Hello Cougar Nation and mighty Cougla Khan army. Hope your new year is off to a great start.
As for me, well, its been interesting.
Early in the week I was awoken by Sutra who informed me that our new defensive coordinator was none other than Bobby Jack Wright. But today, I am here to tell you that I am very excited about who our REAL Defensive Coordinator is going to be.
So, to read all about that and more, read on.
Nation, before we get to the meat of this mostly vegetarian post, I wanted to bring up a few points from yesterday. First of all, I was pretty surprised that none of you commented on Sutra's report that Nick Holt had been hired at Clemson.
You see, yesterday morning, Sutra awoke to two Tweets which talked about Nick Holt's hire at the school. But since Sutra is as dumb as a bag of rocks, he didn't realize that those two Tweets (including one by Nick "Don't call me Tom" Daschel) were jokes by people who had similar senses of humor (Of course, Sutra doesn't have one). So, Nick Holt is NOT the coach at Clemson as erroneously reported here yesterday. Again, if ANY of you take Sutra seriously, you need help of the professional variety.
Now, onto our Defensive Coordinator search:
Nation, I can't tell a lie. When I heard the rumor about Bobby Jack Wright becoming our Defensive Coordinator, I literally broke every window in the shed I live in outside of Sutra's compound. But yesterday, my sources informed me that our coaching search has taken a very exciting twist. And that twist is as follows.
Yep, I'm here to tell you today that our new Defensive Coordinator is Brian Stewart, former Defensive Coordinator of the Houston Cougars and prior to that, Defensive Coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys.
Personally, I couldn't be more excited about this hire. Not only is Stewart African American--which I think is important for a number of reasons--but the man brings an established record of success in developing young talent.
What's more, Stewart runs the coveted 3-4 defense that I have coveted for pretty much the history of EVER. This is a TERRIFIC, TERRIFIC hire folks; assuming that it comes to fruition. In fact, I would suggest that this is the type of splash hire that absolutely CRUSHES the Christian Caple's hire of Justin Wilcox.
Speaking of Christian Caple, I am here to tell you that the new Spokesman beat writer was tearing up the Twitter feed yesterday with updates on the Cougar Hoops game. Mind you, one game or week does not a reporter make, but it sure seems like Caple is hell bent on trying to atone for his previous assault on Pullman, Washington State, and Middle America in a complete love-fest for his alma mater.
In fact, Caple's work was so voluminous last night, Sutra told me that Caple had actually passed his sniff test. And let me tell you folks, that is something, because Sutra smells really, really, really, REALLY bad.
While Caple seems capable--at least for now--of eschewing the repugnant, I am not sure that any of us can say the same about Cougar Hoops. In case you missed it, the Cougs lost a classic featherweight battle against the Utah Utes, a team that not only ranked in the 300's in every important statistical category, they are also team that lost by 40 (and scored 33) against Colorado last week. In fact, the loss was so bad, that my RPI slipped 150 spaces just by following the game on GameTracker.
Following the loss, Bone told the media that his team was "too nice" and might lack the competitive fire needed to win consistently.
Ya, right, Ken. Is anyone else out there getting a little tired of lower tier finishes during a time in which the conference makes "TERRIBLE" an understatement?
I sure know I am.
Finally, a word or three about the Football Schedule that was just released this week. First of all, THE 2012 HELMET SCHEDULE IS HERE! Hooray HELMET SCHEDULE! Great work by our own SelahCoug, who stepped up and got this sucker done as soon as the 2012 schedule was announced. Check it out:
Note - for a higher resolution version (read: a version you can actually see - click HERE). We will also add this soon to our sidebar, so, enjoy (and thanks again to SELAH!).
I want you all to know that I will have a post about the Oregon and Seattle games in the next week or so. However, between now and then, I want to agree with Sutra that the schedule is favorable for a major step forward this year. Couple of notes:
Note #1. The swing games of the year for me are BYU and Oregon State. Win both of those games and the Cougs are headed for an upper tier bowl (e.g. Holiday or Better). Win one of those two games and the Cougs are headed toward a mid-range bowl (Sun, Vegas, or Kraft). Win none and this team will struggle to gain bowl eligibility.
