Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cougs Taken Behind, Inside, Atop and then Thrown off of Wood Shed; Longball Remains a Cougar Fan


First of all Cougar Nation, let me apologize for my absence, not that anyone missed me. I have been knee deep in a bottle of whiskey, replaying last week's embarrassment of a game over and over and over again in my head. It is a long, long hill we have to climb, but let me assure you all, when we reach the summit we will all look back at this week and say, wow... look how far we've come. It is going to happen, but it won't be any kind of overnight miracle. How can I be so sure? The answer is, our new coaching staff.

Like a lot of you I looked at this year's roster and saw names like Rogers, Tardy, Mattingly, Ahmu, Trent, Gibson, and well... Gibson, and thought, heck, we can be darn tough this year! Then I listened and read everything the new coaching staff said about this squad intently, desperate to hear them assure us we would stun the world and be a force to be reckoned with this year. But that's not what I heard. Initially I dismissed their lack of outright optimism as just an attempt to lower expectations, but now I understand - they have been telling us quite frankly since day 1 that this team just isn't very good.

First they emphasized the lack of depth and how we just didn't quite have the Pac-10 level talent they were going to need to compete. Then they emphasized the lack of "toughness" and how they just felt too many guys were letting the minor ailments that are a part of playing football keep them out of the action. If there is one thing that will assuredly keep you from overcoming a lack of depth, it is a lack of toughness. Basically the writing was on the wall long before we kicked off and while I am horrified by last weekend's result, I am not surprised. All summer I saw way too many guys who showed no obvious signs of injury, just standing around watching practice in between trips to the training room for massages and a dip in the whirlpool.

A lot of people get upset when you call out a whole team for a lack of effort, or toughness because after all, there are about 100 guys out there and surely they aren't all loafing around with a walking cast for their strained pinkie toe. I agree, we should continue to cheer our hearts out because most of these kids continue to give 110% on the field long after you and I have retreated back to our tailgate to drown our sorrows in gallons of Busch Light. I am not going to call out any individuals here, but the point I want to make is that Coach Wulff and his staff didn't just inherit a football team from the former staff, they inherited a culture, and that culture was not conducive to winning at this level. What was needed from the players was not being asked, plain and simple. What is the remedy for this? Again, coach Wulff and his staff have been telling us all along and for those of you wanting a quick fix, it ain't the answer you want: RECRUITING. They have been saying it loud and clear and they are putting their money where their mouth is. So far their efforts on that front have been mind blowing.

So Coug fans, we've been through this before. Well, 66-3 is something new, but hard times are not. As we huddle round the tailgate this year, drinking our cocoa and schnapps, cringing about all the celebrations we endure as players from the other team streak across our goal line, electrifying their tiny frigid contingent of fans in the East end zone - let these words warm your broken and weary hearts... We will get them. We will get them all. And it will be glorious.
If you were with us in 81, 88, 92, 94, 97, '01, '02, and '03 you know what I'm talking about and you know... it'll all be worth it. So hang in there Cougar Nation. CPW and crew know what they need to do and are going to get it done.

This Saturday... er scratch that... tomorrow... we will officially become the 13th ranked team in the Big 12. Right now we are worse than Baylor, and they are at home. Period. Lets just hope our guys get in and out of there safely and in good shape to lay waste to Portland State next weekend.

Until then, hugs all around and... GO COUGS!!!

29 comments:

Michelle said...

Thanks for the hug. It's nice to find comfort in other coug fans.

Anonymous said...

in a word, agreed.

Sedihawk said...

Nice to see you stop by Michelle. It is a tough time for all right now, but Longball is right, on many accounts. We were warned it was bad, we were told it was going to take time, and here we are. But he's also right in that we have been torn down and climbed back up the mountain, and we will again. I mean really, during the 98-99 seasons, who thought we would ever do what we did in 01-03? So you just never know what's coming.

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Brinkhater said...

