Pretend that's a Crimson W, okay???
Hello Followers. Hope you had a great Holiday break.
Yesterday afternoon, I returned from a 1400 mile drive back to the New York State Compound from Miami, Florida.
After removing about a foot of snow from my driveway, I sat down to catch a bit of last night’s Sugar Bowl action. For a few quick Cougar-relevant reflections on that game as well as tonight’s Fiesta Bowl contest, read on..
Followers, in case you missed part of the early season Coaching Merry-go-round, Louisville coach Charlie Strong was targeted as the first, second, third, and fourth choice of the University of Tennessee. And last night’s game showed you why that interest was well justified..
Indeed, the former Defensive Coordinator of the Florida Gators absolutely blitzed the 3rd ranked Gators in a contest that wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated.
Outside of the surprising outcome, the hidden headline of the game was that last night’s coming out party for Strong was not the swan song for the University of Louisville. And the reason: Strong likes Louisville, likes the program HE has created, and is wise enough to know that the grass isn’t necessarily greener elsewhere.
And frankly, Followers, when I think about Strong’s decision to stay put and then look to tonight’s game—which features Kansas State’s resurgence under Bill Snyder the second time around—I wonder what things would have been like had Mike Price eschewed the allure of the University of Alabama.
But, even more than lamenting Price’s decision to jettison a program that he had just taken to #3 in the country, I find myself more and more wondering whether or not Jim Sterk made Colossal Gaffe #3 (Letting Price leave was #1, hiring Ken Bone was #2) by not hiring Price for a second go-around after letting Bill Doba go in 2007?
Oh Happy Days......
I mean, think about it. Where would this program be right now if Mike Price had been given the job in 2007 and not Paul Wulff? What would Price have been able to accomplish if given access to the types of fiscal resources and facilities upgrades that would have been forthcoming under Bill Moos?
To be sure, I’m not sure that Price 2.0 would have taken us back to the Rose Bowl by now--especially in view of Oregon and Stanford's dominance--but here’s to thinking that we would have been able to hit the JC’s well enough n 2008 and 2009 ito be well into bowl territory by now, if not challenging for one of the conference’s top tier bowl slots..
So, as we get ready to watch what should be Chip Kelly’s swan song tonight, keep an eye on Kansas State and the head man that walks their sidelines.
And as you do, you can know that virtually all of me will be chanting the following mantra all night long: “That could have been us. That should be us!!!!”
All for now. Go Cougs.
I found myself thinking the same thing when watching the Fiesta Bowl and looking at Billy Snyder. What could have been had Price stayed. I'm not sure how it would have worked if he had come back, but it would have been a way smoother transition from the past two coaching changes. If only we had Floyd and Moos when Price was still here. We may have been close to what Oregon is now, well minus all the hideous uniforms and Billionaire running the college.
@Selahcoug Its important to remember that last night's KSU team was Synder 2.0
He left/retired and then came back after they took a nose dive in his absence.
Who knows if they are a bit on the crooked side in Manhattan, but he sure can coach.
Meanwhile, I loved watching Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl last night. That team is SO much fun to watch. I'll be honest: I'm tired of having to face Oregon each year, but that program is so good for our conference. With USC declining (at least for now), Oregon is the one program in the conference that makes the Pac-12 look good year after year.
And I'll admit that I will hate to see Chip Kelly leave. That guy is a hell of a coach.
I can readily tell you that Price would have gone the JC route that first and second year heavily to fill holes. He has no problem doing that whatsoever when he sees a hole. Although he is known for going with the best player, even if a frosh, he would have had the experience to know that Wulff's plan was doomed for failure (although a success for the next coaching staff after PW). Whether it would have made that much of a difference I do not know. The one thing I do know, is when you have familiar coaches, you bring back old athletes more to the campus, and when old athletes are around more, they give more to the athletic dept., particularly in Pullman where it is easy to disconnect financially from the school once graduating and moving to the big city.
@ptowncoug3012 I hadn't even considered the issue of resource development re: the Cougar Athletic Fund, but I think you're spot on.
