Monday, October 06, 2008

Remain Calm...All is Well??

At least Kevin Bacon said so in Animal House, shortly before being trampled by the panicking masses. You all know the scene, trying to be the proverbial calm in the middle of the storm. Didn't work out so well did it?

I can't help but feel a little bit of the same way right now. I have been trying to stay positive, believing our football program we have grown to love so much over the years is in the right hands. After all the garbage that happened with the prior staff, the Seattle Times article about the troubles off the field, the big misses in recruiting, the whole deal, Wulff was NEEDED by this program.

Not so much that this program craved a rock-star, superstar name that would come in and sell tons of season tickets. WSU has never been about the rock-star splash. Obviously Tony Bennett is the exception, but when he was first hired, the collective reaction by many outside of Pullman was "who?" He's grown into an "oh-my-god-it's-insert-coaches-name-here" kind of coach when you see him out in public or in the airport or wherever, but it wasn't always that way. Price was a .500 coach at Weber State, while Dennis Erickson had some decent success at Wyoming and Idaho, but that's about it. Rockstar? HARDLY.

And speaking of the rock-star approach, well, it's not working out so well when you glance around the country. How's Michigan doing with Rich Rodriguez? $2.5 million per year for a 2-3 record, including humiliations vs. Notre Dame (35-17) and Illinois (45-20). Think they aren't up in arms right now? UCLA stunned Tennessee on opening night, but have been crushed in a couple of others, one in historic fashion (59-0 at BYU). There has to be some starting to question that move. Bobby Petrino was a newsy hire at Arkansas, stealing him away from the Atlanta Falcons. But after slogging through cupcake city to start their season, they have been destroyed by legit teams thus far (49-14 vs. Alabama, 52-10 vs. Texas, 38-7 vs. Florida). And did anyone catch what Missouri did to Bo Pelini's Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday? Try 52-17, in Lincoln. Nobody raised in the midwest would ever even conceive the notion that Missouri would win in Lincoln, but to steamroll them 52-17 at home? Wow.

Anyway, too much rambling. In the end, I'm still going to have faith that this will work out. Not only is Paul Wulff's staff affordable, so we can use some of our funds for other things (facilities?). But he was the right decision for so many reasons on and off the field. We've been over the reasons before, so, well, it's like....

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Yeah, like that.

Anyway, you know where I stand. I/we believe this will work out. Give it some time. But if you have any doubts about our approach, check back in a couple of years. HOPEFULLY we were right, and we're looking like a pretty good football program. If we're wrong, believe me, we will point it out. Nobody who's ever read our stuff can claim that we are blind homers, because we aren't. If we are still awful, we'll say it. Just like you.

A few other links floating through cyberspace:

Howie Stalwick's quick write-up in the P-I today touches on the QB walkons, as well as Lobbestael's night at UCLA. The offense was pretty bad Saturday night, not even 200 total yards. Not to rehash too much, but you can't help but feel a little bad for Marshall. UCLA's d-line completely owned the line of scrimmage, and not only wasn't there a running game (26 rushing yards on 25 attempts), but the team simply couldn't move the ball. 2-for-14 on third downs, under 50% completion percentage, just 4.9 yards per passing attempt. All really, really bad. The one shining light was ONE turnover! At least they finally cleaned that up a bit.

Maybe the troubling thing was the inaccuracy of Lobbestael. The pressure got to him, sure, and UCLA's got some good athletes on defense so it's hard to know if many receivers were open. There were some moments where he just appeared to force the action when it wasn't there. But there were some plays where guys were open, and he clearly missed on the throw. A commenter on Saturday night noticed that it looked like he was trying to "guide" or "aim" the ball instead of just cutting it loose. You could see him almost short arm some of his throws, like trying to throw darts instead of that nice, clean, natural throwing motion we've seen out of him in VERY limited time.

I'm sure inexperience is a big part of what we are seeing out of Lobbestael. As Wulff has pointed out all along, the kid has barely even had any reps in practice leading up to the Portland State game a few weeks ago, as everything was heaped upon Rogers and Lopina in the early going (and for good reason). He'll be fine, given the time and opportunity to grow up. That deep fade to Jeshua Anderson to start the second half was a thing of beauty, so you can see the kid has upside.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times hits on the QB tryouts, as well as the current injury list. While Wulff pointed out that there aren't any new entries to the list, the current names is still pretty long. Just looking at it, that's a good group of talent who weren't on the field vs. UCLA. But it is what it is, and every program deals with injuries.

It's weird to see Percy Allen's name attached to a WSU story. If you've followed the team formerly known as the Sonics over the last several years, you always saw Percy's name attached to that beat. At least he's still got a job, but to go from covering the NBA to WSU football? Weird.

Finally, remember Dee Snyder and Twisted Sister? Remember, We're Not Going to Take IT!" and all that?
Well, you know the world has changed when they announce that they are now willing to take it! :)

That's it for a Monday. Enjoy it, if you can. GO COUGS!






6 comments:

Brinkhater said...

Great post, Hawk. I especially like the beating the dead horse moving graphic.

Totally choice.

So, the morning fishwrap has us as 30 point dogs to the Beavs.

Wowza.

Don't know about you all, but I think that this week is going to be really crucial for Ocho Rojo and the offensive line. If we could score this weekend (and lose 60-21), I think we could begin to make a move to 3 touchdown losses and a bit more respectability.

If not, this blog may become a dead horse.

Longball said...

Wow, 30 point dogs to the Beavers. Never thought I'd see the day. Unfortunately it is not only realistic, it may not be a big enough spread. Start getting used to the number 1 running untouched through our D right now.

I am really sad to hear about Twsted Sister. I mean, if they're going to start taking it, what does that mean for the rest of us? With the economy in the tank and 2 wars we cant win, and the Cougs and Seahawks playing powderpuff, I really could have done without that bit of news.

bill gray said...

Don't worry guys. We're a basketball school.

Sedihawk said...

Fitting that we are 30-pt dogs to the Beavs, when you consider we have become like the awful Richie Pettibone-led Beavs of the 80-s/90's. Of course, they had TWENTY SEVEN straight losing seasons, so, we'd have to reel off 26 more in a row to match them. Never happen.

Just like Ty Willie @ Big Brother U will have to go 19-1 just to tie Bill Doba's 30-29 record. Never happen.

Oklahoma Cougar said...

I like the Beav's to cover...

atlantacoug said...

We can be competative if we keep our D and their O off the field. I know, easier said then done. I just want to see incremental Offensive improvement on offense. A few long drives and we can beat that spread. Oh, happy day.