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Contact Sedi on the links page..

ptowncoug said...

21-14 Baylor in 2nd qtr. I have FCS Atlantic so able to watch. Lopina definitely fits the offense better, but has definite throwing issues. Of course, don't we love weak throwing Qbs?
Honestly, is there a way for our offense to score and not let the other team score on the alternating possession?!!!

Anonymous said...

Lopina 3 turnovers before half.....KILLING US.....very weak arm not sure he can throw over 15yds in air......only uses middle of field....damn, bring back Rogers....let's ride the season out with the dude.....Lopina is not the answer - he will get his next year.....looks like 0-3 and only possible win on schedule is Portland State but I would not even bank on that.....so 1-12 - would that be worst Cougar season ever??.....I can't recall not winning at least 3 or 4.......I know we are rebuilding but this is EMBARRASSING......yep got the game on fox sports big12....unfortunately :(

Billyblaze
Reno, NV

Anonymous said...

Nice 380yds given up (200+yds rushing) at halftime to another Bear team......what are we in the charity business (where is the great tackling)?? Can we put Mattingly back to LB to shadow the run happy QB?? I mean besides the one Mullenix sack, no pressure on QB with 3 or 4 or 4 and safety blitz.......so why not?? Not sure I agree at this point with our best LB at D-line.....it is like voting nonpartisan - wasted :(
OK, lets see if Wulf gets them fired up for 2nd half before Ike hits - maybe we could sign Ike and have him wear crimson/grey?? Wouldn't hurt ;)

Billyblaze
Reno, NV

P.s. I loved the snap off Lopina's grill - OMG!!!

ptowncoug said...

Attempting to catch the ball with his face mask is not the fault of the QB. Sometimes his throws have serious zip, and by sometimes I mean once in a blue moon, but other times it is just awful.
He's a fiery competitor though and that is what I like about Brink although I was a Swoggs fan and pissed how the staff handled the matter.

Anonymous said...

Btw Cougs, they just reported the game will be replayed later on Fox Sports NW.......commentators just referred to Baylor as the Hurricane Baylor Bears - oh brother.......they are whipping us scorpion style....ya know, here I am, rock u like a hurricane but not in a good way :(

Billyblaze

B.T.M.M. said...

I agree with Billyblaze that Mattingly is completely wasted at DE. He's an excellent linebacker and in my (far from expert) opinion a very mediocre DE.

Also, watching this game on the internet sucks. Actually, around the time a kickoff from the 15 yd. line went over Chris Ivory's head, I started to wonder if watching this game period wasn't going to suck...

Still it's not totally out of reach. We need some TURNOVERS. Let's go COUGS!

Anonymous said...

Good lord, this is embarrassing. I just turned the game on and saw that huge play.

B.T.M.M. said...

Strike my last comment. It's over. We are frighteningly bad. Cover your eyes.

Anonymous said...

35-14 now and I would assume almost 300yds rushing given up.....are these the CAL Bears or Baylor Bears? I would like to say something positive but I don't see anything - every facet of game looks really bad......our best player the punter has only been on field once due to all our turnovers so I can't say that......Lopina just doesn't seem like the right guy but if we are going to write off the season now and possibly go 1-12 (worst season in history?), I guess we have to stay with him....or how about the 3rd string guy Loeb-whatever?? Ok, depressed drinking my crimson kool-aid as one suggested we do on an earlier post at spokesman :(
Not sure how we do not give up 40+pts every week?? USC seriously has a chance for triple digits :(

Billyblaze

P.s. Ok, forrest just had a great punt but what do u know, Baylor returns it nearly to the house..... :(

Anonymous said...

