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@SeanHawkins @ptowncoug3012 Wasn't even just MQW that night. I watched the replay a few times, and other guys were coming back and getting drastically underthrown balls, etc., in addition to MQW's exploits. Everyone overemphasized the big yardage (and the win!) in that game when evaluating what CH could do. Everything went right that night against an unmotivated, frozen team.
9 months, 1 week ago on Angst In the Pants
@SeanHawkins That Colorado cancellation burned me (and probably you and others) -- had 4 confidence points assigned to it and the game was cancelled. Going to keep on trying to get to the top.
Sutra, we're not picking against the spread. If we were, we'd all be in Vegas!
9 months, 3 weeks ago on California Game Pick
@Soze I'm not sure about Gesser, necessarily, but I liked a lot of what I saw out of him. Really quick release -- he just flicks his wrist and it goes out with pretty good velocity. Also seemed pretty accurate. He also stays pretty still in the pocket, yet has great mobility. Finally, after he settled in, he really seemed to run the offense the way it should be run, and he got us in the end zone (yes, in garbage time). The only thing I don't like is the release point (3/4 arm angle), but overall, he looks solid. He may get his shot this weekend.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Post-Run Thoughts on a Sunday, Week 5 of 2013
Some food for thought -- if the offense is so tough to learn, how are true freshman (and walk-on) Baker Mayfield tearing it up at Texas Tech or true freshman Jared Goff doing pretty well (slightly better numbers than Halliday, and definitely fewer picks) at Cal? In both cases, those are true freshmen operating under first-year head coaches running Air Raid offenses. Cal has faced some pretty good defenses as well.
10 months ago on Pac-12 Rankings and So Forth: Post Week 4
@SeanHawkins @Jenkins Penguins ate a big reply here. Bottom line -- I agree! Gotta have some hope.
10 months ago on Post-Run thoughts on a Sunday, Week 4 of 2013
@Sutra Agree the line will go up. To be honest, I'd take the Trees at -9.5 if I was a betting man and could think objectively about anything involving the Cougs.
Good stuff. Re Halliday, although I don't hate the guy or anything, and I don't really think I'm an "anti-Halliday" in that I want nothing more than him to succeed, I have to disagree with your sentiments, for a few reasons:
1. Auburn had two interceptions during 2012 in its entirety. We saw how many picks CH threw against them, and they easily could have had three or four more, where they hit the guy in the breadbasket and he dropped it. CH easily could have had 6 or 7 picks in that game! We saw the same thing against USC, although not to the same extent. Too many near-picks.
2. Here's where I'm a bit unreasonable, but I would have liked to have seen ZERO picks against the two FCS teams (let's call the Vandals what they really are). He had a lot of time behind the offensive line and shouldn't have had any. Even that pick to Mason was a mistake. Don't throw a high ball to a 5'9" RB like that. It wasn't that "only he could get it" -- it was more like he "almost could get it at full extension," which is what caused the pick. Here, I realize I'm nitpicking, but my point is this -- if he's throwing any picks against FCS teams, I'm worried about him throwing an increased number when he has Pac-12 front sevens chasing him down and Pac-12 defensive backfields looking to pick his passes. When under pressure, everyone reverts to old habits and ingrained tendencies. Therefore, when we see some of the big uglies from the likes of Stanford running after him, I fully expect more of those stupid back-foot throws that will be picked by good Pac-12 DBs and safeties.
3. Slick Rick was talking about Halliday after the game and talked about, while Halliday is good at making straight throws on a line, he has a hard time with anything requiring any touch or arc. We saw that with the first pick against Idaho, along with Halliday completely blowing the should-have-been TD down the left sideline in the first series (Slick showed both of those examples). Good defensive coordinators will exploit this -- they'll keep a lot of guys in intermediate zones and dare CH to try to throw over the top of them with some arc. He's done little to show that he can do it.
So, bottom line, while I think he can make some reasonably accurate throws on a line when he has a lot of time and can step into it, he screws up when under pressure and doesn't have a lot of touch. I'm not saying to bench the guy or anything, but he's definitely not an optimal Air Raid QB, and he's going to lose us some games. With this defense, I'd bet someone like Jared Goff -- and perhaps even Baker Mayfield -- could get us to 8-4, whereas we're going to be damned lucky to get to 6-6 with Halliday.
I think we're more likely to see Robert Lewis (who could redshirt -- he's electric, but still tiny) on the pine than Bartolone, personally. All Bartolone did was lead our team in receptions as a true freshman. Granted, a lot of that was the position he was playing, but there's no chance of him being stuck on the pine.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Get the H out of Here!!!!!
What do you guys think about having Dykes in the same conference (and, for that matter, division) as Leach? For those kids out there who are great fits for the Air Raid, we're now competing against Cal for them, and we're also allowing teams to prep for us more easily (our North Division rivals know they'll have to play two Air Raid teams per year, so they'll account for it more than they might otherwise, perhaps even in recruiting, and it would especially suck playing someone right after they played Cal). I don't think any of this will make a HUGE difference -- Cal is going to get good players regardless, and offense is only half the equation -- but I certainly don't see it as anything other than a bad thing for us that Dykes was hired by them.
