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Ernie Kent's up-tempo style and charisma should bring some much-needed excitement to WSU hoops. (AP)

By Jim Moore

If you still follow Cougar basketball, what was your reaction when you heard that athletic director Bill Moos hired Ernie Kent to be the new coach?

I'm mostly excited about it for several reasons, and I'm putting aside any possible concerns such as:

• If Kent's so good, why has he been on the sidelines doing TV stuff for the past four years?

• Did we really want a retread at the age of 59 to revive our team?

I don't know what the answer is to the first question, but as for the second question, sure, why not?

On a personal level, I love the former coach, Ken Bone. I'm still guessing he's as good as it gets when it comes to coaching the X's and O's of the game. But it wasn't happening on the floor or in the stands, where empty seats turned into empty sections at Beasley Coliseum as each year went by during the Ken Bone Era.

No one seemed to care about Cougar basketball anymore, which is crazy because it was just six years ago when we were in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament with Tony Bennett as the coach. Then again, it's not so crazy when you consider how far we've fallen. The Cougs played hard but lacked talent; Bone didn't recruit enough good players to Pullman.

So if you're like me, they could have named Big Lo or anyone as coach and I'd be happy about it because it was time for a change.

Ernie Kent more than qualifies as a potential upgrade. At Oregon, for most of his time there, he proved himself as a recruiter and a coach. He coached four players who were first-round draft choices – Fred Jones, Luke Jackson, Luke Ridnour and Aaron Brooks. He led Oregon to five March Madness appearances, two Elite Eight appearances and two NIT Final Four appearances.

As I recall, when he coached at Oregon, the Ducks were a high-flying, three-point shooting, fast-paced team. I miss watching that kind of basketball and can't wait to see it in crimson-and-gray uniforms.

I'm old enough to remember when Kent played at Oregon for Dick Harter. The Ducks were known as the Kamikaze Kids because they were overly aggressive, always diving for loose balls and playing tough defense.

To be honest, I hated the Kamikaze Kids. I still remember the buzzer-beater that Ronnie Lee hit against us from the right of the lane as he fell to the floor. What a nightmare. I no doubt drank myself silly in room 227 of Gannon Hall after that one.

But if we can have an up-tempo, in-your-face, 25-foot shooting team now? Bring it on. I'd like to see us be more successful, of course, but while we're rebuilding, it sure would be fun to see an entertaining brand of basketball again.

I also like the fact that Kent has something to prove. He must have a chip on his shoulder. He must wonder why no one has hired him since 2010, his last year at Oregon.

And I like the fact that he was second or maybe even Moos' third or fourth choice. We all know that Boise State's Leon Rice was the first choice, but the WSU alum chose to stay put. I was the second choice a long time ago when I was hired to be a sports writer at the Anchorage Daily News. I remember having a feeling of wanting to prove that I should've been the first choice all along.

The other thing with Kent that I like: he has charisma and presence, traits that were missing in Bone.

We'll see how it plays out, but I can't wait to see what happens when Ernie Kent ushers in a new era of Cougar basketball.

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.

felix walk away 2
Jim Moore expects the Mariners to give Felix Hernandez enough run support to win 20 games for the first time. (AP)

By Jim Moore

It may not sound like it sometimes on the show, but I'm fired up for the start of the Mariners' season.

I love baseball and the Mariners in general, and Danny Farquhar in particular.

We also had a fun interview with Erasmo Ramirez on Friday, and I'd have to now list him as my second-favorite Mariner, but no one can displace Farquhar, who would still be the closer if I were the general manager.

I'm also looking forward to finding out more about left-handed reliever Joe Beimel, who I'd never heard of until I found out that he made the 25-man roster.

A little Wikipedia research shows that the soon-to-be 37-year-old went to Duquesne, John Clayton's alma mater. Beimel (BUY-mul) has a thick beard and developed a cult following in 2008 when he pitched for the Dodgers and put out a series of videos that led to "The Legend of Joe Beimel."

He wears the No. 97 because his first kid, Drew, was born in 1997.
Just seems to me that Beimel might have a few screws loose, which makes him my kind of guy.

