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Tough to forecast Cougars' opener, 2013 season

By Jim Moore

This is supposed to be a preview of Washington State's game against Auburn on Saturday and a preview of the Cougars' 2013 season. But let me throw out one of my favorite phrases on "Wyman, Mike and Moore," which is: "I don't know."

I don't know what will happen.

I don't know if we'll play well Saturday or not. I don't even know if we're good enough to play well in a game on the road against an SEC opponent. I don't know if we'll hang around and stay in the game or if we'll get blown out.

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Connor Halliday and the Cougars are two-touchdown underdogs in Saturday's season opener at Auburn. (AP)
I can only base what might happen on the spread in Vegas – Auburn is favored by 15.5 points. So we're supposed to lose by at least two touchdowns, but then again, the Dawgs were favored by 14 points in the Apple Cup last year and look what Jeff Tuel and Toni Pole did to them.

As bad as we were last year, I don't think we should be that big of an underdog to a team that also went 3-9 in 2012. You could argue that our wins over Eastern Washington, UNLV and Washington were better than Auburn's wins over Louisiana-Monroe, Alabama A&M and New Mexico State.

Coach Mike Leach said this summer that the bottom half of the Pac-12 is better than the bottom half of the SEC, and if that's the case, here's a chance to prove it.

I'm not sure what you're worried about, but one of my concerns is the weather. It's supposed to be around 80 degrees with 88 percent humidity at kickoff. There's no way the Cougs could simulate that kind of humidity in Pullman, and I worry that we'll wear down in the second half with all of that chasing and pursuing of Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall.

I like to picture Connor Halliday accurately throwing passes all over the place, directing one Cougar drive after another to the end zone or at least within field-goal range for Andrew Furney. I like to picture the defense stopping Auburn's no-huddle offense often enough to give us a chance to win. I like to picture myself celebrating with fellow Cougs at Magnolia Village Pub, hoisting victory shots of Fireball after shocking the Tigers.

And in my fantasy world, I also like to picture myself having another celebration with fellow Cougs after Boise State beats the Dawgs and spoils the re-opening of Husky Stadium.

But when I picture good things happening with the Cougs, I remember some of those gawd-awful games from last year, the ones against Colorado, Utah and ASU in particular. Those are the kind of games that remind me we're not quite there yet. But neither is Auburn under first-year coach Gus Malzahn.

We'll see how it plays out Saturday night and in the next three months. I'm not going to go out on a limb – I'm going out on a forest with a forecast of a 6-6 season that starts with a 34-31 victory over Auburn and ends with a bowl game.

Go Cougs.

The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at jimmoorethego2guy@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.

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