASU had essentially mailed it in on Dennis Erickson by the time they came to Pullman! So it can be spun either way in the side of the fence you choose, know what I mean?
But what was interesting is to see that none of the 9 other coaches who won 6 or less combined games the prior three years went on to have a winning season the next year. And does anyone think Bobby Hauck is going to have a winning season in Vegas this year?? So while I don't have the list of those coaches Steele tweeted about, I would imagine almost all of the guys on the list are pursuing other opportunities today?? It just kind of paints a bigger picture when you look at it from a distance and see that Wulff 1) wasn't alone in his situation, and 2) wasn't able to pull out the winning season in that crucial fourth year.
Speaking of spin to fit your agenda…..Chris Hansen is taking some heat from SacTown over his latest announcement. Turns out that tomorrow, the Sonicsarena.com website will start taking names and phone numbers of those folks who are interested in tickets for the POSSIBLE return of the NBA next season. Of course, the reaction from SAC was negative as comments were of the "boy, Hansen sure looks desperate with this move!" and "they must be feeling the heat up there!" and "see, it's slipping away!" And the predictable reaction on the pro-Sonics side is that well, you see Hansen needs to sell tickets if he actually gets this franchise. And as the announcement said, they need to start getting an idea of the ticket buyers out there, above and beyond the studies that are done by the various groups who put together budgets and arena deals and the like. So they need to get a feel for who will be buying their product, because if this does go through it will be an awfully fast offseason to set up shop and start selling tickets to SuperSonics 2.0!
Who knows what will end up happening in all this. On Friday, David Stern basically took the SAC ownership group to task for submitting what was basically termed a "non-competitive" bid should the Seattle deal fall through. Some rumors and such suggested the bid from the Mark Mastrov-led group was around $80 to even $100 million LESS than the Seattle bid, and that simply isn't going to cut it.
But while I was 95% sure this thing was going to happen, well, now I'm probably 75-25 in favor of it actually happening. If you stick to the facts and realize that there is a signed purchase-and-sale agreement to relocate to a city that had 41 years of history supporting the NBA, and with an ownership group who's net worth could approach $20 BILLION in a city with eight Fortune-500 companies in the 12th ranked TV market? You have to like the odds. But SAC is fighting the good fight to hang on to their civic asset in the Kings, and they aren't going to go down without taking some big swings with a local ownership group of their own and an arena MOU of some kind.
But think of it this way – IF they say no to Seattle, the NBA owners are going against their recent history of allowing themselves to sell to whomever they choose. And while the NBA likes to say they want to keep teams in their towns, well, there have been 4 relocations in the last 12 years (Memphis, New Orleans, OKC and Brooklyn), so it's a rare situation where they stand in the way. I mean as Scott Howard-Cooper put it over the weekend on NBA.com, NBA owners generally don't "eat their own". And the biggest reason of all is that every owner could eventually be in the shoes of the Maloof family right now, where life changes occur and they are put in a position to sell. Those same owners want the ability to do what they want with their assets, and that includes an NBA franchise. But we'll see what happens! The NBA meets on April 3rd to get everything together, and then the vote should come a few weeks after that (April 18th or 19th). But that isn't essentially set in stone. There are some reports out there that suggest the NBA board of governors could actually vote at any time, in fact they could even do it over e-mail if they chose to. So it could be settled sooner than those dates that are out there now. But we'll see.
Finally, for all things Pac-12 tournament/Cougs, check out Cougcenter. They should have every angle covered, and then some.
All for now. GO COUGS!