Washington State coach Jake Dickert gave an impassioned response about his team’s level of “buy-in” after the No. 21 Cougars downed No. 14 Oregon State 38-35 on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:
- “We’re greater than the sum of our parts because of our connection and how we play and the buy-in that they have to their job,” he said, acknowledging WSU’s lack of four- and five-star players. “I think it speaks volumes for 18-to-23-year-old young men to buy into that; it’s not easy.”
- Dickert added that “Nationally, there’s a lot of noise out there.” He called out ESPN analyst Lee Corso’s comments about the matchup on Saturday’s “College Gameday,” where the former coach dubbed the game the “No one wants us bowl.”
- “I would love to have a conversation with Coach Corso about the value he sees in breaking up the premier West Coast conference,” Dickert said. “And I’d also love to have a conversation about how he thinks student-athletes and mental health and flying them all over the country is a positive thing.”
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
Pac-2 showdown lives up to hype
The Pac-2 championship tilt lived up to its billing! On a Saturday that was hyped as potentially the most-stacked of the season with six top-25 matchups, Oregon State-Washington State saved what turned out to be a lackluster slate of games. And the Cougars, now 4-0, announced their arrival on the scene this year with their 38-35 win over the Beavers in Pullman. The battle of both Pac-12 schools left out of the shifting landscape of conference realignment went the way of the team on the Palouse thanks to an epic offensive display.
Wazzu QB Cam Ward electrified the home crowd and routinely stunned a talented OSU defense by throwing for 404 yards and four touchdowns. The Pac-12 is home to the most talented stable of quarterbacks in college football this season and Ward ensured that the rest of the conference remembered his name — and his team — as Wazzu’s dream start in what has been an otherwise nightmarish scenario rolls on. — Kamrani
After the Cougars upset Wisconsin earlier this month, Dickert pleaded that they “belong in the Power 5.” He added: “These kids have worked their asses off. We’re all we’ve got. We’re all we need.”
Washington State and Oregon State have expressed interest in trying to rebuild the Pac-12. Leaders from both schools held a conference call with reporters Thursday to discuss the state of the conference, realignment options and legal proceedings to come.
Oregon State president Dr. Jayathi Murthy said the two schools have had “very constructive conversations” with Mountain West commissioner Gloria Nevarez and there is mutual interest from both sides on “some sort of partnership.”
But WSU and OSU are still trying to gain clarity on the fiscal condition of the Pac-12 as it stands. “Our two schools continue to seek financial records from the conference and are painstakingly reviewing documents to get an accurate picture of the conference’s fiscal position,” Washington State president Dr. Kirk Schulz said, adding that he’s “optimistic that in the next 30 days or so we’re going to have a pretty decent idea of a lot of this and that will help our decision-making.”
(Photo: James Snook / USA Today)