Note #2. After thinking long and hard about it, I'm setting the floor and ceiling on the season as follows: The floor on the season is four wins (Eastern, UNLV, UCLA/UW, and Colorado). The ceiling on the season is ten wins.
Where will we finish? Well, if you stick around for the next 8 or 9 months you'll get a firm prediction. But, as of now, I'm thinking that we'll double our win total from last year if Stewart is in fact our Defensive Coordinator as reported above.
Okay, that's all for today. Enjoy the NFL playoffs this weekend, especially you Bungals fans out there.
Longball will be back Monday.
All for now. Go Cougs!
Nearly 9 hours after the story breaks, I'm here to tell you that we have a Defensive Coordinator and his name is NOT Brian Stewart. As a consequence, the Khan has been suspended pending further investigation into his reporting negligence.
Meanwhile, the Spokesman's response to this key news of interest today is as follows: (a) Grippi re-tweeting FootballScoop.com without additional comment or follow-up (b) Caple re-tweeting the same source; (c) Caple tweeting that he can't confirm the hire, suspecting that Leach wants to announce all coaches at once.
Notwithstanding the assault on Twitter led by Grippi et al. over the weekend, this is yet another example that the Spokesman has become the leader in following breaking news.
And of course, our best friend, Howie Stalwick was able to confirm the hire from multiple sources.....
Gotta have the horses first, and T. Bennett had at least one weaker recruiting years. Plus the two studs he did recruit left a year early. The game in Seattle, the team did play together, but the opposition was weak. The teamwork minus the studs will lose to teamwork with studs just about always. See N. Carolina, Duke, Connecticut, Kansas, and at one time UCLA.
@robert K. This is an argument that you can't win. What we can agree upon is that Bone has a GREAT class coming in. So, this is a hold your nose year. Next year will be more of a tell all.
I understand basketball better than football, so I want to comment on Coach Bone. He inherited two no threats to score in his first 8 guys, Capers and Lodwick. They work hard most nights playing D and rebounding, but other than a few put backs or dunks, no O-threat. Next season he brings in a couple more guys who likely will score and one of them is 6' 10." They seem to come from better basketball backgrounds. We will see a true team of Bone's next season. if they muddle forward/backward at the end of next season, then Bone should be replaced.
FTW = Free The Whales?
@Robert K. Its always easy to blame either the stars or the role players. But the failure of WSU has much more to do with the failure of the team to play as a unit. And fair or unfair, Bone has not been able to get his teams to play as a team consistently...So far, he is an Epic failure.
Fine Kahn, I will follow your lead. I like your plan. Shower this Caple guy with Coug love and attention, and he will confess that Cougs are a true family and he made the biggest mistake in electing to go to UW.
I will suck it up but if I read one thing where he takes a shot at our beloved WSU, even if joking, he's gone.
So, let me get this straight...your DC hire from CONF USA "absolutely CRUSHES" our DC hire from the SEC? You're telling me a guy that gave up 42 points to UTEP and 34 points to RICE "absolutely CRUSHES" our hire? A guy that gave up more than 20 points or more in 10 games in 2010 "absolutely CRUSHES" our hire? Just checking.
@UWJasonUW If your going to hire a d-coordinator you should have done it from one of the good SEC schools, not an also-ran like Tennessee. They haven't been relevant since Peyton manning was their qb.
@UWJasonUW Good question. You know sometimes its hard to keep up with the Khan and his hyperbole.