Anyway, I was asked yesterday by one of my bosses, Brady Henderson, to come up with 10 predictions for the Mariners' season.

My goal is to go 10-for-10, but I'd be happy with 7-for-10. Let's start with a gimme so I won't go 0-for-10:

1. Bark in the Park will be a huge success. On July 8 for their game against the Twins, the Mariners will allow dogs at Safeco Field. This will end up being the best promotional night in franchise history, topping all previous bobblehead and Smoak-A-Motive nights combined.

2. Felix Hernandez will win 20 games for the first time. He'll finally get the run support to make it happen.

3. Farquhar will replace Fernando Rodney as the closer by the end of May. I sense that age will catch up to Rodney, and the blown saves will add up to a point that Farquhar will get the job back, and deservedly so. He shouldn't have lost it in the first place.

4. Lloyd McClendon will be thrown out of four games this year. Out of all of these predictions, I hope I'm wrong on this one. I hope he's thrown out of 14 games. Eric Wedge let me down in this department. With his fiery nature, I thought he'd get tossed from time to time but rarely was. I have more hope for McClendon. There's nothing better than a manager getting in an umpire's face and being ejected. McClendon has that kind of potential.

romero
Stefen Romero could help the M's lack of right-handed hitters. (AP)

5. Stefen Romero will be the everyday starter in right field by the first of May. What, you think Michael Saunders has a better chance of being the everyday starter in right field? Corey Hart? Please. Give the job to Romero and keep that right-handed bat of his in the lineup.

6. Jesus Montero will rise from the ashes and become the Mariners' regular DH after the All-Star break. Montero will lose some weight and hit .330 for the Tacoma Rainiers, forcing the Mariners to call him up as Hart and Logan Morrison continue to struggle and battle ailments that make you wonder what Jack Z was thinking when he acquired these injury-prone guys in the first place.

7. Robinson Cano will hit .315 with 30 home runs and 110 runs batted in. Anyone remember when we saw those kinds of numbers from a player in a Mariner uniform? Me neither. Or is it me either? We've gotten so used to thinking that .275 and 20 HRs and 80 RBIs are benchmark seasons around here, it's going to be nice to see someone blow those marks out of the water.

8. Hisashi Iwakuma will have an OK season, but nothing resembling a Cy Young kind of season, and Taijuan Walker won't be anything special this year. Both players should be in the rotation by the first of May, but I'd lower the expectations. Just a hunch with Iwakuma that he never quite returns to form, but with Walker, keep in mind that Felix was 12-14 with a 4.52 ERA in his first full season as a Mariner.

9. Rick Rizzs will say "Goodbye Baseball" 10 times when Chris Young pitches. USS Mariner tells us that the Mariners' fifth starter might be the easiest pitcher to steal off of in baseball history – in 179 stolen-base attempts against Young, 162 have been successful. But what scares me more than that? Young is said to be a "fly-ball pitcher." I don't like fly-ball pitchers, especially when I have converted infielders in the outfield. I like strikeout pitchers and ground-ball pitchers, but fly-ball pitchers? Not so much. When I think of fly-ball pitchers, I think of souvenirs in the stands.

10. The Mariners will finish with a 77-85 record. Sure things are Cano at second, Kyle Seager at third and Felix on the mound. But there are question marks everywhere else. You can make a good case for Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders having breakout years but more easily think they'll be mediocre again.

Brad Miller and Mike Zunino…I think we're all hopeful, but who knows how they'll turn out. The bullpen? Looks OK, not great. The rotation could be really good or so-so.

I want to buy in to the whole darn thing, but there are too many holes to expect a winning season.