1 year, 7 months ago on Goodness of Fit | December | 2012 Articles
Hope you guys don't can the blog. Enjoy the discussion here. BTW, there's no way in hell that Leach lets MW back on the team at this point.
1 year, 7 months ago on Heading to Off (Season)
@Stiffmiester Damn right! Those guys overcame so much adversity to pull out that win. Just incredible.
1 year, 8 months ago on SENIORS!!!
Just chiming in here to note that WallaCoug not only doesn't represent our entire fan base, but he represents what I'd estimate to be about 15% of it. Nothing personal, WallaCoug, but I think you're dead-wrong on Wulff. I think he'd have us at 3-8. Likely beats Colorado but loses the other games we've lost. We wouldn't have shown up in a couple of the games, just as we've seen with this year's squad (and as we saw from all Wulff-led teams).
1 year, 8 months ago on Football Friday on a Thursday, Thank God It's the Final Week of 2012 Edition
Sorry for the unvarnished reaction there ... man, just really don't want to see that kind of result. Let's get a win, but if I had to, I'd settle for a moral victory tonight that looks a lot like Bone's boys almost beating UCLA without Klay.
1 year, 8 months ago on Bend But Don't Breske!
@UWJasonUW None. Ecklund broke his hand.
1 year, 8 months ago on Football Friday on a Thursday, Week Ten 2012 Season
@WallaCoug Yeah, I hear you. I've had my own moments of unhappiness, and as I mentioned below, I have a lot of doubts about this offense going forward.
As for the trolls, I think it's an interesting topic, actually -- the effective trolls are the ones who present themselves as reasonable, or who pose as our own fans. Not to be too paranoid or conspiracy-fearing, but it's pretty easy to go on a message board or forum of another team and express "reasonable concerns" or, better yet, pose as a fan of that team and freak out about all of the problems with the program. I *might* have even done that on Dawgman a few times -- hypothetically, of course.
1 year, 8 months ago on Fear and Criticism in Pullman
@crazedcoug40 Dude, ease off on Corky. That's not cool.
@WallaCoug You're pretty over the top with all of this anti-Leach venom, frankly. You're going to let some Husky commenters on the Seattle Times get under your skin with Willingham comparisons, particularly regarding some things that haven't happened (e.g., burning redshirts to make a point)? Those guys would like nothing more than to make our players, recruits, and fans think Leach is going to be another Willingham.
None of this is to say I'm ecstatic about how things have gone thus far, and I definitely have some concerns. Big ones. Just try to keep your wits about you a bit.
Agree with a lot of this, Sean. You touched on this, but I'm just amazed at how predictable and ineffective the offense is (at least thus far). Shotgun snap, some guys run around on intermediate routes, and the defense keeps 7 or 8 guys between 5-15 yards deep to knock the ball down or intercept it (and, if we wanted to throw a screen, to come up and stuff it after a short gain or loss due to only needing to rush 3). It's hard to see how it can be effective. The only "hope" I have is that our QBs aren't decisive enough and/or that our line is so terrible as to cause all of this. I have a hard time believing it will be effective even with a better QB and and an improved o-line, though.
Man, this was awful.
1 year, 8 months ago on The Day to Win
@WallaCoug Man, usually I'm the serious one. I was just joking around re Ohio State. I'd pick anyone 11-18 to beat OS in a heads-up matchup, though, along with about half of those from 19 through 25.
1 year, 9 months ago on No D-Light
No chance that OS is really the #10 team in the country. Maybe voters thought they were voting for OSU (i.e., THE Ohio State University)?
@ErikAnderson And, since Livefyre actually let me post this time (was getting error messages before), I'll say this -- I don't dispute that we were sold something more than "hey, watch this team flail around learning a new system and go 3-9," but a lot of people were, however, way out of line with their expectations. Also, we knew that Leach wasn't going to be a guy who would run out the clock in the fourth quarter, and that he'd make some maddening decisions sometimes. Great when it works and aggravating when it doesn't.
I'm not going to pretend that I'm happy with what's going on, though. That's all I really want to say at the moment.
1 year, 10 months ago on Why Do We Fall?
@ErikAnderson Wow, you're done with the coach for good, four games in?
I have a question for you guys when you have some time to analyze it. I just don't understand how the Air Raid works if they just drop 8 guys in coverage. We have a QB and 5 guys at the line, leaving 4 or 5 targets available. How is it effective to have four or five guys run around with 8 guys hanging out in the secondary? Probably just not thinking too clearly, but would be great to understand how the hell the offense is supposed to work. How is that more effective than mixing the run and the pass in a more conventional way, preventing them from having 7 or 8 guys in coverage all game? Yeah, I get that this is a basic question that I should know the answer to, but I'm not trying to prove how smart I am - genuinely curious.
1 year, 10 months ago on Whoops!
@WallaCoug If we all would have taken WSU as 13-point dogs, then that wouldn't bode well for anyone's performance in the contest.