First off, I know that the Khan thinks that Wilcox is an A list hire, so for him to spout off that Stewart is much better, that says something. Second, different coaches are better for different types of schools. Sark would not have been as good a coach for us as he is for UW, just like Leach would not have been a fit for UW. In my mind, Stewart is a much better hire for us than Wilcox for UW because he brings NFL experience to the recruiting trail (something WSU needs on the defensive end) and also champions a 3-4 which is VITALLY important for WSU. Why? Because running a 4-3 requires you to have AT LEAST 4 solid DT's on your roster. Given the dearth of good DT prospects in the West, that is a near hopeless proposition for a school like WSU. In contrast, when you run a 3-4 you only need TWO DT's to be good and WSU can always recruit in solid Linebackers with the right coaching staff. So, the hire + the scheme means more to us than it does to UW. I also happen to believe that Wilcox is one good season at UW from being gone. Same thing could happen for us, but still...
@UWJasonUW Did you read the article? Sure he just left Houston, but before that THE Dallas Cowboys
@UWJasonUW I'm not saying that. I'm more hyped for you guys about Peter Sirmon. Dude is a stud. So bummed when he chose the Ducks instead of the Cougs.
For those of you who do not know. He, like Drew Bledsoe, is a Walla Walla High School product.
Great pro career too. You guys scored.
We're still going to beat you though.
The author said it! Walla Walla FTW!
Sidenote, Sean. Another thing I don't get about the Mariners. Why don't they move in the walls? Balls don't fly as far there. Home runs create more excitement. We want to attract power hitters, but power hitters like to see their stats up and dead parks are real turnoffs for them. It seems like such an easy solution.
The age comment for Pudge was laughable since Bavasi's first act as GM was to get rid of .300 hitting young shortstop Carlos Guillen (the only regular Ms starter under age 30) because "he misses a month every season to injury". So who does he try to get in return? 38-year old Omar Vizquel, who never hit for power or even average who just had two knee surgeries. Bavasi was dumber than stupid
@SeanHawkins@UWJasonUW But the money is what the Beltre deal was all about. Sure, he was better than Richie Sexson whom they spent another $13 million per year on, but you don't waste $13.5 million per year for a gold glove at the hot corner who can't hit for power. What drove me most nuts about the whole thing was how Bavasi wouldn't cough up $8 million per year for four years the previous year for the best catcher of our era, Pudge Rodriguez. 3-year deal and no more! Bavasi said. After all he was getting older! And we all know the rest of the story (Detroit Tigers World Champions). Then the next year we blow $13.5 and $13 mil per year for two five year contracts on a veteran power hitter in Sexson (who went downhill quickly) and an unproven commodity--both in the last year of the steroid era!
@WallaCoug@UWJasonUW I believe Beltre was the right move in '04, and I still believe he is an excellent 3rd baseman. What killed him was what kills many power, pull-gap right handed hitters and that is the grand canyon that is Safeco. Ever look at Beltre's numbers before Safeco and after Safeco? He has averaged just over .900 OPS the last 2 years in Boston and Texas, and he only broke .800 once in his years in Seattle. Was he worth the money? Not really, no, but at his age when they signed him (24), coming off a near-MVP season in LA, it was worth the risk. Hell, it's better than signing backup middle infielders to minor league deals! The M's have become completely irrelevant/uninteresting, and it's a damn shame. Five years ago if you would have told me to choose between the Sonics and the M's, the choice would have been easy. Today, well, let's just say I've grown weary of Ichiro groundballs, and man oh man would I love to be able to watch Kevin Durant in Sonic green and gold on a regular basis! Sigh.
On the coordinator talk, we should all just pipe down. UW was ready to throw a parade when they "stole" Nick Holt from SC (come on Jason, you KNOW people were excited!). And nobody paid much attention to this unknown from New Hampshire who came to work for Bellotti in Eugene in '07....and he's been to three straight BCS bowls, and won coach of the year his first two years!
So who knows how Wilcox or Sirmon will do out here. They might be the magic elixar that suddenly gets UW defensive linemen to be bigger/stronger/faster/better, or make their linebackers suddenly run 4.5 40's and hit like LSU or Alabama. But I seriously doubt it. And I doubt our own DC hire is going to make much of a difference either, unless as Sutra suggests it's a radical scheme change that fits our recruiting patterns better (read: weak d-tackles).