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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Despite an already shorthanded rotation, the Mariners released left-hander Randy Wolf earlier this week. (AP)

By Michael Grey

Five thoughts on the week that was in Seattle sports and beyond:

Rotational confusion

The Mariners started spring training with back-to-back injuries in their starting rotation when Hisashi Iwakuma hurt his hand and Taijuan Walker came up with a sore shoulder. Instantly the pressure was on the team to cobble together a five-man rotation that could get it through the first month of the season. All that made the move on Tuesday to saddle Randy Wolf (who had pitched well enough to act as one of the band-aids to the rotation) with a 45-day exemption all the more puzzling. In February, the 37-year-old was signed to a $1 million deal and, despite the rotation being depleted so severely, the Mariners didn't want to be on the hook for even a pro-rated portion of that contract and he was released. Could that really have been a money move? Were the hundred of thousands that could have been lost really worth amplifying the stress on the rotation? And far be it for me to flippantly spend someone else's money, but what do those dollars mean to a team that just dropped nearly a quarter billion on its second basemen? While I certainly understand not believing that Wolf was any kind of long-term answer, the Mariners will start the season with 22 games against the American League West from March 31-April 27 and Chris Young in Wolf's place.

Jared Allen has left the building

Well, the Jared Allen Watch was fun while it lasted. Selfishly, I still believe that having No. 69 in Seahawks colors would have been a fun cover as the guy brings personality by the truck load. I also believe that he would have made the Seahawks' defense better, but I give a ton of credit to John Schneider and Pete Carroll for knowing the value that any one player represents to this team and for not deviating from their structure in assembling the roster. Chicago came to the table at the last minute with a contract that pays Allen almost what the Seahawks awarded to Michael Bennett and it was apparent that Seattle wasn't going to be willing to go near that high for his services. Once again, the bottom line in the NFL is, well, the bottom line (unless the Raiders are on the line, of course). It would've been fun to have Allen in town but not near as much fun as another deep playoff run will be.

Two out of three ain't bad

The Sounders rebounded nicely on Sunday with a road win in Montreal after dropping a match at home a week earlier to Toronto. Stefan Frei has himself two clean sheets in three starts and, save for 12 minutes in which the Sounders' defense couldn't contain Jermaine Defoe, they have been solid. One obvious blemish is Clint Dempsey's two-game suspension for a cup check on Toronto's Mark Bloom. MLS cannot afford to stand by and allow one of its brightest talents to act out that way on the field. Cheap shots of that nature will always bring disciplinary action. Dempsey is the kind of player that can make a big difference in this league and with a full year in Seattle will be a major contributor to this squad, but not if he's on the bench. Team USA is already calling for his services and Dempsey can ill afford to allow his temper to cost him additional time on the pitch.

Mark Cuban vs. the NFL

"Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered." That was one of a number of quotes that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban used in explaining why he believes the NFL could "implode" in the next decade. On the surface, a rant about greed from an NBA owner and billionaire could be laughed off, but does he have a point? Could the NFL be over-expanding in too many directions? The short answer is no, the NFL is simply trying to feed our voracious appetite for football. However, if you dig a little deeper you see a league pushing for more teams in the playoffs, more regular-season games, more primetime games on more networks and ultimately more teams in other countries. I could certainly see a time when the expansion of the league combined with the never-ending stream of rule changes begins to turn off a seemingly unending fan base. Will that happen in the next 10 years? I highly doubt it, but no business can grow forever. In the meantime, Cuban should turn his efforts to his own league with its massive market-to-market inequities, terrible NCAA policies and – most importantly – returning a storied franchise here to Seattle.

Speaking of money ...

The Detroit Tigers just signed Miguel Cabrera to the biggest contract in the history of MLB, worth just shy of $300 million. Those are real US dollars, not some make-believe online currency or Monopoly money. The deal will take him through age 40 and actually contains club options for the two years following, which could inflate the total value of the deal to north of $350 million. Dollars. For some scale that means that the Motown slugger will make $49,423 per at-bat for the next decade. It also means that I have almost that long to find a way on to Miggy's holiday shopping list.

paxton
Lefty James Paxton joins Erasmo Ramirez and Taijuan Walker as young starters the Mariners will count on in 2014. (AP)

By Jim Moore

If you heard Michael Grey and I last Friday, we were talking about a "Top 10 list of Reasons Why We're Optimistic About the 2014 Mariners."

I can hear you already…

"How hard was it to come up with 10 reasons?"

"Wouldn't it have been easier to come up with a 'Top 10 List of Reasons Why We're PESSIMISTIC About the 2014 Mariners?'"

