THE FRONT ROW WITH JASON ELLIOTT: Some things to wish for next fall

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Sure, the football season just ended last week.

That doesn’t stop us from thinking about our wish list for the 2019 season.

ONE THING that has already happened is the announcement that Eastern Washington and Idaho will face off again, playing Sept. 21 at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow.

Sure, it’s a nonconference game between the Big Sky Conference rivals, but does that really matter?

Fans only recently got the rivalry back on the football field this year. It might have been a shame if the two didn’t play this year due to some wacky scheduling in the Big Sky.

Eastern was maybe a few plays away from winning a national title last Saturday in Frisco, Texas, but penalties and turnovers ended up costing them when it mattered.

Maybe another year under coach Aaron Best will be just enough for the Eagles to fly high in 2019.

Meanwhile in Moscow, Idaho has a few things to work out, but with a little bit more familiarity with its opponents, could be sneaky good this year.

As long as they avoid the key injury bug in their opener at Penn State on Aug. 31, as well as another nonconference game at Wyoming, the Vandals could be right in the mix for a playoff bid when it counts next November.

Washington State will have to replace Gardner Minshew at quarterback, but the Cougars have been down this road before as far as recruiting quarterbacks. Winning the Alamo Bowl and having a breakout season could be good for the Cougars. Of course, beating the Huskies in the Apple Cup is better, so they’ll need to figure out how to do that if they want to go anywhere warm come bowl season next year.

When it comes to Boise State, just like this year, it is pretty simple.

Win, and keep doing it.

Boise State opens the season with a game against Florida State in late August. No, not the Florida State teams that have often challenged for national championships and been in the playoff mix.

That game is one that the Broncos should win, as well as a handful of others.

Probably the biggest wish is if and when they get into a bowl game, they actually get to play it.

No matter if it comes in Glendale, Dallas or even at Bronco Stadium should the Broncos really struggle, just to be playing will be a step above where they finished this year.

SAY WHAT you will about the Seahawks, but they overachieved this season.

After an 0-2 start, with a pretty big roster turnover, they found a way to win 10 games and nearly won an 11th before losing to the Dallas Cowboys last Saturday.

They’ll have some decisions to make on some key free agents — again — but have the ability to build around these newer faces to the team.

Sure, eventually Seattle will have to pay its quarterback/ middle infielder, and that might affect things going forward.

Something that others might be wishing for a lot more than myself.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at (208) 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via email at jelliott@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter @JECdAPress.

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