Good morning and Hump Day, Cougs. I got nothin'. I really just don't have much to say about this stupid football season, so this will be brief. Even the least optimistic among us could have never imagined a scenario in which we'd be 2-7, our best player would have quit the team and worst of all, my fellow blogfathers and shotgunnin' buddies, Longball and LucasCoug would be lobbing passive-aggressive volleys at each other on This Here Blog. So where do we go from here? I really don't know. I do know this season is completely and utterly lost. You know where I was when the Cougs were getting throttled by Utah on Saturday? The golf course. I'd planned to be able to watch the second half, but that clearly became a waste of time so I just golfed some more and ignored the game completely. In my recollection, this has never happened to me. The days that followed kicked off the greatest meltdown in Cougar Nation since Mike Price skipped town for Tuscaloosa. Mercifully, I was on the road again yesterday and was too busy to read all about it like I typically would. This season has stripped me of my excitement for Cougar football, which is quite remarkable and quite sad.
So what do we do? We support Jeff Tuel and Travis Long on their way out. These are two dudes who have laid their bodies on the line (quite literally in Tuel's case) to get their teeth kicked in for four years. They rarely produced results we would have liked in their careers, but they will be two of my favorite Cougs.
Accept that Mike Leach is our coach until he isn't. We all thought his approach would be a little more "quirky" than "my way or the highway", but apparently we were wrong. On the whole, it's hard to disagree with someone who thinks he needs to shake the loser mentality out of a bunch of kids who have done nothing but lose. That said, nobody can just go about doing things however the hell they want and expect to have the unfailing support of everyone. Should Leach's methods continue to cast a public negative light on the program, his methods will require some examination. If he gets "his guys" in town and starts winning ball games, we'll likely all forget about this ugly episode. If he doesn't, his proponents will get quieter and quieter until he is gone. I'm not saying we should support him blindly if he continues to act like a douche, but there really isn't much to be done about it so accept that he's driving he bus and understand he feels a total overhaul is necessary even if we didn't.
Stop yelling at each other. It's bumming me out.
And oh yeah, one last thing...beat UCLA.
Well, Penguins, thanks for not glitching up for the first time since Sunday. All I could get to was the front page, but never whole articles or comments sections.
I am firmly on the Leach is a jerk who has lost many on this team and will lose recruits as well for his stupid behavior. Keep it in house.
One thing I'll say about the UCLA game: it won't mean a ton if we play well, because #1 it will be a freezing night for a SoCal team and #2 it's at home. There is no reason we shouldn't play well. In conclusion, this game won't tell us anything unless we blow them out or we get blown out.
Go Mike Leech! Best think to happen to Cougar Football since the eighties. Football is a tough sport that requires tough players so having Leach tell them to put on their big girl panties and play hard is okay with me. He might be a tough coach but tough guys will be okay playing for him and we might even win some games. WSU will never be a football star's dream destination. Recruiting is hard when your school is in the middle of nowhere, east of Bum$&@k, Egypt so get off his back and let the man do what he was hired to do. And for heaven's sake, fight your own battles and stop having mom and dad do it for you.Quit being a bunch of babies and grow up!
@Kilsley I hope that last remark was directed at players, not the bloggers
@Ambush184 "Quit being a bunch of babies and grow up"? Of course that was aimed at the players... And I was thinking of the ones who's parents were calling Paul Wulff. At least Marquess Wilson stood up enough to walk out. It may not have been the right thing for his football career, but at least he stood up for himself. As an aside however, I think that was pretty childish as well. Sounds more like a TO move and look where it got him in the pros. I, personally, think tough coaches are good things and as a team, the Cougs just need to drink his kool-aid and believe. And I also think Mike Leach is right, they have the talent on the team. They just aren't working and believing hard enough! If those guys don't want to do it, then give their scholarship money to those that do. Simple. I love the Cougs. I watch them play almost every week despite their performances and it would be really nice to see them at least in the middle of the Pac12 instead of the bottom. As a Cougar football fan, I'm not that hard to please!
@Kilsley You do realize we lost during most of the '80s, right?
I was not a big fan of the Wulff firing, or the Leach hire. (But then, the only two coaching hires I have been really excited about were Bert Clark and Dennis Erickson – and we know how those worked out.) I understood the move from the athletic department’s position and donned my crimson colored glasses. What bothered me most was the level of expectations created by all the hype and an obsequious news/blog media (the words “genius” and “football” should never appear in the same sentence). Warts were confused with beauty marks and potential problems ignored. Consequently the disappointments are now more intense.
I too am disappointed by the turn of events, but not extremely surprised. In the end we are talking about one game, one press conference and one player. (Just think how team Romney feels – four more freaking years.) I really have no idea how the Leach mind works but I must assume he has a plan and the ability to adapt that plan. That’s all I ask. I do, however, (by virtue of my expenditure for season tickets) reserve the right to carp, complain and whine.
Leach is now the coach of my Cougars. That is not going to change in the near future, nor is Leach. So this Saturday I will drive the 360 miles, sit freezing cold and expect one of those “Cougar moments” that make it all worthwhile.
Bert Clark??? He was coach when I was there my first year. As for all the hype, Moos had to hype the whole idea of Leach to sell tickets. That worked. The more pertentent question now is how many of those tickets will renew after this season. I suspect there will be a drop off, possible a big one. I don't know how much homework CML did about Cougarnation, but methink it wasn't much. Moos made him an offer he couldn't refuse. That's pretty obvious. When all is said and done, WE are the ones who pay his salary by buying tickets and donating to the program. If there is enough of a drop off in either or both of those, CML will be history at WSU and we will be right back where we started...starting over, again.