"Or wait a minute, that would have been a Top 100 List."

Most of the time, I'm right there with you, a cynic and a skeptic and a non-believer in the Mariners based on what they have now and what they've done in the past.

The outfield's a mess; the rotation's a question mark until Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker return from injuries; no one's going to believe that Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders are quality major-leaguers until they show they are for a full season; Corey Hart is this year's version of Michael Morse; and on and on.

But for the sake of Friday's show and this post, I tried to look at the Mariners differently. Maybe they'll be the team that Vegas thinks they'll be – setting the over-under on number of wins at 81 ½.

I would've put the number at 75 ½, but Vegas is smarter than all of us. If they think the Mariners can go 81-81 or 82-80, be careful if you think otherwise.

Right or wrong, it was a heck of a lot more enjoyable to talk about the possible positives with this Mariner team than harping about their deficiencies, which seems to be my half-empty take most of the time.

With that, the "Top 10 Reasons Why We Should Be Optimistic About the Mariners This Year."

1. Robinson Cano. Some of these reasons are going to be obvious, and he's at the top of the list. The Mariners can count on getting 25 to 30 home runs, 100 runs batted in and Gold Glove defense from their new second baseman. On top of that, he's added a surprising new dimension with his leadership in the clubhouse.

2. Felix Hernandez. Could this be the year he finally wins 20 games? Let's hope so. Maybe he'll get enough run support in 2014. At the very least with Felix on the mound, the Mariners have a good chance to win.

3. Lloyd McClendon. The new Mariners manager might be the lift this team needs. But I admit to liking Eric Wedge, so I'll need to be convinced. McClendon is straight-forward, to-the-point, no-nonsense, all of those things, and it could make a difference.

4. Kyle Seager. The third baseman faded at the end of the 2013 season, but you know what you can usually get from him – a solid hitter who gives you 20 home runs and 60 or 70 RBIs, totals that could go up this year. Love the idea of him hitting second ahead of Cano.

5. Hisashi Iwakuma. Don't you have to include him on the list too? Will a middle finger injury that spoiled spring training bother him all year? I wouldn't think so. This guy was a Cy Young candidate last year and should return to form by late May or early June, enough to be a big factor.

6. James Paxton/Taijuan Walker/Erasmo Ramirez. I don't think all three will have good seasons, but don't you think at least one of them will? Paxton has been mostly solid in Cactus League play, and Ramirez has too – he might be my favorite of the three. We'll see about Walker and his shoulder issues, but he's always been the team's top prospect.

7. Brad Miller. Well, I admit I was pulling for Nick Franklin to win the shortstop job. Not sure why, I guess I just like that Franklin's a switch-hitter who would have occasionally offered a right-handed bat to a left-handed heavy lineup. But Miller has taken the job with a hot bat in spring training and could be a star in the making. Or heck, I'll take a semi-star in the making too.

8. Bullpen. OK, now I'm pushing it with this top 10 list. But hey, when we asked Rick Rizzs for his top 10 list, he mentioned John Buck at No. 8. John Buck?!?! He's a backup catcher. The Mariners have a good relieving corps that could be even better if Tom Wilhelmsen can shake those mental demons from last year. I'm not a huge fan of the Fernando Rodney signing when they already had Danny Farquhar as a closer, but if the Mariners take a lead into the eighth inning this year, they should win the game.

9. Dustin Ackley. If I wasn't pushing it with the No. 8 reason, I'm really pushing it now. I'm not a big Ackley fan. Don't like his beard and to be frank, I haven't seen much that I like from his game either. But in the optimistic spirit of this post, I will note that he hit .305 in the second half of the season and has been tearing up the Cactus League this spring.

10. Bark in the Park. If every other reason bites the dust, you can still count on No. 10 – on July 8 against the Twins, the Mariners will allow dogs to attend a game at Safeco Field. I took mine to Bark in the Park at an Everett Aquasox game last year and had a great time. Circle your calendars for this one.

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

jim golf
"The Golf Show with Jim Moore and Shon Crewe" airs Sunday mornings through August on 710 ESPN Seattle.

