Ok, not really "f*ck everyone". He's too classy for that. Maybe something like "to heck with all of you" as he retreated for some post-game chocolate milk?
So now that you've digested what's happened and slept on it, today is a new day. And it's time to fire up the elephant in the corner of the room that will not go away - the Bill Doba speculation. Jim Sterk was cornered by the Seattle Times and FINALLY said something, both before and after the game. Among some of the notable quotes:
- Sterk said the dramatic 42-35 victory Apple Cup victory will be taken into consideration but said, "You want to take a full body of work before you make a decision on something like this."
- Sterk said he will be making the decision whether to keep or fire Doba but that new WSU president Elson Floyd will be "involved as the leader of Washington State University." Involved? Yeah, you could say that.
- Sterk acknowledged Saturday before kickoff that if a change is made, former Cougars coach Mike Price is a potential candidate. "He would be somebody on a list of coaches that I would obviously consider but by no means is he the guy," Sterk said. Wow. That's somewhat of a bomb-shell if you ask me. All along, Price has been asked and has basically not commented on it, and/or danced around the question altogether. The rumors have been there since mid-season of a Price reunion, and some of those rumors grew some legs a few weeks ago when the idea of a "Bennett" situation arose, where Price would come for something like a 4-year deal, and would bring Eric Price with him. Then when Price retired (at 67, same age as Doba right now), Eric would get the job as a mid-40's head coach. Not that this is all going to happen, but, to think that with all the no-comments out of Sterk lately, to actually say that Price would be on the list?? Wow. It should also be acknowledged that Price's UTEP Miners just finished the season at 4-8 after last night's defeat. Do you really want to run out and trumpet the return of a 4-8 head coach?
- On the idea of IF Price comes back, would Doba stay as the DC and all would be right in the world? "I seriously doubt that," Sterk said. That's not a shock, really, when you consider everything. In fact, it could be a very uncomfortable situation if the two were to try and co-exist again. Yes, Doba oozes class from every pore, but hey, he's got an ego too. And to think he'd be basically fired and to think he'd accept a demotion when he's got a golden parachute waiting for him in retirement, where the good folks and family of the Midwest beckon to him with beautiful music?? I don't see it happening either.
- In Bud Withers' Seattle Times column:
"15 minutes after the game in a stadium mostly deserted, I found Sterk in the end zone and asked him if he could fire a guy who has won three out of five Apple Cups.
Big belly laugh. And he said, "That's a very good stat. I like that stat." And he said there's been no decision made, adding, "I think we'll talk next week. We'll make a statement of the time-line, or give an indication what our process might be. Right now, we'll just enjoy the victory."
- John Blanchette also weighed in, and basically says that one game in another post-season-less campaign shouldn't be the thing that decides Doba's fate. Blanchette also threw cold water on the idea that things are fine, when looking at 4 games in which the Cougars lost by at least 4 touchdowns. A team with a senior QB, deep receiving corps, etc, and they lost 4 games this year by at least 4 touchdowns? And a 5th game by 3 TD's, at Wisconsin?
- What's interesting to me is what Doba said to Blanchette, again digging in his heels about the coaching staff and defiantly stating that no changes need to be made. He also claims that "It's recruiting – you give those guys the talent that USC has, we're going to be pretty good, too. That's the thing. We're making strides there." Really? So a wild swing from getting blown out and embarrassed one week, only to come back and be competitive and even win the next week, isn't something that should be hung on the coaching staff? Ooooo-kee-dokie.
- Here's maybe the strongest hint from Sterk that status-quo will win out here:
"It's had its ups and downs," he said, when asked about how the football program is positioned. "Bill over the years has gone through some adversity. I think there's an uptick, if you will, on the recruiting class last year and the players involved in the program."
I think, as WSU fans, we ask this of the athletic department and President Floyd - PLEASE MAKE A DECISION AND DON'T LOOK BACK! A Monday announcement to give details on Doba's future.....or not? Maybe it'll just be a statement that they are "continuning to evaluate the situation" or something along those lines? That's a really BAD idea. Recruiting is in the hottest part of the year, and even Doba mentioned that recruits are due in to visit Pullman next weekend. Either do your business and fire him, or get off the pot and say he's back for the remainder of his contract, including the assistants. But you can't let a guy, OR THE PROGRAM, twist in the November winds while recruiting is in full-swing. If they let this linger for any amount of time, it will potentially destroy any hope of even a solid recruiting class, and as we all know, recruiting classes are the absolute backbone of your program. Particularly a program like WSU, where depth is always an issue, even in the best of times. Please, Sterk and Floyd, make your decision and live with it, whatever it is.
(hat tip to Cougfan for an unforgettable picture!)