So the old Riverboat Gambler dropped by KJR today. Here's a link to the interview, if you wish. It's not bad (that is, if you can stomach "Softy" Mohler. I even know Husky fans that can only roll their eyes at the very mention of his name).
There's a lot about the state of the UTEP football program, but you can skip past that. The thing to get your attention is what he said as the interview came to a close. I'll paraphrase a little for you:
Mahler: "If things don't work out with Dobes, will Mike Price ever go back to Pullman to coach the Cougars?"
Price: "Well we love Pullman, we love WSU and we're, well, you know, we have property in Washington and lake property in Coeur D' Alene. So we'll be going back there sometime, and we'll always be fans of WSU. All 3 of my kids were born there."
Mahler: "That's the politically correct answer isn't it?"
Price: "Hey, I'm cheering for Bill all the way. The best thing in the world would to beat OSU and UW and get to a bowl game, and hopefully it'll be for the Sun Bowl in El Paso. I'm not giving up on the Cougars, and the Cougars aren't giving up on themselves and I know Cougar fans aren't giving up on Bill Doba, so, he's the right man for the job."
Not exactly strong words to either side of the fence. I guess he could have said NO WAY, I'm thrilled to be in El Paso and this is home now, blah blah blah...but he didn't. But I guess the question is, what SHOULD he say in that situation? Yes I want the job if/when Bill is fired? No, I have no interest at all? He's just playing his cards right. In this business it seems, you never really say never!
There will be plenty of time to speculate on a replacement, provided there is a need after the season. There are already rumors that Doba is safe. Howie Stalwick (who is EVERYWHERE lately!) wrote a column today at Cougfan and dropped in the little morsel that Doba's buyout as well as the assistants would be spread out over the coming years, so, just like we've speculated, you don't need $2.8 large in a pile to make these guys disappear. But like Howie says, we can't imagine they'll be replacing Doba if they can go 6-6 and get to a bowl.....but at 4-8 or even 5-7?.....who knows.