Y'all are lucky this game was absent from the pick 'em contest.
2 years, 1 month ago on Leach is Changing the Recruiting Culture at Washington State
If Mark Wahlberg had a retarded brother, he would look like Jim Mora.
2 years, 1 month ago on What's My Line?? (Part Two)
@oldsavage "Hey, I had Wulff with seven wins"
That's your first, and most important, problem.
2 years, 1 month ago on The Hunt for October
I second this - best to Jeff and his family! Hope the little guy gets better soon.
2 years, 1 month ago on Thoughts and Prayers
I'm disappointed when the links in the "Backyard" section below doesn't show at least one thumbnail of a highly attractive woman. Is there anything you can do about that?
As for the stadium rankings, hard to disagree with any of them, other than I'm not sure the Rose Bowl is #1 if we're evaluating it as a home venue for UCLA. It's off-campus and not a great atmosphere for its run-of-the-mill home games (or, at least, hasn't been a great atmosphere during its recent mediocre years).
2 years, 1 month ago on Hump Day with Huddy - Stadium Rankings
UCLA's logo is terrible. It's not even a proper acronym, i.e., "UCLA" ... it's "Ucla." How is that pronounced? Yoo-kla?
2 years, 2 months ago on Hump Day with Huddy - Time to Rank Stuff
May be a decent time to ask this question -- anyone think the Pac-12 Network will have a materially negative impact on attendance? Don't get me wrong -- I think it's a great thing generally for various reasons -- but I'm a bit worried about some of our fans deciding that a nice warm living room with the game on HD beats driving 3-5 hours to sit in a cold stadium, especially in November.
2 years, 2 months ago on Pac-12 Stadium Arms Race: Where Does WSU Fit?
@GeoffONeil Agree! I'm seeing a lot of guys say they're not going to go to the game for this reason or because the atmosphere sucks. I agree that it has sucked in the past, but you don't make it any better by boycotting the game.
2 years, 3 months ago on Road Warrior's Guide to the 2012 Season Next Stop - Seattle
To answer the question about Tuel, yes. I'm not sure he's accurate enough or has a quick enough release for the Air Raid. Still very early, though, and he has a lot of talent.
2 years, 3 months ago on Spokane Week Begins
@Sutra Makes more sense now. Waseem was in the two-deeps as a true frosh before getting hurt.
2 years, 4 months ago on A New Era Begins
@Amieable @Sutra This doesn't do anything to discourage Kaufusi from doing drugs at this point, but it does quite a bit to discourage the other 100 guys on the roster from doing drugs. Much more than a 2-strike policy or anything else more lenient would. (Again, I think the policy is too strict -- just trying to serve as a counterbalance on a few points here.)
2 years, 4 months ago on Zero Tolerance for “Zero Tolerance” Policies
@Amieable Serious question -- can you realistically envision any coach, let alone Mike Leach, changing his drug policy at this point? "Oh, okay, you guys are right -- I won't kick guys off the team anymore for smoking pot." It's never going to happen. I personally agree that it's too strict if I was the one setting policy. It's not going to change now, though.
@jocamendo I agree with all of this. The no-drugs policy is based upon guys being all-in and not being selfish. I personally think it's a bit too strict, but it's a very clear policy. I'd feel differently if he decided to boot Kaufusi for this without having indicated previously that he would do so.
I do want to be clear, though, that I can see the point with Longball's argument. I personally think the policy is too strict for my taste, and I definitely hope that those arguing for "consistency" -- i.e., wanting guys under 21 to get booted off the team for getting an MIP -- don't get their wish. I think the policy has the potential to hurt us in recruiting for a variety of reasons, and that's tough when we're already a place that can be tougher to recruit to.
@KyleLipe Cool, then you could schedule a game between the men's and women's teams. After that game is about 192 - 6, you could try to persuade me as to why the relevant comparison would be 20-year old trained athletes versus some out-of-shape guys in their 30s.
2 years, 4 months ago on Best $8.17 I've Ever Spent
@Huddy@Sutra Yeah, I'd be a fan of Tara even if she said Lawler was going to UW.
2 years, 5 months ago on What a Sports Nut, Huh?
@Sutra I watched Lawler's highlights again last night ... they're pretty damned incredible. Would really be excited about landing him.
@Selahcoug All has to do with sovereign immunity. Otherwise, Leach would have various bases for claims against TT.
2 years, 6 months ago on Victory Bell's Friday Follies
@jclewis4@disported Don't see it. Where? Not on disported's Twitter feed or the site.
2 years, 6 months ago on Cougar Ends and Odds
@TruCoug89@Longball@Ambush184@UWJasonUW Thanks, guys. I hear what you're saying. I still believe that generally, we would want to be in on kids getting offered by other BCS schools if we could win those matchups, but I appreciate what you're saying about the flaws in the ratings systems and in the "marketplace" of reported BCS offers. Here's hoping we win a ton of games and everyone is happy.
2 years, 7 months ago on What, Me Worry?
Boiling it down, your argument is this:
- All rankings systems are wrong. All of these guys who watch tons of HS games and rate players for a living are totally wrong, not just on some guys, but generally.
