Moving on, there is SO MUCH out there in cyberspace right now about this game, so many ways to break it down, that it's tough to know where to go. We will hold off our preview until the usual football Thursday. So I thought it was a good idea to see what others are saying right now.
First, Sir Vince Grippi broke down the startling numbers for this one on both sides, pointing out the magic number 119, as in 119 division I teams. Among the eyesores:
Puts in in good perspective at just how poorly both of these teams have played this year. This isn't a one or two or even three-week slump, this is an entire seasons body of work.
Rushing offense: WSU is 115th in the nation (85.9 yards per game), UW 114 (86.4).
Passing offense: WSU is 104th in the nation (150.5 yards per game), UW 96 (177.1).
Rushing defense: WSU is 118th in the nation (266.6 yards per game), UW 116 (228.5).
Scoring defense: WSU is 118th in the nation (48.5 points per game), UW 116 (39.9).
Scoring offense: WSU is 118th in the nation (12.6 points per game), UW 117 (13.9).
Howie Stalwick does an excellent job of a positive-negative look at the state of Washington State under Paul Wulff. Some decent positives, and some honest negatives as well, so give it a look. I really like what Howie highlighted here:
3. Despite a disastrous season, Wulff has landed nine oral commitments, all of whom Scout.com ranks among the top 100 high school seniors in the nation at their respective positions.Some of you have questioned pretty much everything about this change to Paul Wulff. I know I have been generally positive towards this regime, that despite all the pain right now, he's doing this thing the right way. Some of you have accused me of a "Pollyanna" approach, and maybe we don't look at things with an honest eye to what is going on. But most of the changes thus far haven't been tangible things that us, the fans, can see and experience. It's all been behind the scenes, where the real work happens on a day to day basis, and where the success or failure of a program is really determined.
But can anyone really blame the fan base for having more than a few WTF(!) moments this year? Can anyone argue that it's been nothing but a failure on the field? I certainly can't. This has been the rock-bottom season of seasons, and there isn't any way to get around that. But while the rip jobs have been coming left and right in message board and blog-comment land since mid-season on Wulff, well, what about the lifeblood of a college football program? What about recruiting? When it's all said and done, the reality here is that this *might* turn out to be the best recruiting class, in pure "star" ratings and rankings, that WSU has ever signed. Think about that for a second - the BEST recruiting class, in this season, perhaps the worst season ever? What does that tell you about the job these guys are doing off the field?
Combine the recruiting news with some of the other off-the-field things that this staff has done, staying on players to go to class, hit the training table for meals, get their work done in the weight room, implementing the team council for discipline, etc, etc, etc? I don't know about you, but I still believe that this is the guy, and this is the staff, to turn it around.
We heard from a good source last week that there are changes happening. Our source went to where the players eat their meals on a regular basis. Earlier in the year, he said the place was totally empty and you could just walk right in. This time? The place was PACKED, to where he had to wait to just get a place to sit. It was filled with players, and they were all loading up their plates with huge amounts of food. And the best thing is that it wasn't just football players. All the teams were in there, including what appeared to be the entire men's basketball team, all eating together. So perhaps Wulff is helping change some of the things in the entire athletic department?
But overall, this recruiting class could be exhibit 1-A of at least something we can glob onto in these dark days. Despite these unreal depths of 2008, these coaches are still out there working as hard as they can, selling this program and the university for all that it can offer a prospective student-athlete. Look at how hard they are working in the face of adversity. Instead of sitting back with their feet on the desk, they are working hard behind the scenes. Most of all, they are getting back to what made WSU successful in the Price era, by outworking the others and turning over rocks to find those talented, high-character types that want to be a Coug.
Finally, we heard a strong rumor late last week that suggested Jake Locker was going to be a gameday surprise from UW and actually play this week with a new cast on the broken thumb. Turns out that won't be the case. Sorry for the false alarm. Not that we WANTED to see Jake Locker play, as he could probably just take the snap, tuck it and run all afternoon and it would still be enough. So we'll have to get by with Ronnie Fouch vs. K-Lo or Jay-TEE.
That's it for a Tuesday. Enjoy it, and as always, GO COUGS!