The virtual bullet train-like drive over to Pullman late Friday night was made to visit friends, have a good time, but most importantly, watch some Cougar football. Both myself and my girlfriend in the passenger's seat knew they would likely lose but we were counting on at least a competitive game.
On their opening drive, the Cougars actually scored and even did so on a trick play. Confidence and noise was sky high. I should've been primed for the let down that followed, the two USC touchdowns in 24 seconds that followed. Frankly, I should've also expected the poor tackling, the distinct lack of any physical play up front and for Lane Kiffin to run up the score. Even in a game where they lost by a solid five touchdowns, there were signs of progress. Offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy finally made a game plan primarily using his most skilled players: his quarterback and wide receivers. Jeff Tuel made the mistakes you expect a sophomore quarterback to make but he also played to his potential, showing a deep arm and threw a couple of precision passes.
Look, I'm not happy with the "progress" this team has made this year. You'd have to be plain old not paying attention to not see it. Young players like Deone Bucannon, Marquess Wilson, John Fullington, Anthony Carpenter and C.J. Mizell are showing us they have all the potential in the world. Despite my distinct lack of happiness with the current state of the team, I'm not ready to see Paul Wulff go just yet. Only now are the players he recruited seeing the field and even then, they're sophomores at the oldest and most are redshirt freshman. It's become even more clear just how little talent was truly on this team when Wulff and his staff arrived.
At the end of the day though, I want what is best for Washington State football, and no matter how much I may spout off about game play, game planning, recruiting or whatever, I'm by no means an expert. I have never professed to be. When it comes down to finding the best head coach and coaching staff for the Cougars, I'll be more than happy to defer to Bill Moos in making that decision. But it bears repeating: I simply want what is best for Washington State football.
What worries me is the fan base that has become even more divisive. I begged for it not to happen last week but clearly no one was listening. I know there are people out there screaming that Wulff isn't the guy, he needs to be replaced now and every week, they are playing the "I told you so" game. It seems to me like some people actually want Wulff to fail but give it the caveat of saying they truly do care about Cougar football and want him gone because they care so much.
Honestly, I hate it when people say things like that. I'm not advocating you blindly follow the leader of this team wherever but that he deserves your support because we all know how difficult this rebuilding job is going to be. Honestly, what satisfaction is there in being able to tell people you knew this team was going to play terribly? Will you jump for joy every time they lose just to get someone fired? Maybe you're right, maybe myself and many other fans out there are making too many excuses for Wulff and Company and maybe we are following him a little too blindly. But for every team I'm a fan of, I support them no matter who is at the helm. For example, I never liked John McLaren as the manager of Mariners. Sometimes, I thought he was picking names out of a hat to make a line-up. But I never wanted the team to lose just so McLaren would be shown the door. I wanted them to win because that is what was best for them. I keep hearing people scream they told me so about Wulff, they always knew he'd never be a good coach. Pardon me for believing in someone I thought had the pedigree to coach at this level. Pardon me for still believing he might be able to right this ship.
Maybe the pessimists are right, maybe Wulff isn't the guy for the job and the only thing he's done is drive this program further into the ground. I'm just sick of them being somewhat giddy every time this team loses because they view it as meaning another step has been taken towards a firing.
I just want what's best for Washington State football.
Last Week: 5-1
Maybe I was wrong when I said a while ago ASU would finish last. Come to think of it, I was definitely wrong.
Dennis Erickson Has Job Security 20, Oregon State Might Be Worse Than We Thought 17
This is the game of the year in the Pac-10, no debating it.
Oregon Stays Dominant 31, Stanford Is Still Pretty Good 24
USC won't forget about last year.
Stanley Havili Runs People Over 45, Jake Locker Might Be Terrible 10
UCLA just put a whooping on Texas. WSU just took a whooping from USC. Something tells me this ends in absolute disaster.
UCLA 48, Washington State 10
Obscure Pick of the Week: Look, I'll be honest. I absolutely picked this one because there are so many hilarious innuendos with one of them. I'll leave it up to you to figure it out.
Slippery Rock 31, Clarion 20
Dunderhead of the Week: The weather in Seattle. I'm relatively certain the humidity was higher than any part of Florida has ever seen.
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The 2010 athletic season is here…and you know what that means…It's time for a whole new season of Cougar Athletics! Football, soccer and volleyball, just to name a few, are preparing for their 2010 seasons. If you need "game action" photographs for your newspaper, magazine, web site, blog, etc., then Greg Davis Sports Photography should be your choice for all things "Cougar" and "Pac-10 Conference"! Coverage for specific athletes or upcoming events is also available. Check out the images from games, practices and events from last season, and be sure to come back often for uploads from all of this season's action.