- The marketplace is also wrong. The marketplace is inefficient ... WSU has a unique ability to go find legit players at the highest level in college football that nobody else can and that nobody else cares to offer. This is true despite the myriad ways today in which recruits and their coaches can get the word out about legit BCS-level prospects.
- Results on the field aren't indicative of talent. Getting blown out by teams like Cal and UW doesn't mean that we don't have the horses.
- None of that objective evidence matters -- we need to "view Wulff's players subjectively with our own eyes to judge talent." We can point out a few examples of highly-touted recruits who flopped, guys with light offer sheets who turned out to be really good, and underachieving teams like UCLA. Our subjective evaluation (as measured against what, by the way?) and handful of anecdotes carry the day.
Sorry, guys, you've failed to convince me. I essentially agree with the standards for wins TruCoug89 laid out at the end of his post, though.
In any case, I think Leach will recruit well enough to win.
@TruCoug89@Longball@Ambush184@UWJasonUW I'm not saying Simone is better than MW. You can't throw a couple of anecdotes out there with extreme examples as the entire basis for your argument, ignoring the hundreds of examples that cut against it. Generally, better teams are comprised of better players. The recruiting market isn't perfectly efficient, and I haven't argued that it is. I dare say that if I'm betting on the outcome, though, I'll take a marketplace of Pac-12 coaches over your empirical observations on some amorphous scale each time. If nobody else in a BCS conference offers the majority of your players, that's the definition of no bid for the chosen commodity (or, I grant, some coaches not wanting to offer guys who have committed, or kids choosing not to report additional offers). Usually, it's because no other peer schools thought they were good enough to go after. Is your argument really that in the aggregate, players whose only offers are from places like North Dakota or Sacramento State are as good as players offered by multiple top Pac-12 teams?
@Ambush184@Longball@UWJasonUW Ambush, that's just not true if we're talking about reported offers. Most of our players had no other reported offers or had offers from WAC and MWC teams. At this point, I'll go with TruCoug (and with you, Longball) and just hope the discussion is moot.
@Longball@UWJasonUW Come on, Longball. You're not only purporting to divine my intent, but saying that I'm lying about it. I'll give Wulff credit for what he has done. Wulff recruited a mid-level Pac-12 QB (Tuel) and a gunslinger with a lot of guts and the potential to be an all-conference performer, but who is still rough (Halliday), as well as a superb, legit All-American candidate WR (you know who) and some other WRs who may turn out to be solid Pac-12 players but for whom the jury is still out. The RB talent is okay but wouldn't start anywhere else in the conference, both lines are bad, and the defense as a whole is awful other than the linebackers, who are okay. Generally, Wulff has recruited a bunch of guys with no other Pac-12 offers, save for a few cases in which he's landed solid recruits who have turned out to be legitimate mid- to upper-level Pac-12 performers. It is what it is. In the context of his situation, that's not "bad." Wulff and his assistants worked hard and brought in some nice skill players, but as a whole, the team still doesn't have talent equivalent to anyone else in the conference with the possible exception of Colorado. I think Leach has sufficient fodder at the QB and WR positions, and the RBs aren't spectacular but probably are adequate for what Leach wants to do. The defense, though, will be bad, and I don't think the OL is where it needs to be for Leach to really do what he wants to do on offense.
Again, as for expectations, I agree that people may not expect 6-6, given Leach's track record, but I think there's a pretty good possibility of it, despite him being a great coach. I just don't want anyone jumping off a cliff if we're 6-6 and playing in the Fight Hunger Bowl next year, or if we barely miss a bowl at 5-7. Neither of those would be exciting, and I'd be REALLY disappointed with 5-7, but neither would mean that Leach is a bad coach, we shouldn't have paid him all that money, Wulff would have done better, etc.
As for the salary, we're now paying about the league median. Yes, it's quadrupling what Wulff made, but that wasn't even close to market. CO State, which doesn't have a TV deal like ours and isn't in a BCS conference, just agreed to pay McElwain $1.5 million/year.
My higher expectations for Leach come into play in the longer term. In future years, I think he'll win 7-9 games fairly regularly, and may top that after a few years. A consistent shot at 7-9 wins, with the hope for touching double figures, is pretty damned good, especially when he's still working with the remnants of Wulff's recruits. I think Wulff would have peaked out with an occasional 6-6 or 7-5 year, along with a lot of 3- to 5-win years. The guy never lost fewer than 4 games a year at EWU. If that's all he can do there in a situation that's pretty decent compared to his peers, it's beyond me why people think he could consistently go 7-5 or 8-4 in the Pac-12 with a bunch of recruits that, in the aggregate, aren't as talented as their competition.
I keep harping on these points regarding expectations in case we go 6-6 or 5-7. In that case, people will say that Wulff would have gotten us just as far for 1/4 of the pay, and I believe that's inaccurate. 5-7 will be VERY disappointing, to be clear, but only the more so if you have unrealistic expectations of 8 or 9 wins in this first season. We should back the coach if we get into any bowl game, IMO, even if we're all *hoping* for some magic that gets us to 8 or 9 wins (I sure am, just like you ... big difference between hope and expectation, though).