By Jim Moore

"The Golf Show with Jim Moore and Shon Crewe" returns Sunday at 10 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.

The one-hour show, mixing a blend of national and local golf news, airs Sunday mornings through August.

This week the guests are Shane Bacon of Yahoo Sports, one of the best golf bloggers in the country, and Danny Sink, the 2015 U.S. Open director.

We'll get the latest developments on Tiger Woods' back injury from Bacon along with an update on the final round at Bay Hill. Will Tiger be able to play at The Masters in three weeks? What about Adam Scott? Will he go wire to wire at Bay Hill? We'll get the answers from Bacon.

Sink will fill us in on preparations for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, which is now only 15 months away.

"Sweeping the Dial, Golf Style" is another weekly feature on "The Golf Show with Jim Moore and Shon Crewe."

We'll talk about some of the offbeat and dubious stories in the golf world, including John Daly shooting a 90 at the Valspar Championship and Bubba Watson withdrawing after an 83 at Bay Hill, citing "allergies" as the reason.

Hope you'll join us Sunday morning at 10.

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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Golden Tate and fans who criticized him showed a lack of understanding about the business side of the NFL. (AP)

By Michael Grey

Five thoughts on the week that was in Seattle sports and beyond:

C'mon, man

Golden Tate's Internet detractors here in Seattle and the receiver's recent round of interviews both share a common blindspot – the business of the NFL. If, as a fan, you have taken Tate's departure personally and feel as though he owes you or the city something, you're out of your mind. Tate isn't city property, he's an employee. He found more fruitful employment elsewhere and took the opportunity that the vast majority of employees in any profession would have taken. The man plays football for money, he can get more money elsewhere, that's it. For Tate's part, going on a radio tour dropping bombs about the "laughable" offer from the Seahawks both encourages fan attacks and misses the point in his own way. The offer here in Seattle was what he was worth to this employer, that's it. In Detroit he found another employer with a greater value on his skills. Good for him. The real mistake is in the assumption he has "Golden Tate fans" and that he's being disrespected by them. Those people at CenturyLink are Seahawks fans and they will continue to be Seahawks fans now that he's gone. He should expect support and cheers from Lions fans now (and those fans will stop cheering the instant he dons another team's helmet). Tate shouldn't claim he made a business decision and then emotionally react to fans. Mistakes on both sides and – to be completely honest – the type of NFL story that only gets run in March.

It's Miller. It's Franklin. Wait, you're both right?

One of the most interesting battles in spring training is at shortstop between two young guns in Brad Miller and Nick Franklin. For their part these two have done nothing to disappoint as both have played well in Peoria with Miller hitting .440-plus and leading the team in home runs while Franklin has looked rock solid fielding his position. The only downside to this battle for me is that one of these guys (and at this point it's Franklin) will start the year on the bench, in Tacoma or on another roster. We sit less than two weeks from opening day and this M's roster still has too many question marks in the field and the order to lose a guy that can play. General manager Jack Zduriencik told 710 ESPN Seattle this week that neither player is on the trading block so there's some relief there, but that doesn't get both guys on the field. With questions about Corey Hart's health and stroke, Logan Morrison's home in the field and Justin Smoak's ability to find the consistency he had at the plate last year from May-August, there needs to be a place for a gritty ball player like Franklin.

Football is their business and business is good

Earlier in the week I asked this question on Twitter: "With 12 days to the start of MLB and 50 days to the NFL Draft, what's your countdown clock set to?" Obviously this is a completely un-scientific sample, but the loudest response was for the NFL Draft. It again illustrates the NFL's Godzilla-like dominance over the sports landscape. Pro Bowls that no one seems to like, combine workouts with players that haven't seen a snap of pro ball, free agency and the draft routinely outdraw regular-season contests in the other leagues. Imagine liking a car so much that rather than just test driving and buying it you tour the steel mill to watch workers fabricate the materials to forge the frame – this is where we are with the NFL. Our national love affair with the NFL no longer borders on obsession, it surpasses it. We don't just covet the game but anything and everything associated with it. Incidentally, I love football as much or more than the next guy, but give me a sport playing real games every time over the business wing of another league. I can't wait for opening day.