4 turnovers now from Lopina......when do they pull the plug?.....5, 6, 7, anyone anyone Buehler, Buehler??? Ya know, I don't care if we have a weak throwing QB - I just hate the turnovers - damn just run the ball everytime........all the turnovers are leading to Baylor (or you insert the name of any school - Ok St, CAL, Port St, etc) scores....killing us.....really is......ok so since we scored 14 (an offensive eruption), does that validate Lopina for next week?? I think I could even lead a team to 2 scores as long as you allowed me to cause 4-5 turnovers......heck I would just keep throwing bombs to Gibson/Anderson until they got one ;) ok 45-14 now......really sad.....I am crying in my crimson beer :(

Billyblaze

Anonymous said...

I mean 42-14.....sorry did not want to give them an extra trey ;) ok, 14mins left in game....yeah, Rogers in......I repeat Rogers in.......ok, fine - as keifer would say - where is that 24 made for tv movie anyway?? ;) damn, too much pressure on Rogers - how does everyone we play put so much heat on our QBs?? Can Wulf suit up and show us how it is done?? ;)

Billyblaze

Stiffmiester said...

I do believe CPW will turn it around but good lord we don't have the players to run this O. Just heard this is the first 300 yrd rushing game since 1997. Trying to push this offense is painfull. oh well that's why I bought a 30 pack of busch light. Come on Snow for the Apple Cup. Doba should burn in Effigy.

Anonymous said...

Have we had a takeaway all year?? - just wondering?? I would say we are at least - 7 (neg seven) in this category on the season....killing us......ok, Baylor's freshman (prob 18yrs old and just got his driver's license) QB just ran for 200yds........ain't that great......I tell ya, Mattingly and Trent at LBs......our d-line does not get any pressure anyway so let them block for the LBs like we did with Fields in the 90's ;)
Question? - could we beat Eastern WA this year?? I am not sure (we could not hang with Colorado like they did).....has to be eating CPW :(
ok baylor got their trey so 45-17........complete blowout not even close and you can not put a spin on this to say it was as much as I would like to.....so, heard our Keith Jackson was from Texas....interesting......ok, we are done with Bears for the year.....bring on Ducks, Beavers, Huskies, Wildcats, etc - maybe we will do better with those critters?? ;)
Rogers looks good......I seriously think he still gives us our best chance to win if that is possible??

Billyblaze "just tellin it like it is" - unfortunately :(

Anonymous said...

So what happens if we lose to Portland State at home next week?

Anonymous said...

man, Baylor and CAL for national championship?? These teams are GOOD or we just are really really really really.........really BAD........just want to see some heart even in a rebuilding year.......anyone seeing any heart?? Any pride??.......any hunger?.......we need the eye of the tiger (cougar) back......damn, we just fumbled on 1yd line - NICE!!! Do any good teams make the kinda mistakes we do?? 5 takeaways now....5, 5, $5 dollar footlong - oops, sorry, getting hungry - damn u Jared ;)

BBlaze

Tommy Boy Callahan said...

Richard, hold me.

Michelle said...

god the jerks come out at game time but are nowhere to be found during the intelligent conversations during the week. No offense to Sedi, Longball, Brinkhater and Rooster but I'm not going to be on the boards for a while thanks to these "Coug fans"


Am I the only one who thinks Lopina looks promising? And the fact that this QB actually was able to score touchdowns means something?? What did you all expect us to come off of a 66-3 loss blowing out Baylor? You all are the ones who are embarrassing, not our team.
Peace and go cougs.

Sedihawk said...

Billy...dude....you MUST chill. There are no excuses right now, nothing to over-analyze, and complaining about it only prolongs the agony. We are bad right now, everyone can see it. All we can do is hope they get better, because it can't get much worse than this. We are just a mess in every way, and the whole thing is going to have to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Michelle, you know better. They always come out in times like this. I can't imagine any WSU message boards are full of anything but piss and moaning right now. We've been bad before, however I can't recall being this non-cmpetitive. The sad part is it could get worse before it gets better. What I worry about are the malcontents. Will they bail on the whole thing now that we are in such bad shape? Will Wulff and company completely lose this team just three games into his tenure? Or is it already too late??