They also "damn near" lost at CO to go 3-9 (and should have lost if Embree ran the ball on 3rd down in his penultimate series), in which case their only wins would have been over Idaho State, UNLV, and a reeling (but admittedly decent) ASU team. That ASU win came against a team in a 5-game losing streak and required a redshirt freshman to come off the bench and throw for 494 yards in 7/8 of a game.
Only 3 teams in the whole Pac-12 won more than 7 games this year. You expect a team that got destroyed by Cal and UW, which were 7-win teams, and which will lose between 40-60% of the OL (depending on how you look at Roxas), and will still have a bad defense, to get to 8-4 or 9-3?
I sure hope we get to 8 or 9 wins, but the odds don't favor it. I think we go 2-1 OOC and 4-5 in conference to finish 6-6, or maybe go 2-1 OOC and 5-4 in conference to finish 7-5. Not impossible to go 5-7. I think Wulff would have won anywhere between 3 to 5 games again in 2012, firing up the old excuse-o-matic quite a few times, but perhaps getting to 6-6 if a lot of things went right. I know this sounds low, but just look at the matchups week-to-week and ask yourself who would actually win the game ... don't just build in assumed wins based on a general notion of "improvement" or having Tuel back. At least IMO.
I think Leach is worth 1 or 2 additional wins, but starting from a lower baseline. 2 wins out of 12 games is a lot, guys. People misjudge the impact of incremental wins due to the small sample size. 2 wins is equivalent to winning about 27 additional games in a 162-game baseball season. You don't think it's a big deal to hire a manager that could improve a team from 63-99 to 90-72 in baseball? That could easily take you from one of the worst teams in the game to a playoff team. 2 games is the difference between being at the bottom of our division and going bowling.
So, basically, I think Leach takes us from 4-8 or 5-7 to 6-6 or 7-5.
@UWJasonUW 2 and 3 are irrelevant. 6 is conjecture and, in my opinion, flat-out wrong. As for the rest -- eh, whatever.
@TruCoug89@ptowncoug3012 No doubt. I went to law school in a place about 180 degrees from Pullman as well. Hope that first set of 1L finals is going, or went, well for you ... definitely a stressful time.
2 years, 7 months ago on The REAL DC Search
Lots of words.
2 years, 7 months ago on Conversation @ http://wsufootballblog.com/2011-articles/december/committee-of-one.html
@TruCoug89@ptowncoug3012 TruCoug, where are you going to law school?
@TruCoug89 Surprised to see the ASU boosters (or, at least, a vocal group of them) oppose June Jones' hiring so vehemently. Better than Charlie Weis.
2 years, 7 months ago on Morning Notes
@Longball Worth every word.
2 years, 7 months ago on Pirate on The Palouse
@TruCoug89@Longball@WallaCoug@Sutra@ptowncoug3012 Thanks, TruCoug. I think 7-5 is a reasonable target as well, but I would take 6-6 and a bowl game as a fallback that I think is pretty likely. There are too many people (e.g., Walden) talking about 9 wins being the target. I have legitimate hope we can pull that off, but an 8- or 9-win expectation is too lofty, IMO. Nobody other than Oregon, Stanford, and USC in the Pac-12 won more than 7 games this year, and the two 7-win teams (Cal and UW) both beat WSU by healthy margins (borderline blowouts). Sorry to have to add some levity here.
So what do you think, Longball? Care to get on record calling me out on my "nonsense" by saying that 8 or 9 wins is what you expect, or that Leach would get fired for going 5-7 in year 1? As for the first one, I'd love to be wrong, but I'm not seeing it.
Let's get your expert take.
2 years, 7 months ago on Monday Goulash
@Longball@WallaCoug@Sutra@ptowncoug3012@TruCoug89 Actually, it's not an alternative -- I'd like to get your take on both of those issues. I'm genuinely curious whether you think Bill Moos would fire Mike Leach next year if we go 5-7. If so, let's hear it.
@Longball@WallaCoug@Sutra@ptowncoug3012@TruCoug89 Nonsense? What I wrote is fairly nuanced, Longball. Do you think Leach gets fired if we go 5-7 next year? Alternatively, do you think we win 8 or more games? If so, I'd like to get that on record.
@WallaCoug@Sutra@ptowncoug3012@TruCoug89 It's not about whether Wulff's face is getting slapped or not. It's about what's best for the program. I say going 6-6 next year is a lot more likely than winning 8 games. I wouldn't be ecstatic about that result, but I don't think Wulff would have gotten us there either. It's not like Leach is getting the axe next year even if he goes 5-7, guys, despite your hyperbole. Hopefully, he can blow numbers like "5-7" completely out of the water and we won't even need to worry about it, but I think you guys are overestimating the talent on the team. Remember, we're going to play 9 Pac-12 teams, all of which (other than Colorado) are pretty decent.