The Madness

In a world dominated by professional football there's nothing that grabs our collective attention like the Tournament. Office pools, sick days (looking right at you, Jim Moore) and "work-ins" pop up from coast to coast as we all sit and stare at college hoops. The most fascinating part of all of this – and I am absolutely one of the gawkers – is that so many of us pay zero attention to college hoops throughout the regular season. Even those that do typically are following just one team or conference. What other sport is so largely ignored only to have the entire country dial in for its playoffs? There's just nothing like it. Even fans with no rooting interest (Washington and Washington State fans, for example) will be dialed in and drawing lines through their brackets as the games tick by. For me, it's as close to pure fun as you will find in big-time sports today. Having said that I will now go tend to the smoldering wreckage of my bracket and blinking at the TV.

Seattle Love

The Jared Allen Watch has been in full effect since the start of free agency and it's served as a great reminder of why I fell in love with Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. I joked this week on Twitter (and again, if you're not following @TheMichaelGrey this type of hard-hitting material is what you're missing out on) that the Seahawks should do whatever it takes to seal the deal with Allen, even if it means a seaplane ride or letting him toss a fish in the Market. Immediately I got responses full of ideas and experiences unique to our home, from rain-driving lessons to guided steelhead trips to Squatch hunts and more. It might be because I'm rounding out my first year here in Seattle, but there's just so much to love about this place and an abundance of pride in the area's assets. I'm sure that someone is already crafting their snarky comment about how money and a championship opportunity are what will get a deal done with Allen, and before you go further I understand that (so stop typing and go outside or something). Spring is here, we're all about to enjoy the best time of the year in the best place in the country and I, for one, just think that it would be a little more entertaining with No. 69 in the fold getting ready to rodeo rope quarterbacks while wearing Seahawks navy. However, with or without the big fella I'm looking forward to further exploring and getting to know my new home.

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Ken Bone was fired Tuesday after compiling an 80-86 record in five seasons at Washington State. (AP)

By Jim Moore

Well, the Ken Bone Era is over in Pullman. Washington State athletic director Bill Moos fired the Cougars' basketball coach Tuesday, which prompts the question: Now what?

On a personal level, I really liked Bone. Good man, and I'm guessing he's a great coach when it comes to the X's and O's. But he didn't have the players, and that's on him, too.

No offense, but if I'm being honest here, I have a hard time picturing him in living rooms, being able to consistently lure blue-chip or even red-chip recruits. When it comes to pizzazz, sizzle and charisma, there was none to be found in Bone.

But even in a season gone south, my kids and I watched nearly every game, and the thing that impressed me most was that Bone's players looked like they played hard for him to the very end. It's rare to see that with a lame-duck coach.

Sad. That's not how I feel about Bone's departure; it's how I feel about the program compared to where it was with Tony Bennett. With Coach McDreamy – the girls loved him, too – the Cougs made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2008.

By my math, and anyone's math, that was just six years ago. The Cougars were one of the best 16 teams in the country, and now they're the 11th-best in their conference.

What makes it worse is seeing Bennett at Virginia, all happy and smiling, leading the Cavaliers to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a win over Duke in the ACC Tournament last Sunday.

I was bitter and disappointed when he left, but Bennett got a better contract and an opportunity to coach in the ACC along with a new arena at Virginia.

The disappointment came from subconsciously knowing we'd have a hard time matching the success Bennett had with the next coach.

AP100130131335
Former Oregon coach Ernie Kent has a connection to Washington State athletic director Bill Moos and a track record of success in the conference. (AP)
Now we're on to the next-next coach or whatever you want to call him. I know this: I'll bet that Moos already had a verbal agreement in place with the new coach before he fired Bone.

Paul Wulff was fired as Washington State's football coach two weeks after Moos interviewed Mike Leach in Key West. So I'm guessing Moos has an offer on the table to someone, and that announcement likely will be made by the end of the week.

I'm also guessing that Ernie Kent will be the new coach. I say this because Moos, in a news conference Tuesday, mentioned that he would use Kent more as a sounding board to find out about other candidates who would be a good fit in Pullman.

