Sunday, November 04, 2007

Only Three To Go!

Well, we now can see the end of the road. And this is what it looks like:


Put the 21-20 win against the Trees next week in the bank. And enjoy it: it's the last win of the year.

Tonights game showed that the D has become a real force for this team. Its still hard to believe that 21 would have won it...

To be sure, there were some crucial dropped balls and blown blocking assignments. But, in the end, lay this L at the feet of your senior QB, Little Alex.

The bottom line, and you all saw it tonight, is that the kid just doesn't have the arm to play at this level. And its too bad, because he has everything else. He really does.

But all those deep balls are either off, or they are late. Every one. And that has rendered us the most prolific offense in the history of ever that is completely unable to score and make a big play. And that, dear Cougar Nation, is beyond undeniable at this point.

So, enjoy the next week, and feel the solace of knowing that change is a comin'. Next year, we'll have a new head coach, and 35 picks a game or not, I can not WAIT to have another Quarterback. I can't wait.

Lets get ready for some Cougar Baskaterball!


Sedihawk said...

Brink was a big part of the problem. That's undeniable. The drops by Dillon hurt though, especially the TD. But still, Brink couldn't get it done.

The biggest thing with him is that he can't win without a running game. He never has, and he never will. 2005 he had the best running game ever but he was just s snot-nosed sophomore back then. But even now that he's a senior, a running game is our only chance. It's basic strategy, but usually even the best QB's have a hard time if they are one-dimensional. But it's especially bad with a guy like Brink. Like the Brinkhater army preaches, time and again until his fingers turn blue from hammering his keyboard, Brink doesn't have elite skills. Nobody has ever argued that. But without a lot of help, he's an average-at-best QB. He cannot overcome obvious passing situations.

Anyway, that horse is dead. I was impressed with the D to a certain extent. Still gave up way too many 3rd down conversions early in the game, and they looked tired at the end. But I thought that we looked fast on defense, and physical too. I'm so glad Dobes didn't chicken out in fear of their speed and still played aggressively. Now it didn't really work, as we didn't get a single sack, and Longshore on one ankle still beat us. But still, we played hard on D. Man, they are so much better than they were just a few weeks ago. I think starting Hicks and Mattingly is a big reason, but the overall scheme of the 3-4 really just fits this group. But if you would have told me a few weeks ago that we'd hold Cal to 20, I would have thought you mean the first quarter, not the game.

Anyway, we will beat Stanford, as they are TERRIBLE with a capital T. Brinkhater might claim they "execute", but what I saw they execute at being a bad football team. I have no clue how the hell they beat USC, and I don't even know how they beat Arizona. They have a team-wide talent deficit that isn't even on our level, and we should beat them without too much trouble.

And I think we've got a shot at Oregon State as well. Without their star RB and of course without Stroughter, they are brutal on offense. Canfield isn't throwing as many picks, but he in no way should scare anyone. We'll blitz like crazy and attack him and it could be a lot like the UCLA game. Their D is nasty though, but even 17 points might be enough in that one.

Then anything can happen in the AC. UW is probably going to be favored, and Locker is a hold-your-breath kind of guy, but who knows. If we win out, 6-6 might not be the death blow we think it is.

Meanwhile, I'm going to put up a few more assistant coach profiles next week that we should be looking on as soon as the season is over. One of them, Kasey Dunn, a former Coug assistant, has already said he's interested in the job, and it might be a great hire. We'll break it all down later. Yes, I think we still go forward with the premise that Doba and staff will be relieved of duty at the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

the reason dillon dropped that ball is that it was thrown behind him and that allowed the defender - who was beat - to catch up and get a hand in there. again, that is more on brink than dillon.


longball said...

You know guys, the more i hear about the state of our finances with the stadium remodel, and the buyout on Doba's contractr, etc, the more i think he is back next year. The turn around of our defense this year has been spectacular and i think its just enough to give sterk an excuse to hang onto him for another year.

Sedihawk said...

Let's just say this - and I don't want to rumor-monger - but we're going to move forward with new coach profiles. Leave it at that.

