Sunday, November 25, 2007

Doba's Future Decided Tomorrow.....or Not

There's no question what Doba's thinking right now. He clearly has the cat-ate-canary look on his mug, and can you blame him? But you have to wonder what's going through Willingham's mind at that moment. "What do I say to the media after this one? Why the hell can't our defense stop anyone in the 4th quarter? How in the world have we lost 2 of the 3 Apple Cups that I've been a part of?" More than likely, "F*CK EVERYONE!!"

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."

Doesn't sound like an AD who is ready to throw his coach under the bus.

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!)


Sedihawk said...

One more thing - some yahoo at AOL wrote this:

We can debate Brink until we're reduced to ashes and dust, but no debate can ever take away Brink's Apple Cup wins. THANK YOU ALEX BRINK.

Sedihawk said...

Sterk video interview on the Spokesman. Check it out:

Anonymous said...

For all the "superior" comments from Reffert and UW message board posters, these facts must have montlake on a slow burn right now:

WSU AGAIN BETTER THAN UW: WSU will finish with a better record than the Huskies for the sixth straight year.

WSU finishes the year 5-7 while UW is 4-8 heading to Hawaii, where it will likely be a 10-14 point underdog.

The Cougars will also finish with a better record in conference play than UW for the fourth time in six years, with the two teams tied the two other years.

WSU is 8-18 in conference play the last three years, while UW is 6-20. WSU is 15-20 overall the last three years, UW is 11-24.

Anonymous said...

What I am amazed by is the UW fans' acceptance that TW deserves another year. It is unbelievable that a recruit can save a coach's job. Amazing! I believe UW has its first three year span of finishing with a losing record for the 1st time in UW's football history! Wow, and UW's perspective is that things will get better. Hey UW you graduate a number of guys on the defensive side of the ball and lose Russo and Reece, honestly, you think you will be better next year.
I don't see Price coming back to Pullman unless Doba agrees to take the DC job. These guys are best friends for life and football will not get in the way of that. Remember who made Doba HC, Price did.

Σ (Rtist4merlyKnownAsBrinkHtr) said...

Ditto about T.W.

I told Sedi last night that you have to work REAL hard to not turn around that program. Talk about resources AND reputation and tradition. And to still lose?

Better yet, they are losing a LOT of receivers...they're gonna stink next year too..

As to Dobes, he's gone..they make take a week for the luster of this HUGE win to wear off, but he's gone...Sterk was the LEAST excited person in the state following that win.

We'll be back this week with a recap...

longabll said...

Boy am i happy to be here eating my words! The cougs were balls to the wall in that game, especially after getting down early. Frischnect, Brink, Kendrick Dunn and BRANDON GIBSON!!!! get the coveted, golden game (long)balls for their efforts in this one.

I have to admit though, give Locker some receivers that are worth a damn and we may still be licking our wounds. They just had some brutal drops on big plays. I felt like i spent much of the game gasping sighs of relief. After the opening KO retunr TD, the game played out like the exact opposite of last year, with the big plays and bounces going OUR way for a change. How bout the pop up deflected pass that McCall grabbed for a HUGE gain!!! Last year that kind of stuff was ending up with Huskies celebrating in our end zone. Its always great to see the crimson clad fans going total berzerker pandamonium while purple folks hold their heads in their hands with shocked expressions. Beautiful.

Ptown Coug's comments about Doba + Price are interesting and worth noting, since i know for a fact he ia a good source. I love that those guys are BFF, as he claims. I would probably give a finger or two to go fishing with those good 'ol boys. I imagine plenty of beers, fat cigars, hours of great Coug talk and nary a bite from the fish.

Brandon Gibson. Dude is flat out awesome. We havent had a receiver that goes after the ball like that since Chris Jackson. He is tenacious as all hell. Bump and Collins will be SORELY missed next year, especially with a new QB taking the reigns, but i am glad that the younger receivers have a leader like Gibson to learn from and look up to.

I am looking forward to finding out who our new coach is tomorrow, DOnt let me down Sterk!!!

Ok, gotta go, LOTS of obnoxious Dawgs to email my (in)sincerest condolences to.

Sedihawk said...

Looks like Vince thinks it'll be status quo fellas. From the Spokesman blog:

• I had a post already to run concerning Bill Doba's future – still have it on the hard drive actually – but after watching Jim Sterk's comments and reading John Blanchette's column, it seems pretty redundant. Why? Because my piece argues all the evidence seems to indicate the decision has been made and Doba will be back next year. The bottom line, as I explained following the Oregon game and after talking with Sterk, WSU can't make decisions like other, richer schools. There isn't $3 million rattling around in someone's sock drawer to buy out the staff. So expect an announcement this week the status quo will be maintained for another year. Then we'll post some other thoughts about that.