@TruCoug89 Agree with your thoughts on expectations. I sure hope for 8 or 9 wins next year, but expecting that is nuts. I'd be happy with any bowl game and pretty satisfied with 7-5 and winning our bowl game. (To answer those who say "Wulff would have gotten us there anyway" -- in my opinion, he wouldn't have, at least in 2012, even if he maybe could have gotten us to a lower-level bowl in a few more years.)
@WallaCoug Walla, I like some of your stuff, but I'd take the under on 8 or 9 wins next year, especially 9. I think Leach can get us to where we win 9 games a year, but I really doubt it will be next year. I'm a bit worried about these kind of unrealistic expectations.
2 years, 7 months ago on Per Grippi: Leach to WSU
@Deek@Upthewazzu Peter Principle came into play.
2 years, 7 months ago on Difficult Goodbye
@WallaCoug How about we (a) win the games before we worry about who gets credit for them, and (b) give some credit to Leach for actually winning the games?
Don't worry, Wulff can't lose - if Leach wins a ton of games, Wulff will get credit for building the foundation, and if Leach doesn't win as many as expected, some will say that Leach wasn't any better (if at all) than Wulff.
@WallaCoug@bpcoug54 It's interesting WallaCoug, you're right that without talent, nobody's going to go 8-4 or 9-3. That's indisputable. If the new coach puts up that kind of record, though, I think Wulff would have guided the team to something like 6-6. I believe what's more likely next year is that even a legit D-1 coach will only be able to win 7 games tops and Wulff supporters -- I guarantee you they'll still be making themselves heard -- will say that Wulff could have done the exact same thing. I know today's a day to feel sorry for Wulff, and honestly, I do in many ways ... but honestly, if a legit coach goes 7-5 next year, I would wager that Wulff would have gone 5-7 with the same circumstances. I'd say more about why, but I don't want to be perceived as dancing on his metaphorical grave, and I do feel badly for him personally.
2 years, 7 months ago on Moos Presser Notes
@TruCoug89@Sutra@Huddy Excellent point re BSU. It should be about building the program rather than about retaining a guy because he has no other options. If you make the program strong enough, you can make another good hire if and when the current guy leaves.
2 years, 7 months ago on Wulff Fired
@Ambush184@Longball Guys, I hear you -- and despite me seemingly only pointing out instances where I disagree with you, I really do like many of the things you post -- but really, anything you say about the basis for this decision is just your opinion. To the extent you might say that Floyd had something to do with it, it's an opinion based on rumors and speculation. I'm not saying placating the fan base and trying to raise funds was completely removed from the decision, but my opinion is that there were a lot of football-related reasons for making the move here, assuming we get an upgrade (which, as is once again merely my opinion, is nearly certain).
@Longball So, regardless of who the new coach is, this isn't a "football move?" You don't think it's a football move to get a coach who can more effectively recruit, develop players, and coach on game day?
@Soze@cougnation@ErikAnderson Elite? Come on.
2 years, 7 months ago on The End
Agree on some of the thoughts re Wulff ... the points about Leach, though, are junk at worst and ignorant speculation at most (you really think him attending the spring game after putting on a paid clinic was part of some "hidden plot")?
2 years, 7 months ago on Thank You, Coach Wulff
@CSorensen Couldn't agree more.
2 years, 8 months ago on Longball's Apple Strudel
@Soze Come on, man. Gotta watch the game.
2 years, 8 months ago on Conversation @ http://wsufootballblog.com/2011-articles/november/keys-to-the-cup.html
@Mike72@yelmking There's a reason JasonUW likes Mike72's comment, and it's not because he's a WSU fan.
2 years, 8 months ago on Game of Inches
@random_guy It's on Fox Sports Atlantic - part of the sports package on Comcast (and probably on Dish, DirectTV, etc.).
2 years, 8 months ago on Friday Kahn Job (Pre-Utah Edition)
What a great game by Halliday. Couldn't say it any better than PCHogs and SeanHawk said below. I took over #1 in the WSU Football Blog pick 'em, too ("The General"), so all around, it was a great day!
Only thing I'll add is that ASU dropped a TD pass and missed a chip shot field goal, so that's the margin of victory right there ... as absolutely incredible as this win was (and it was absolutely stupendous, wonderful, awesome, and any other positive adjective you could think of), I wouldn't go overboard in basing predictions for the rest of the season on this. That said, I'm now much more hopeful than I was before for the Utah and UW games. I echo WallaCoug's and SeanHawk's comments regarding the broader implications of the game for this staff.
2 years, 8 months ago on Stone Cold Halliday
@TruCoug89 Sure would like to see this, but I'm calling ASU 31, WSU 13.
2 years, 8 months ago on Going Out With A Thud?
@Soze@TiltingRight Soze, I'm not trying to be disagreeable with you all the time, but I don't think we can say we would have won a few more games this year with Tuel. The only one I've seen thus far in which that's probably accurate is the UCLA game, and even then it's just speculation.