And don't sweat the money as much as it's been played up right now. The thing to remember is that there are clauses in the contracts pertaining to the type of buyout that would occur. Basically you don't have to write a check to make them all go away for the full value at the time of termination, but you CAN pay them off over time, which is a tactic we would almost certainly follow. It's still "real" money, but if you can spread the hit out over several years vs. all at once, you know a program with a cash-flow problem will follow.

Think of it this way. Even with the UCLA win, and the close loss to ASU and of course, now the Cal loss, we still have almost ZERO momentum. We are entering the second week of November and we are without a known verbal commitment. I don't care how Doba spins that, it's a complete failure at this point. Now ask someone in the athletic department how the next round of fund-raising is going for the stadium, and you can be assured you won't like the answer. Right now our head coach is a detriment to raising money and can't even build a recruiting class. That's when powers ABOVE Sterk get concerned and involved. Ultimately this may not even be Sterk's decision if you read between the lines here.

The other thing to consider - say they do bring Doba back. Well, everyone on the face of the earth will know it's only for one more year. The entire assistant coaching staff will be free agents after next season, and Doba will be coming up on the last year of his deal. No coach goes into the last year of their deal anymore, either they take another job or they get a long contract extension.

If we think they are struggling to recruit now, well, consider how much MORE difficult it will be for those guys out on the road, trying to pitch to kids and families when everyone knows they will be expiring at the end of the year! It's probably the biggest reason we can't get anyone now, because the word is out on the street that change is brewing, so why would you commit there when you don't even know who the coach will be?? We can't overlook that there are 9 other Pac-10 schools who will stop at almost no end to get quality commits, and you better believe anyone worth a damn with WSU on their short list right now is being told by other schools that Doba's out, the assistants are out, nobody has a clue over there, blah blah blah.

Anyway, I think I'm just as guilty as anyone in reading too much into the Sterk article on the team website, or any other quote where he hints that Doba's doing a decent job in other areas. What can he say, that the old man has lost his mind and I can't wait either for the season to end so we can fire is ass?? He's playing it exactly as he has to right now, in that he has to insinuate that he's happy with some things, yet unhappy with the end result and at the end of the year he will be evaluated.

Any AD or President worth a damn will look at this situation and know, especially with the ability to structure the buyouts over a longer period, that there's no way this current structure can be held together. They've already had a lot of people fall off the bandwagon, and keeping Doba is the worst possible message they can send right now. It's program suicide if they do.

longball said...

Ha, I always love the old, "I don't wanna spread rumors, but... here i go anyway."

With that said, i hope you are right, i guess my defense mechanism against dissapointment is to just keep assuming the worst. Cougar football has been one crushing diassapointment after another for a couple years now and i cant take it any more.

Sedihawk said...

I wouldn't say it's a rumor that we have exclusive access to or anything. There are whispers everywhere, on Cougfan and elsewhere, so we're no different. We hear things just like everyone else. But when you weigh it all out, including the lack of overall momentum, poor recruiting, a tough time raising money and that the contracts could be paid out over a period of time, it adds up.

But who knows. Maybe everyone has misread this thing since the beginning and they'll just let him twist in the wind another year!

longball said...

After the sting of saturday's loss has subsided i've had time to ponder the departure of Doba with a more lucid mind. I have thrown my fair share of expletives at him the last couple seasons, and have openly pleaded the case to get rid of him all over this blog and others... but i love the guy like family, like a favorite uncle. Myabe the favorite uncle that backed over your favorite cousin with the RV, but a favorite uncle none the less. It is not yet possible for me to imagine cougar football without the old man prowling the sideline, growling at his clipboard and berating the nearest official. Before Doba, the Cougars had zero defensive identity. Since Doba, we have had defenses that can be described as legendary, top national rankings, tons of NFL talent and an Outland trophy winner. As PtownCoug would say, "Jizus!" I actually remember the first time i ever became excited about Cougar defense... we were playing at Cal in 1992 and with the game on the line late in the 4th quarter, Tory Hunter stripped the ball from future NFL hall of famer Tony Gonzalez and sealed the win. Que the Shark attack! It was that very moment that made me stay in my seat and scream when our D was on the field, instead of bolting for the concessions to get more cocoa for my schnapps. Two years later we had the best defense in the country, and still the most exciting defense i have ever seen on any team. ever. Our Rose bowl and 10 win teams are always lauded first and loudest for the offense. But in all those years, Dobas defenses were JUST as important and had many of the greatest moments in Cougar history. Does any Coug fan NOT know where they were when Rien Long destroyed USC in overtime in '02? Even this year, with all the dissapointments, i have to admit that the defense has had one of the most impressive mid season turn arounds i have ever seen.

