- One of the loudest endorsements thus far is coming from Jim Walden in the P-I, who 1) thinks Wulff is not only a perfect fit with his former Coug ties and success at EWU, but 2) even more prepared for the job than Dennis Erickson was in 1987, or even Tony Bennett was when he took the job (come on Jim! Comparing Paul Wulff to Tony Bennett? I love Walden but I doubt he knows if a basketball is stuffed or filled with air.).
It's hard not to be impressed with Wulff. Strong run of success, WSU ties, 40 years old, regarded as a class act and was a really good player at WSU. He fits the bill, and he's right there in Eastern WA already.
- The Go-2-Guy floats a trial balloon in the name of Rick Neuheisel. Uh, no. Sure, he's a young-ish coach who's played in the Pac-10, coached in the Pac-10, knows the northwest, etc. But he's not what they are looking for. And besides, even if the money and all the other stuff could be worked out, AND he was interested enough to look at Pullman and he took the job? The guy would be looking to leave after his introductory press-conference. Look how hard he was looking around and mentioned in all the rumor mill columns when he as at UW. Why would he do anything other than use WSU as a place to show he can coach in college and then just bolt at the next opportunity? No thanks.
- Today's Times says John L. Smith is definitely interested. I don't know about you, but I'm decidedly split on Smith. I know he's got a good career record, but he was run out of East Lansing after a 22-26 record in his last job. And his exit from Louisville was one of the ugliest things I've seen on live TV. Does anyone remember how, during Louisville's bowl game, rumors leaked that Smith had taken the Michigan State job? TV crews asked him about it at halftime and he sort of stammered around the question, and then denied it. But suddenly players started getting word on the bench via friends and relatives. Talk about awkward. Smith doesn't exactly have age on is side either, at 59 years old. And Michigan State had some terrible losses towards the end of his reign, including that famous come-from-ahead loss to Notre Dame when they lost a 16-pt 4th quarter lead.
- Bud Withers also writes about Mike Price and the overall situation there. As of yesterday Price isn't confirming or denying anything, at least not yet. But Withers endorses the idea, yet there are fences that need to be mended over the divorce. Let's face it, when a coach bails it's not usually a back-slapping good time, and Price's was pretty ugly. He burned some bridges and some will never forgive the Rose Bowl situation. But time has a way to heal wounds. Brinkhater is more dug in on Price than I am, but I would be OK with it if there was also some sort of succession plan behind him. I mean you usually don't go out and hire a 61-year old coach thinking that it's going to be the long-term answer, do you? Unless he brings Eric Price with him and grooms him to take over, or some other plan is in place, I don't like it. I don't want to see us in this same situation in 5 years, where everyone is killing us again in recruiting because it's clear that Price is ready to retire.
- UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano has been mentioned on some lists as well. He did spend some time in Pullman in the late 80's under Erickson and then a few years under Price, plus he coached at Idaho and grew up in Spokane, so he knows the lay of the land. He's really coached all over the place, from Ferris High School to the San Francisco 49ers, so his background is extremely dynamic. Oh yeah, he's also regarded as one hell of an offensive coordinator. He said on KJR that he's been wanting to be a head coach ever since he broke into the business. When asked about the WSU job, he said he "didn't want to talk about that right now" and that he was focused on beating Hawaii. It wouldn't be that big of a stretch to think he's interested?
- The TNT floats the Bennett-style situation with Mike and Eric Price, including quotes from Eric himself. Not the first time we've heard this idea, and it won't be the last. It could be the perfect exit strategy, first Mike and then hand it off to Eric when the time comes.
- Finally, Jack Thompson was on Elise and Ian last night on KJR, and gave a 10-minute out-pouring about how Mike Price IS the perfect fit. There is absolutely zero doubt who he believes should be the coach. He really gets into it, and you can hear Jack's passion oozing out as he talks about Price. Give it a listen. (go to the bottom-right of the KJR page, under Elise and Ian, and click on Jack Thompson - 11/29).