Kent doesn't want to be an advisor; he wants to be the next Cougars coach, and Moos already knows as much.

You can make a great case as to why Kent should get the job. He won a Pac-10 championship and made five NCAA Tournament appearances at Oregon. He's energetic and would bring a faster-paced team to Pullman. He knows what it takes to be successful in this conference.

You could talk me into other candidates such as the ones that were listed in a CougCenter.com post: Boise State's Leon Rice, Utah State's Stew Morrill, Long Beach State's Dan Monson, Fresno State's Rodney Terry, Randy Bennett of St. Mary's and former UCLA coach Ben Howland.

I'd also add Montana's Wayne Tinkle to the list, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to have a Tinkle after having a Bone as my head coach.

I'd put Howland, who took two UCLA teams to the Final Four; and Rice, a WSU alum who worked under Mark Few at Gonzaga, at the top of the list with Kent. And I could be talked into any other candidate who can make Cougars basketball relevant again and put bodies into those empty seats at Beasley Coliseum again.

But based on what I heard at that Moos news conference, I'm guessing when the announcement's made, Ernie Kent will be introduced as the new coach.

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.

By Brady Henderson

A fun fact about Steven Hauschka is that he comes from a family of dentists and once figured that would be his eventual profession.

Hauschka-mug
Hauschka
That, of course, was before he became one of the NFL's most reliable kickers during a two-year stretch that culminated in Hauschka receiving a multi-year contract from the Seahawks that makes him one of the higher-paid players at his position.

So much for dentistry.

"Yeah, that's on the backburner forever now I think," Hauschka said Monday after signing a three-year deal with Seattle.

Hauschka, one of the Seahawks' unrestricted free agents, said there were "a couple" other teams interested in his services, which is understandable given the accuracy he's shown the past two seasons and the increased leg strength he displayed in 2013. Hauschka connected on 57 of 62 field-goal attempts the last two seasons – with two of those misses resulting from blocked kicks – and in 2013 he increased his touchback rate by nearly 10 percent from 2012.

Seahawks free-agency tracker
Keep track of the players Seattle has re-signed, added, lost to other teams and released during free agency here.
While there was interest elsewhere, Hauschka signed a deal with Seattle that is reportedly worth $9.15 million and includes $3.35 million guaranteed. The annual average, according to the website Spotrac.com, ranks 11th among NFL kickers.

"It was definitely flattering to hear the teams that were interested," he told "Wyman, Mike and Moore" on 710 ESPN Seattle. "There were definitely some teams that I thought were going to make a push for me but ended up re-signing their own kickers. But in the end I wanted to be back in Seattle and if you had told me this before free agency that I'd be back with Seattle, I would have been so pumped up.

"I'm so excited to back, and what a great team and organization to play for."

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

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Dave Wyman

In addition to co-hosting "Wyman, Mike and Moore", Dave Wyman co-hosts the Seahawks pre- and post-game shows on 710 ESPN Seattle. Dave was an All-American and All-Pac-10 linebacker at Stanford -- where he received a degree in communications and is a member of the university's Athletic Hall of Fame -- before entering the NFL as second-round pick in 1987 and spending nine seasons with the Seahawks and Broncos. Dave lives in Sammamish with his wife and two kids.

Michael Grey

Michael, the new co-host of "Wyman, Mike and Moore", comes to 710 ESPN Seattle from 590 ESPN in Omaha, Neb. and previously worked at WBBL in Grand Rapids, Mich. Michael started in radio in 1997 in the rock music world at Grand Rapids stations WGRD and WKLQ.

Jim Moore

Jim Moore has co-hosted the show since its inception in 2009. He also co-hosts "The Northwest Golf Show" with Shon Crewe and writes weekly columns for 710Sports.com. Jim spent 26 years as a reporter and columnist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where he developed his nickname, "The Go 2 Guy."

Jessamyn McIntyre

Jessamyn McIntyre has produced the show since its inception in 2009 and is the executive producer of 710 ESPN Seattle. Jessamyn previously spent four years at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn. She freelances as a producer for ESPN Radio and TV and is the sideline reporter for WSU football games on 710 ESPN Seattle.



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