With all that said, at the end of this year a change is imperative, i just hope it happens like this... Doba announces he will retire when the season is over. I wish he would announce it sooner than later. Then we can cease all the attacks, and spend the rest of the season honoring what hes done for us and sending him off in style. And what a great motivation for the team in the Apple Cup. Name the weight room after him, or hell, the ROTC cannon. Induct him in the hall of fame, throw a parade, give hime the key to the city, and so on. I think it would be a shame to have Dobas time with Wazzu end in any other way.

Sedihawk said...

FAN-FRIGGIN-TASTIC Longball. I don't think anyone could argue against your feelings for Doba, and I'm right there with you. I hate the idea of throwing him under the bus, and it is going to be a sad moment when it does come to an end. But it won't be a feeling of shock or anger, I think it'll be more of a knowing nod of the head, a deep sigh, a feeling that you wish it would end better than this.

I hate to compare us to UW, but there are some similarities to what happened with Lambright and also, sort of, Gilby. Long-time UW assistants loved by all, yet it just didn't work out as the head guy. Not many hated either guy at the end of their run, but everyone just sort of understood that it wasn't working out. But I think the big difference is that we love Doba like that uncle or grandfather, as he's such a class act and you never hear a bad word about him from anyone. It's as if everyone roots for him because you want him to succeed, because you know deep down he's a really good person.

And, most of all, he really did us a favor in 2003. That job was dropped on him, and he could have bolted with Price to Alabama if he wanted to, but he chose the loyalty of WSU over the easy way out. The idea to keep things going was, at the time, the absolute best move given the situation, and hell, that 2003 team is one of the most special in WSU history and one of my favorite teams ever.

He's done his best, but in the end it probably won't be good enough. I hope it is the retirement announcement too, and that it ends with hugs and a few tears instead of an angry, bitter exit. We shall see!

E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E said...

I also concur wholeheartedly with longball regarding dear, old Mr. Doba. I'd love to see this thing end with class and dignity. The last thing this program needs is even a whiff of controversy on the way out. After watching the Arizona game this year, I pretty much threw in the towel on Doba. But, as longball said, the turnaround of this defensive unit between that UA embarrassment to their performances against ASU, UCLA and Cal has been nothing short of miraculous. You really can't argue with Doba's ability to "coach 'em up" on defense, but at the same time, it's his own fault that he's dealing with completely raw materials after so many botched recruiting classes. At any rate, you gotta love the old guy, so I hope we find a way to improve the program and do right by Doba.

That 2003 Defensive unit has to be right up there with the '94 squad. I was recently watching the '03 gut stomping of the Ducks in Eugene that I've kept protected on my Tivo for the last 3 years (many a Blues Clues and Dora have been deleted so that puppy stays on the disk, childrens learning be damned). That squad was lights out with ridiculous speed off the ends, big fat bodies in the middle, seemingly 25 years of experience in the secondary and a pre-injury Derting knocking snot bubbles out of anything that moved. I loved that team! Even though it was all Price's talent, we can't forget that Doba gave us the biggest bowl victory, and probably the biggest win in the program's history while he was at the helm. That's gotta count for something.

Speaking of 2003, I'd like to throw in my two cents that his name isn't ever really mentioned with the cougar greats, but Matt Kegel is one of my all-time favorite QB's. After the A.C. meltdown in 2002, I never thought I would have uttered the previous sentence. But, the kid showed some serious guts coming back from that game, constantly playing injured, and leading us to a 10 win season with a major bowl victory over a top 5 opponent.


P.S. When is longball going to get the call-up to regular blog contributor?