Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Linfield selected as the 2010 NWC pre-season favorites


Not surprisingly your Linfield Wildcats have been selected by the NWC coaches as the NWC Pre-Season favorites. This is not new ground for the 'Cats as Linfield has been tabbed as the pre-season team-to-beat 9 out of the past 10 years. However, what we know right now is that the NWC coaches haven't exactly been Nostradamus the previous 4 seasons. Linfield was picked as the NWC pre-season favorites from 2006-08 and was edged out by the Rats in 2006 and 07 and Willamette in 2008. So, the NWC coaches FINALLY decided to give the pre-season nod to somebody else this past year (Willamette) and guess what happens? Yup, Linfield says "Whoa, do you know who I am?" and blasts their way to an undefeated season and the 2009 NWC title.

So you have to ask yourself, is the NWC pre-season Coach's poll the kiss of death? Heck no, it's just that Linfield is considered the historical top dog of the NWC and for good reason. Willamette made a good case to be the favorite in 2009 with their 2008 performance. It's as simple as that. WC11 is not so superstitious where he believes in things like the Madden Curse or the SI jinx. I have no problem with the 'Cats having a target on their back and being seen as the top cat. Linfield has earned that honor and with the talent the 'Cats have back the coaches would have to be on a 5 hour bender of sniffing model airplane glue not to select Linfield as the 2010 NWC favorite.

There's a few other things that we should take a look at with regards to the poll. Willamette finishing 2nd was a no brainer and the Bearcats are very much going to be in lock step with Linfield for the NWC title. The early October match up between the 'Cats and Bearcats is going to determine who has the NWC 2010 title by the throat. The Bearcats do return some fine talent and if they can survive their early season meat grinder they are going to be a big time threat.

My only real surprise was to see PLU edge Whitworth out for the 3rd place. Yeah, Whitworth had a down year and PLU showed some signs of life towards the end of last year but the Rats where terribly hit with the injury bug and losing their work horse, Adam Anderson, early in the season was a blow Whitworth could never recover from. With Anderson back for a 5th year, I thought that the Rats would gobble up that 3rd spot with little resistance...apparently not.

L&C has been terrible for the longest time and even a head-to-head win over UPS last year still doesn't changes the coaches mind in giving the Pios a little hope and picking them 5th over the Loggers. If Willenbrock was back at the helm for UPS then you might have seen the coaches give the Pios the nod for the 5th spot but a new coach at UPS gives them enough to get over on L&C.

As for the Pios...they are getting healthier. Are they good yet? Nope but their roster is about at 70 this season and I hope they can get up to the 85-90 mark next season and that's when I think they'll start making some stands versus the middle of the NWC pack.

Pacific understandably is bring up the last spot and they are going to take their lumps as they re-start football in Forest Grove but I expect the Boxers to actually be a pretty decent team sooner rather than later. I think Pacific wants this to go well and we all know that if your administration is behind football and you have a solid coach then you will have a chance to do well. I just hope for all of hoping that the Boxers don't beat L&C this season. That might be biggest death blow the Pios could get.

10 comments:

Pat Coleman said...

Coaches rarely stray too far from the previous season's final standings. When they do, it has to be something that beats them over the head, like in the ASC, where last year's No. 4 Hardin-Simmons is picked to finish second because they have guys back who were hurt last year, etc.

Wildcat 11 said...

PC,

I agree but I thought having the 2x NWC offensive player of the year back would give the Rats more pull. It's not a huge surprise having PLU over Whitworth but I'm still surprised.

Bearcat Press said...

11-

PLU returns every single one of their starters on offense this year. That, plus the fact that Whitworth has to go to Tacoma this year actually has me leaning towards the Lutes as well.

Then again, I picked Linfield third last year ...

Wildcat 11 said...

B-Press,

Good point but I think people forget just how much better Anderson makes Whitworth. The Rats game plan is feed Anderson, control the clock, keep it close, and feed Anderson some more.

I think it will be a dog fight between those two for that 3rd spot. BTW, thanks for posting on the blog! :) Knew you were an avid reader.

Cris said...

11,
So when do we get to see the new scoreboard intro.

Wildcat 11 said...

Cris,

First home game! :)

The clip is still in the conception phase. I do have a solid idea now it's just a matter of getting the material together.

But in terms of posting it on-line...first week of March 2011.

Anonymous said...

So what do you think about Pacific in 4 years?? Sounds like they are bringing a lot of bodies to camp, and if they can find some studs in the freshman class, get them playing time that could mean valuble experience for later on. You can't coach experience and Pacific's class of 2014 should have plenty of it... just a thought. Could be formidable in a couple of years if they have some kids that are 4 year starters.

Wildcat 11 said...

Pacific in 4 years? Who knows. I know excitement is high right now and I get that. It should be fun to have football coming back and Pacific should really enjoy it.

The numbers look great but just how much legitimate talent is in that the group? If there is talent, is Pacific going to be able to retain those players they can build on? Once the shine of being new wears off will prospective recruits still be looking at Pacific?

See there are a lot of questions to be answered and time is the teller of all. I can't say if Pacific is going to be a garbage program, decent program, or good program in 4 years from now because I really have no idea.

Now, what's in Pacific's favor is the administration seems to be giving the program their full backing and that's a good sign the program will get the support they need.

If you really want me to take a stab at it then I will say the Boxers will be a OK to decent program in 4 years.

"Formidable"....there are a couple of other programs in the NWC that reserve that right and are not going to slip anytime in the near future. That I can promise you.

Anonymous said...

Wildcat11. Why do you think so many talented kids choose sitting on the bench at Linfield for 3 or 4 years rather than going to another NWC school and playing in their first or second year?

Wildcat 11 said...

Anonymous,

Why does Mount Union, SJU, Hardin-Simmons, Mary Hardin-Baylor, etc get 180+ kids out each year? It's because players want to play for excellent programs and that is no different than what happens at Linfield.

Second, I think you paint a false picture about players that come to Linfield not getting and opportunity to play early. Just look at last year's team: Steele, McCabe, Kunioka, Repp, Axel Cederberg (injured) all played big parts on the team as Frosh. Hayunga, as a frosh, picked 6 vs UMHB and was on the playoff roster.

The Sophomores: Williams, Barnes, Dixon, Fisher, Sparky, Skore, Krieger, Wiersma, Parish, Saxon, Anderson, Hanna, Shim, Mace, Saunders. These guys were either starters this season or played huge minutes and a number of them played and some started last year too.

Then look at the upper classmen:
Lamson - started as Soph
Henderson - started as Soph
Boehme - played WR as Soph and started a game as Soph
Jackson - Started 3 years
T-Chuck - played a lot frosh year and 3 year starter
Parlow - started off and on over 3 years
Heston - Started as Soph
Nish - Starter as Soph
Millenbach - started off and on as soph
on and on I can go....

In fact 20 out of the 44 players who played at Whitewater this season where Soph/Frosh.

So you see...if you come to Linfield and are good enough as a Frosh/Soph...you'll play. The proof is right above.

IMO, if you think you're good enough and want the competition to be the best then you go to Linfield and prove it.

Some guys have to wait for their turn (I did) but it made me a better player and person and I wouldn't trade that time for going to an also ran and being 2-7, 3-6 every year.