Anonymous said...

Uh, if you're referring to me, Michelle, yes, I'm a bit disappointed that we are getting blown out by one of the worst (former) 1A schools in the country over the past decade. If I'm a "jerk" for anticipating that we may lose to Portland State, and if it's "embarrassing" to remark upon that, you may want to prepare for some embarrassment the rest of the year. This team is historically bad. I'm incredibly saddened to say it, but I think there's a chance we could lose next week.

I'm sorry you can't handle people being disappointed at a debaclous performance against an awful team when our team was actually *favored*. Go ahead and whine about how you'll be off the board for a while ... sorry you feel that way. Perhaps rather than complaining about what other Coug fans have to say, you can add something to the discussion. Sedihawk manages to do so.

Michelle said...

I thought I did when I said " am I the only one who thinks Lopina looks promising?" Guess unless I said something like "our team should just quit football for the rest of the year " than I am not contributing.

and I expect nothing but great analysis from Sedi regardless of score or outcome. I'm sorry you think I can't "handle" it but I love my cougs and what I can't handle is what appears to be every single coug giving up. Maybe I will never take off my crimson colored glasses. Can you blame me.

Like you, I posted in the heat of the moment. Seriously, no hard feelings, I'm just realizing I'm the minority in this situation.

Michelle said...

partially retract statement.

"Am I the only one who thinks Lopina looked promising in the first half?"

Picks aside, he looks a bit more comfortable than G rogers. I think both don't have the game smarts quite yet of when to run/throw/throw away. Though it's hard to judge a QB when he only plays one quarter.

Anonymous said...

I am a jerk?? Wow, that hurts? And chill?? Jeez, what did I say?? Anything untrue?? I have been a coug for 15+ yrs......maybe you should give me a break? Real world allows constructive criticism and other opinions/perspectives......I find it hard to believe any coug alum would feel good about 0-3 and not being in any game this year? I am sorry, I bleed crimson and grey like all of us and WSU will always be my school just like I can't change my family/parents/etc but come on, what did I say that everyone is taking offense to?? Us coug alums who also are contributors/donors to WSU athletics - are you saying we should not have a voice here? Just giving my $0.02 and some tough love here......it hurts for all of us ya know......and no matter how bad it gets, I would never turn my back on my school......we have to ride this one out.....but not sure cougar nation will want to ride this out for 2-3 years.....even stanford in their rebuilding years won 2 games - seriously, 1-12 this year, then say we win 2 or 3 next year, in 2010, are we ok with 4-7??? Are we really playing right now for 2011?? Ok, I am done for awhile....no need to say Billy chill again.......I am cool and only wish the best for us/WSU.

Billyblaze

Anonymous said...

Lopina played for 3 quarters, Rogers/Loeb for 1 quarter.......Lopina did not look good.....reminded me of a young Kegel with all the turnovers and strange fumbles, picks into triple coverage, etc.....I don't really care who plays QB as long as they do not kill the team with 4+ turnovers (maybe we need a Dilfer type?)......does Lopina deserve another chance?? Well, sure if we are truly writing the season off after 3 games? I think we do have some issues on the o-line with protection and also everyone being in synch with the offense (I have to say it does not seem too complicated from what I see them running but if only 30% of playbook is being used, ok) - when does that ever become a non-issue? How long is a reasonable time to learn a new offense?? I dunno......6 months perhaps? when is that no longer an excuse? Depth and quality sure but when you say Gibson, Tardy, Mullenix, Mattingly, Trent, etc - I do not think most people say young or lack of quality....we still have good players in key positions.....I guess we just trust Wulf and ride this out no matter how bumpy the ride.......it is tough for all of us though......we are all arm chair QBs at this point. I really hope we can turn this around and for people like Gibson, this can still be a good senior year for him and he will not go out with doubts about shoulda/woulda gone pro in 2008?? I feel bad for him right now as he was led to believe this offense would showcase him :(

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