While I'm no fan of the way Leach handles his players so publicly, I'm going to remain on board. I love the Cougs, and I stay for the entire game. I'll be there Saturday night, bundled up and freezing my ass off along with Mrs. Ambush, and praying we play like a football team. Then I'll read the atricles in the Spokesman Sunday morning. I just hope I'll be reading about a good performance or (dare I say it) a win.
@oldsavage Post of the week.
I just don't care about anything Cougar anymore besides not wanting anyone to be turned off further by all this stuff.
Like I wrote Monday, all of this becomes an afterthought if we can somehow shock UCLA on Saturday.....And who knows? Its gonna be cold and we're going to have myers and caldwell back...
@Sutra As I said up above, "shocking" UCLA with a win won't mean anything. Frankly, we should win. That's right I said it. We are playing AT home against a SoCal team in freezing weather.
But thanks to Leach I think it will be colder in the locker room than it will be in the stands. Thank you Leach for ruining this average team with some guys who REALLY DO CARE, squandering a bowl chance, and setting us back another 4 years. I'm deeply grateful.
@YakiCoug @WallaCoug @Sutra Gotta agree with that sentiment. I remember sitting in the stands with my dad before that game in 2010 thinking the we could pull off the upset and bring some hope to the program. 4 pass attempts later from Marshall Lobbestael, he had thrown 3 interceptions and the game was over. The cold weather factor is not going to be the reason this game is decided. If the Cougs show up and play inspired football, force a few turnovers, and provide some sort of running game, that could be a formula for an upset. Showing up at 7:30 and expecting the cold weather to keep the game close won't happen.
@Sutra I care about the women's soccer team being in the NCAA tournament!
@Huddy Me too! When I said, I didn't care anymore, I didn't mean that I didn't care. I mean, I can't wait to watch the game on Saturday..I'm just saying that I don't care about the insides and outsides of the current player-coach-AD dynamics...
@WallaCoug So goes the life as a Coug....
It would be far more interesting than a footballblog at this point...
I watched them get ripped off by the ref at Stanford and lose as a direct result 3-2.
Good work Huddy. And you probably know I'm in your corner, I guess, if there is such a thing. I am worn out too and have been for a while, but this last week has been about the worst. I thought we were climbing out of the hole after the Stanford game, where Leach was quick to say that it was the most complete game we had played this year and he was pleased with the effort (and who could possibly argue with him, they did leave everything they had on the field). So to me, one awful loss and a frustrated coach spouting off in the media about poor effort just feels a little over the top in the reactions.
I don't know if people heard or not yesterday, but Scott Van Pelt and Russillo quickly talked about the Cougs and Leach on ESPN radio. I was stunned that we actually got any type of national press, but hey, when your best player walks out it's news. Anyway, they are the epitome of the "view from 10,000 feet", where often times the picture is so much more clear the further you get away from it. Clearly we are all too emotionally invested in some way, too close to it, to see the whole thing. But from looking across the country from Bristol, it was simple to them.
1) A losing program that hasn't been relevant since Mike Price.
2) A new coach comes in and tries to set a new tone from the beginning.
3) There is push-back from a certain amount of players.
It's news, of course, because Marquess Wilson walked out and then was suspended. And it's news because quite frankly, the culture shock from Wulff to Leach is still happening on every level - from fans in the bleachers to the players themselves. But to the national guys, it just isn't that big of a deal, because this happens at a lot of places all over the country. It's simply ho-hum, it's part of the process of a major changeover and part of purging the same-ol, same-ol attitude that was allowed to persist under the last two regimes, really.
The message from Leach is a good one, in that he won't tolerate a lack of effort or, as he put it, trying to "beg" players to get excited to play football. If that kind of thing is going on every week, then Leach is right, you probably have the wrong guys on the roster. But I don't particularly like some of the harshness of how Leach has done it in front of the camera. That doesn't make it right or wrong, really, it just doesn't sit well with ME I guess and the way that I deal with people?
But Huddy, you are right. As fans we can bitch and moan and complain on message boards and blogs, and hope somehow we can change things. It isn't an election of course, but if enough of the fan base is turned off then they will stay away, not spend money, and Moos or his successor will once again be faced with a big "business" decision. But that is really the only recourse. The coach isn't going to read any of the blather, nor will he give a damn about any of it. All that will matter is if he can recruit guys who fit what he needs, and meanwhile is able to get the guys who are here to buy in as much as he can and try to change their ways/habits. But it sure is ugly right now!
@SeanHawkins very well said and totally agree with you on the National 10,000 foot view. From that platform looking in, this is almost expected. We (being the diehard Cougs) are a bit to close and with so few TOP Level Talents on our team to see one suspended or in a negative light is scary. However, the winds of change were expected and from the recruiting start Leach has ... I still think this ship will turn for the better. From the get go our target had to be year 2 and 3 with Leach. It was never going to be this year, but a favorable starting schedule gave us some false hope that quickly faded with the CO game. Little pain for some gain... Onward and upward Cougs!!
If you watch some of the media outings by Leach after certain games at TT, he was JUST as tough on his players. Watch the post Baylor game in particular. Yet, no one cares because he is winning. Here, during a losing season, he's a douche for doing the same thing.
I'm just really happy that Leach (and Moos) doesn't care what anyone else says. I think too much media nowadays tends to cause fan bases to turn too quickly on coaches.
The media hasn't really done anything to enflame the fan base. The coachs and players have done that all by themselves. The media simply reported it in this case, Blanchette @ the Spoksman being the possible exception, but then he is an opinion writer more than a beat reprter