@UWJasonUW I know the author said it. I'm just saying I don't agree. I think all of the Houston coaches going to other places are going to fall flat on their faces. They caught lightning in a bottle with Case Keenum. When he was gone last year see how well they did. Total overreaction in hiring any of them. Kinda like stupid Bill Bavasi (worst GM ever!) signing Adrian Beltre to $13.5 million a year when he'd had only one great season and it happened to be the last year of the steroid era--the last before drug testing. What happened when he got to Seattle? Minimal offensive production, that's what.
One question for you Jason since I don't "text". What does "FTW" stand for?
AGAIN SPECIAL THANKS TO SELAH COUG FOR THE HELMET SCHEDULE. Don't know if you've noticed, but the helmets change for rivalry games and he included Oregon's cool-ass combat helmets.
Excellent work, bud. THANK YOU!
@Sutra Yeah, I tried to use all teams alternate helmets when I thought they may actually wear them (rivalry games, or white helmets with white uniforms on the road and such). Of course Oregon had too many and is unpredictable so I just used a few of their options. Hope you all enjoy.
I'm about halfway through this podcast while doing some administrative stuff. A good listen. Couple of highlights thus far:
1) Wash played last year with a broken shoulder..
2) Chris Ball did a lot to help Wash prepare for a future career in coaching. Sounds like the previous coaches, at least Ball, did some nice things for those kids..
Nice hire for the D Coordinator Leach. At least our football house seems to be in order.
It has become apparent that that the Bone hire was a "bone headed" mistake. His teams lack discipline. They have some talent, but it is becomign obvious that Bone does not have the "it" factor. He is eerily similiar to CPW, in that we snagged him at bargain level prices from the sub-bcs level. He has no charisma, but his recruiting isn't aweful. But when you look at the product he produces you can't help but cringe.
I really wish we would seek a Tony Bennett look alike. When his teams played everyone knew we would be playing boring bennett ball, which is what coug nation loved with a final score of 49-47, but WSU always ended up on the winning end of more than half of those. It was a strategy that worked VERY well in Pullman.
I'd give Bone through the end of the year, see what he can do to right the ship. If we are sitting at sub .5 by year end I would cut bait and run on this guy.
I would like Stewart, but rumors are he is headed to WV and Football Scoop just threw this out there:
Washington State: We hear that a huge number of guys have contacted Leach about serving as defensive coordinator. Sources tell us that Montana defensive coordinator Mike Breske has impressed Leach. We havn't heard that it's a done deal; but Breske might be the one.
This would be quite underwhelming to me.
@Selahcoug And Football Scoop is often spot on. The Khan took a risk and it looks like he may be holding the flaming bag of poo...
Or is the bag full of something else?...
@Sutra@Selahcoug He called the shit poop! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uWjt2y_G0Q&feature=related
@Sutra@Selahcoug Been trying to search for a clue on Breske's scheme. Sounds like it is not a 4-3. They seem to blitz a lot and he gives on field control to the safety for calls. He had great rankings when at Wyoming and was DC for Montana when they were runner and champions. Remember that Leach feels coaches that fit his mold from a lower division show more in their accomplishments from working with fewer resources and less talent. Anywho, here is an interesting Q&A article I found
KHAN was told to have more than one source before posting this. If he is wrong he will be fired for the second time on this blog. I know he loves Billy Martin, but I don't think he had aspirations of mimicking his fortunes.
I was worried about Stewart following Sumlin but it looks like A&M is looking at Pat Narduzzi from Michigan State. http://www.freep.com/article/20120106/COL08/201060417/Drew-Sharp-MSU-must-pay-up-to-keep-coaches-like-Narduzzi?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cp
Looks like WVU thinks they are getting Stewart??
I guess we'll see if he wants to work for Holgerson or Leach, and soon!