Depending on what you read, the 2009 Idaho Vandals are either a step above a Pac-10 school like UCLA or they are the worst team in one of the weaker conferences in the country.
We're going with the latter. To no one's surprise, Graham Watson is going with the former.
You read that right. Graham Watson, ESPN blogger and possible crazy person, thinks very highly of the Vandals this season, for reasons that shall remain strictly confidential between her and the voices in her head. When speaking of San Diego State's weak non-conference schedule:
Even though UCLA is on the slate, Idaho might be the toughest game on the schedule.
So let me get this straight: Even though a 4-8 Pac-10 team is on the slate, a 2-10 WAC team might be the toughest game on the schedule? And not just any 2-10 WAC team, but the worst team in college football over the past half decade or more?
(Now might be a good time to point out that in the same story, Watson listed Boise State as having the fifth easiest non-conference schedule among non-BCS schools, completely forgetting that the Broncos had to visit Tulsa. This was a couple paragraphs after she listed New Mexico State as an easy non-conference game for the Vandals. Duly noted. The errors have been added to the Graham Watson Comedy of Errors page.)
Maybe Idaho is better than I think.
The Dawg Pound, an SB Nation Washington Huskies blog who had the obligation to preview the Vandals since they'll be visiting Husky Stadium this fall, wrote a fairly comprehensive breakdown of the entire Vandals roster, and they came to this conclusion:
Idaho still isn't ready for prime time or even leaving the WAC basement this season. They are making strides in Moscow but it will take another couple strong recruting classes before they can begin to compete with the likes of Boise State, Hawaii, and Fresno State.
Idaho's location and small budget gives them a distinct disadvantage in this league that can only be overcome by a coaching staff that stays around five or more years. Robb Akey seems to be this guy and they are on track to win a few more games in 2009.
That's right. Just a couple more strong recruiting classes to go with the zero strong recruiting classes they have had so far, throw in some undeserved job security for the Akeystache, and presto-change-o, you'll have yourself a middling WAC football school in five years.
So who is right about the Vandals? Is it purported "journalist" Graham Watson? Is it sensible, rational Washington bloggers? I think it best to turn that decision over to the readers. Here are some comments culled from each story:
Every time I log into ESPN I pray that Graham Watson has been fired or returned to whatever planet she comes from.
if Idaho isn't a win everybody is in BIG TROUBLE, Sark, Holt, the players, and the fans. If we lose to Idaho this season could be worse than last season.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Sometimes I seriously wonder if Graham just throws out these random, outrageous comments just so that in case one of them happens to turn out she can say she was on their bandwagon from the start. Idaho... LOL...
I guess that settles that.