2 years, 8 months ago on Conversation @ http://wsufootballblog.com/2011-articles/november/ive-got-nothing.html
@Evercoug Okay ... now broadcasters filling time in a blowout (starting in our second series, mind you), armed with talking points garnered from pregame interviews with the staff, counts for analysis, as do supposed points from anonymous NFL scouts (not "coordinators"). Yeah, okay. I agree with your first paragraph and the final two, but the middle makes no sense. Since that's what puts you "in Wulff's corner," let's just say you're not very persuasive.
2 years, 8 months ago on STOP!!!!!!
@Soze Your use of "we" is appropriate, given that it includes you. To take one example, rather than counter my points about recruiting, you just say that all of the objective data that's available -- which admittedly is imperfect, but isn't worthless -- simply doesn't matter. (No, I don't expect to get "LiveFyre points" for this.)
@WallaCoug It was obvious before the year started that we had our most winnable games on the road. I realize nobody cares about what I post, particularly since I'm not kissing ass or toeing the party line all the time, but I called for us to go 3-9 or 4-8. That was with Tuel. There's a big difference between being better than 2008/09 and being able to beat Pac-12 teams with more talent than us, especially on the road.
@Soze@GOCOUGS2002 Great anecdote. You take the 1% of instances represented by anecdotes that you can dig up (like this one, as well as the Michael Black anecdote Longball served up the last time we discussed this), and I'll go with the 99% of times in which superior talent is preferable. There's a lot wrong with that if we want to win games.
In any event, what I said in my post, responding to the OP, is that we shouldn't be too worried about Wulff being able to continue getting guys with no other Pac-12 offers to come to Pullman (whether he's a lame duck or whether he gets canned). You didn't attempt to counter that.
2 years, 8 months ago on SUPER SATURDAY
@GOCOUGS2002 Recruit like he has ...you mean, being able to bring in guys who only have other offers from non-BCS conferences, including the Big Sky in many cases? Those who have no other options likely will stay. Those who have some interest from other Pac-12 schools (e.g., Jones, Dotzen) may not. There are only two or three guys out of the entire commit list with any other Pac-12 offers. I'll keep saying it ... Wulff being a great recruiter is a myth. Sorry if you don't like the hard truth here, guys.
@350zcoug Are you serious?
@WallaCoug@Longball Hey, I'm willing to listen ... even if it's to a guy telling me that we have a 6' tall safety recruit (Gama) coming in to play TE and implying that Dunn really deserves those 4 stars. I really had the wood laid on me there.
Just giving you crap on the first point, Longball (I know you meant Hersey), and I appreciate your perspective on this blog on most issues, but if your fallback is going to be "well, we have good talent because I or some other unnamed guys say we do," or "here's an anecdote from 15 years ago about a guy who slipped through the cracks in recruiting," then color me unimpressed. As for Ratliff, he looks okay, but again, compare this to our competition. Is the WR corps as a whole really a stockpile of talent that a Pac-12 staff recruiting the position reasonably well wouldn't be able to recruit over a 2- or 3-year period? You really think our RBs are even close to average in the Pac-12?
I hate even writing posts like this because, believe it or not, I don't enjoy criticizing the players. They're damned good athletes in the big scheme of things and nearly all of them work very hard. Saying that the offensive skill position talent recruited by Wulff is outstanding, though, is a stretch.
2 years, 9 months ago on Well, That's One Way to Get Fired
@WallaCoug I'll let the "actually followed last year's games" remark go. You don't know what you're talking about in that regard. I still contend that Wulff hasn't recruited a ton of talent, even when just looking at the offensive skill positions. I think you're making the typical mistake of focusing on the very good -- but not spectacular -- group of wide receivers that he's brought in. We have one guy he brought in (MW) who is a legitimate star. Other than that, we have a JC slot receiver who has been a solid return man this year, as well as other guys who, as I noted previously, have done absolutely nothing to distinguish themselves yet. We also have a good-but-not-great (50th-60th percentile or so in the conference ... out of the other 11 starting QBs, Luck, Barkley, Price, Thomas, and possibly Osweiler and Foles are better) quarterback with no evidence to suggest Halliday or Clements will be special (and to be fair, it would be hard to find such evidence right now). You haven't countered my arguments regarding the RBs or tight ends being below average ... what Pac-12 teams would our RBs or tight end(s) start for? Any at all? So, yes, I sure hope whoever replaces him can recruit at that level, because as you can see, our offense isn't a juggernaut when it's not playing Idaho State or UNLV. Some of that's due to the line, and some of it's due to our offensive weapons being less than advertised by some.
I'm with you.
Not really in terms of talent at the skill positions. Looking to next year, we'll have have one star receiver (MW) and some other guys who look okay but haven't distinguished themselves. We have a moderately exciting RB (Galvin) who has almost as many concussions as games played this year, and a workmanlike, non-explosive performer (Winston) who at best is an average RB in the Pac-12 (I actually like Winston a lot in terms of the alternatives to him on our roster). We have no tight end talent, at least by any objective criteria (Dunn was highly regarded in the recruiting process, but he's been injured constantly and has shown nothing). At QB, we'll have a senior QB who hopefully will be back to normal, but who -- as much as I hate to say this -- hasn't really shown us much other than against OSU last year. A lot of his yards were racked up in garbage time last year against, e.g., Stanford. Don't get me wrong ... I really like Tuel and he's above-average in the conference when healthy. He's not Superman, though, and he's probably around the 6th or 7th-best QB in the conference.