That said, I'm not sure that Price 1.0 would have done much for donations (if he had not gone to Alabama). Seemed like we were stuck thinking that Rose Bowls and ten win seasons were just supposed to happen to us (boy were we fooled),
But, I think you're right that Price 2.0 would have brought the Bledsoe's, Gessers, Trufants, Leaf, etc. and their pocket books closer to the program.. And I think you're right, that sure would have helped....
@Sutra @ptowncoug3012 I personally was never enamored with the idea of bringing Price back. I wasn't mad at the guy; I totally respect why he took the Alabama job. I just felt that that ship had sailed. I loved the Wulff hire at the time, and I really thought that he would be successful and would be a solid coach for us for years.
But now, with the benefit of hindsight, maybe bringing Price back would have made sense. I do agree that there would have been more success over the last few years, with a minor bowl or two in there. But how successful would he have been? As you pointed out, the conference has changed so much over the last ten years. Stanford, Cal, Oregon, and OSU have been solid to great programs during the last decade. Those were much easier teams to beat back in 2002.
I will say this: as hard as the last decade has been, I do feel really good about having Leach as our coach, and believe he can do an awful lot with this program. If Price had been rehired, maybe we'd never have ended up with Leach. And, when Leach leaves, whether it's in 2 years or 15, I have faith that he will have a solid assistant coach under him who can take the reins.
@bpcoug54 @Evercoug @Sutra Hey please don't spew facts about details you only get 2nd hand. if price didn't coach and they lose to ou i bet you would react negatively and blame price just like niu fans blame their former coach. how about gesser's 103 temp and flu the night before the game. that couldn't have any impact could it? But don't let facts get in the way of your constant and irrational hate of all things Coug that you don't like.
--The ending to the 2006 season was a disaster. We went from 6-3 and ranked about 25th to 6-6 and no bowl. We managed to someohow lose to Arizona (with an interim coach) at home, we got routed at ASU by a team whose coach was about to be fired (Koetter) and turned in a listless Apple Cup performnce. That was on Doba.
== As I watched the Rose Bowl last week , I reflected on the WSU vs. Oklahoma Rose Bowl. It wasn't full, and the Rose Bowl committee was pissed, with good reason. The biggest stage in history for WSU, and we turned in a sorry perfomance. I'm still convinced Price's Alabama decision totally altered that team's performance. So, no, I haven't changed my opinion of Price.
@bpcoug54 @Evercoug @Sutra @ptowncoug3012 Well, one could argue that were it not for a few crazy injuries to Hill and Bumpus that 2006 team might have won 9 games. The 2005 team was a helluva lot of fun to watch and had a dude who ran for 1900 yards while Brink threw for nearly 3,000. The 2004 team was 5-6 and the 2007 team won more games than any since. The bigger issue was what the Assistants did--or didn't do--on the recruiting front when Doba's wife got sick. THAT was the killer for him and for Wulff.
Regarding Price, you're right--he should have not coached that 2003 Rose Bowl. But the rest is crazy talk, BP. He led us to TWO fricking Rose Bowls in 5 seasons, had another 10 year campaign the year prior, and laid the foundation for three straight ten win seasons--a feat not matched until USC, Oregon, and now Standford...
Plus, wouldn't you just KILL for a .500 record about now--if that was the worst that it got?
To wit, I think its fair to say that Price shouldn't have been hired back, but to minimize his accomplishments is nothing short of nonsense.
You forgot to add Sterk gaffe #3:hiring Doba. Doba never wanted to be a head coach, and he wasn't one. No way Price should have been re- hired in 2007 when Doba was let go. There was a great deal of division in the Cougar Nation about that idea: it would have been very destructive More to the point, Price was a career .500 coach in 30 years of coaching. His teams were disorganized, undisciplined, and collapsed every November. Losing to UW in the 2002 A/c was absolutely inexcusible. How did Sterk "let'" Price go? His contract had been re-worked and sweetened. Ego and power destroyed Price. He could have been a .500 coach at WSU forever. Price should never been allowed to coach the 2003 Rose Bowl.