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Washington State reportedly adds local rival Idaho to 2025 schedule

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Idaho has officially moved down to the FCS ranks after the conclusion of the 2017 season but even that reclassification isn’t going to stop them from playing their football rivals just across the state line.

According to The Spokesman-Review, Washington State has added a season-opening game against the Vandals for August 30, 2025. Terms of the agreement or confirmation that a deal has been signed were not released by the school but sources confirmed to the paper that the game will come with a $625,000 payout from the Pac-12 school.

The two programs are about nine miles apart in the Pacific Northwest and have played each other 92 times in their history already (apparently dating back to 1894). There is another game already on the docket between the two teams for September 19, 2020 and the most recent meeting was as lopsided as these two upcoming games probably will be when the Cougars won 56-6 in Pullman during the 2016 season.

Washington State has been busy on the scheduling front this week, also adding a home-and-home series with Colorado State. While it’s probably very far-fetched to see them do a home-and-home with Idaho, the thought of Mike Leach being astounded by coaching a game in the Kibbie Dome is certainly something WSU should explore for the coach’s reaction if nothing else.

We can dream, can’t we?

Colorado State fills Colorado void with Washington State home-and-home series

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The Rocky Mountain Showdown between Colorado and Colorado State is set to expire after the 2020 meeting between the in-state rivals. With Colorado moving on filling its non-conference schedule without the Rams, Colorado State found another Pac-12 school to help fill some vacancies on the future schedule.

As first reported by FBSchedules.com, Colorado State and Washington State have lined up a future home-and-home series that will be played in 2022 and 2023. Washington State will host Colorado State on Sept. 17, 2022. Colorado State will play host to the Cougars the following season on Sept. 2, 2023.

The only other meeting between the Cougars and Rams took place in the 2013 New Mexico Bowl, with the Rams rallying to stun Washington State in a wild finish.

Colorado State will play one opponent from a power conference on n annual basis through at least 2023 with the Washington State series and will likely have at least one power conference opponent scheduled through at least 2028 with just 2024 to fill in as of now. The Rams will play three power conference opponents this fall with a neutral site game against Colorado, a home game against Arkansas, and a road game at Florida to start the season. Colorado State has future home-and-home deals with power conference opponents from the Pac-12 (Arizona, Oregon State, Washington State), Big 12 (Texas Tech), and the SEC (Arkansas, Vanderbilt).

As a member of the Pac-12, Washington State does not have a scheduling requirement to play at least one power conference opponent as schools in the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC are required. Washington State’s next non-conference game against a power conference opponent is scheduled in 2022 at Wisconsin, the week before hosting Colorado State.

Texts, emails detail John Currie calling Tennessee fans ‘wacko,’ ‘broken WiFi’ that preceded ouster

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Not surprisingly, Tennessee’s circus of a search for a new head football coach was just as wild on the inside as it looked from the outside.

Multiple media outlets Friday released text messages, direct messages and emails pertaining to John Currie, who began the search to replace Butch Jones as Tennessee’s athletic director but was suspended partway through the process as part of what some described as an athletic department coup.  One of the more bizarre exchanges came during the infamous Greg Schiano imbroglio, with Currie referring to the Volunteer fan base as “wacko” and simultaneously elicits some “PR” help from USA Today sportswriter Dan Wolken.

Jones was fired on Nov. 12 of last year.  In the 25 days between that firing and the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt Dec. 7, Tennessee replaced Currie with Phillip Fulmer as athletic director and were reportedly turned down by Mike LeachDave DoerenKevin SumlinJeff BrohmMike Gundy and David Cutcliffe.  It was the pursuit of Leach that turned out to be the tipping point for the end of Currie’s tenure in Knoxville.

On Nov. 30, Currie, still in pursuit of the North Carolina State coach, flew out to Los Angeles for a meeting with the Washington State head coach after the two had apparently reached a verbal agreement in talks leading up to the face-to-face.  In fact, Leach’s agent, Gary O’Hagan, stated in a subsequent message to UT general counsel Matthew Scoggins that “[w]e negotiated earnestly and in good faith and feel we had reached and agreed to a deal.”

However, on the flight out to LA, Currie was out of touch with his superiors for a period of roughly six hours, which the then-AD blamed on a WiFi outage on the plane.

“I am very sorry for the stress I caused by the Wifi outage on the Delta flight,” Currie wrote in an email. “I had every intention of being able to communicate and that we could still get (Dave Doeren) deal done while I was traveling but without an immediate answer, the negative social media assaults against him and and the media news of their negotiating with NCSU, I was concerned that I needed to be in position to meet with other candidate[s] including Coach Leach who’s (sic) was in LA recruiting.”

Another missive stated that “[t]he plane I was on had broken WiFi. I am so sorry.”

From WBIR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville:

At 4:14 on the afternoon of November 30, Currie sent a group text saying, “[Leach] wants the job, but I have not offered or discussed terms with him. He has to leave for a visit at 2 (Pacific time). Can someone please call me back?”

At 4:26 p.m., UTK Chancellor Beverly Davenport texted Curried saying, “We need you to come back to Knoxville tonight.”

Currie responded, “What should I tell coach Leach?”

“Tell him you have nothing more you can talk with him about,” Davenport replied.

In response to Currie’s emailed apology for the stress his being out of contact caused, Davenport wrote that “[a]fter finally connecting, you informed me that you were in California heading into a meeting with Mike Leach. This was the first I had heard of this meeting.”

“Because of the confusion from earlier in the day with the other candidate [Doeren], I asked you not to pursue any discussions about employment with any additional candidates,” Davenport continued. “I would like to meet with you in my office at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow [Dec. 1] to continue this discussion.”

It was at the Dec. 1 meeting that Currie was informed he had been suspended.  Thursday, UT announced that it had reached a $2.5 million “amicable resolution” with Currie, who had been suspended with pay since that first day of December.

In addition to the previously reported candidates who turned down the Vols, former LSU head coach Les Miles and current Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson had expressed interest in the opening, messages showed  Additionally, former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, who took over as interim head coach after Jones’ firing, sent a text to Currie in which he expressed interest in the full-time job.

And, of course, the text was sent in all-caps.

JOHN I HOPE YOU DO KNOW I WOULD LIKE TO BE YOUR HEAD FOOTBALL COACH I DO KNOW THE ENVIRONMENT WE LIVE IN AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AT TENNESSEE!

If that doesn’t perfectly encapsulate Tennessee’s sideshow search for a coach, nothing does.

After committing to Alabama, grad transfer QB Gardner Minshew tweets flip to Washington State

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So much for the implementation of the Jalen Hurts Transfer Protection Plan™.

In late February, Gardner Minshew, a graduate transfer quarterback from East Carolina, confirmed that he had committed to play for Alabama and would enroll at the university in May.  Nearly three weeks later, Minshew shifted his course significantly, announcing on Twitter that he is “[p]roud to say that I’ll be playing my last year of college ball at Washington State.”

At least when it comes to the opportunity for playing time, the Cougars, looking to replace Luke Falk, make much more sense than the Crimson Tide, who has, in addition to a two-year starter in Hurts, national championship game hero Tua Tagovailoa.

As a graduate transfer, Minshew will be eligible to play immediately for Wazzu in 2018 and could be in line to win a starting job at the Power Five school.

Minshew started five games for the Pirates last season, throwing for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in completing just over 57 percent of his 304 pass attempts. Prior to his departure from ECU, he was penciled in as the Pirates’ 2018 starting quarterback.

The news of Minshew’s initial commitment to UA came a little over a week after Minshew visited the Tuscaloosa campus.  Earlier in February, it was reported that Alabama had an interest in Minshew, the quarterback who announced late last month that he had withdrawn from East Carolina to tend to a personal matter in his home state of Mississippi.

Mike Leach and WSU sued by former player who was suspended and not welcomed back

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Former Washington State cornerback Zaire Webb is suing Washington State and Cougars head coach Mike Leach after not being allowed to be reinstated to the football program. Webb was dismissed by Leach from the program following an arrest last October but says he should have been allowed to return to the team after the charges were dropped. The report of the lawsuit was originally shared by Deadspin, along with the documents for the lawsuit.

At the time of Webb’s dismissal (wide receiver Anthony White Jr. was also given the boot for the same reason), Leach explained any violation of three simple rules in his program would result in an automatic removal from the program. Any player found guilty of violence against a woman, being connected to illegal drugs, or stealing gets removed from the program, according to Leach’s policy. But Webb feels he should have been welcomed back to the program after the charges against him were dropped. After he was removed from the football program, the university pulled Webb’s scholarship.

Webb is building his case on the accusation that Leach has been known to bend his own rules with regard to those three previously mentioned causes for automatic dismissal. Not every example outlined by Webb’s lawsuit ties directly to the three red lines Leach supposedly has drawn, but there is at least one example that supports Webb’s claim. The lawsuit claims wide receiver Grant Porter remained on the roster this spring despite a domestic-violence charge from last November, although Washington State has followed up to say Porter is indefinitely suspended.

Webb’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, in addition to reimbursement for legal fees and costs, and any other support the court deems warranted for Webb. There is no specific request to see Webb reinstated on scholarship at Washington State or within the football program.

Washington State and Leach have provided no comment on this lawsuit.

Helmet sticker to The Comeback.