So, this "so much talent" at the skills positions boils down to a star WR, some other WRs who are okay, a slightly above-average Pac-12 QB (for one season), an average or slightly below-average RB, and zero production at TE but maybe some talent next year with Simmons having redshirted and the possibility of having Dunn healthy.
Finally, no matter what, we're just talking about the offensive skill positions here. Both lines are well below-average and will be next year, and the secondary looks bad too. The LBs look reasonably promising, but that's it in terms of talent.
Wulff having recruited a ton of talent is a myth.
@SeanHawkins@LucasNurmi You may be the exception, but I've never seen anyone don the Transitions who didn't look like a complete nerd. My view of them may be "tinted" -- see what I did there? -- by having the biggest loser in my school wear them during junior high and high school, though.
2 years, 9 months ago on Mid-Term Report Card
@LucasNurmi@Deek 41% chance of winning, multiplied by 2 - 16.8% is the chance of winning back-to-back road games, assuming that 41% number is accurate and not accounting for a ton of variables.
2 years, 9 months ago on Football Friday on Thursday, Week Six Edition
Nice work! Awesome win. Never been so happy to be wrong about my predictions (I had predicted the Cougs to lose this one).
2 years, 9 months ago on Some Sights and Sounds from Boulder
Holy crap. Man, that would be ugly.
2 years, 9 months ago on Secondary Thoughts
@Longball@SeanHawkins We see things completely differently. As for Mitz, enough has been written about him elsewhere. He hasn't gotten it done on the field (see the UNLV game) or at practice. There's a reason he hasn't received more PT over his career, despite being "the power back we are sorely missing."
As for Meighen, I hear what you're saying, but there are various aspects to performing well and winning a spot with the 2s in fall camp. Perhaps Meighen displayed better blocking technique, gave better snaps, showed greater strength, or otherwise established himself as the #2 throughout camp, but without these controlled scenarios adequately testing his ability to call blocking schemes. Perhaps the coaches have focused on that area more in the two weeks since the SDSU game, particularly given that CU is likely to run a lot of blitzes as well. For whatever reason, the coaches have decided that the total package Goetz offers -- where, perhaps, he is much better at reacting to blitzes, which the coaches deem to be more than enough to offset the other ways in which Meighen may have outshone Goetz previously -- is better than what Meighen offers. Putting a player on the field who you believe is more likely to succeed than the #2 guy isn't necessarily "desperation."
So, that is the "hell kind of reasoning" I'm employing.
2 years, 9 months ago on Football Friday, Week Five, on a Thursday
@Longball@SeanHawkins It's not crazy to ice Mitz when he can't block. Did you not see Lobs get sacked 6 times last week, and see us throw the ball 50 times? Why put in Mitz for that? Why play Mitz over Winston generally? Because he weighs a bit more? Simple fact is that he hasn't performed well on the field or in practice in his career, despite what look like some decent tools. As for this week, when a Colorado LB already has 4 sacks and they're in the top-10 nationally in sacks, I wouldn't expect to see much Mitz either. Maybe a bit more than last week, but not a ton. It's also not crazy to park Meighen on the pine. If Meighen couldn't hack it last week, what reason is there to think he would this week?
As the leader in the WSU Football Blog Pick 'Em (until this last week, when I foolishly changed my pick to picking the Cougs after being influenced by others unduly), here are some random thoughts:
1. Cougs lose. We'd win this game with Tuel, just like we very likely would have last week. Lobster, sorry to say, isn't a Pac-12 player. I think we also lose at UCLA next week no matter what happens this week. I think that even with Tuel, we would have lost at least one of the games against SDSU, UCLA, and CU - just not sure which one yet. WSU isn't good enough to win 3 road games in a row against peer-level or slightly superior competition. Tuel's injury takes us from a shot at 6-6 and a bowl to something more like 4-8 or 3-9. Sucks.
2. UW loses at Utah. Price is looking great, and they are solid on offense generally. They aren't as good as they've looked in their "good" times yet, though, and for whatever reason, Tedford plays UW like he's trying to lose every year. Utah gets it done at home in what is a lower-scoring game than many are counting on. (By the way, I share the concerns about UW developing a "just win" mentality. You can call their wins fluky -- in my opinion, they were a few inches against Oregon State and one play against Cal last year from going 3-9, given that they wouldn't have had the motivation of playing for a bowl game in their game against the Cougs -- but they've done what it takes to win and gotten it done frequently. That will be all the scarier when some of their young talent gets more mature.)
3. USC clowns Arizona by at least 10. Bank on it.
@Sutra@SeanHawkins Damn it - really pissed that the Seahawks took that game today. What's the point of seeing this flawed outfit go 4-12 or 5-11 instead of 2-14?
2 years, 10 months ago on Sunday Morning Missle - Bye Week Edition
@bryanablair He's not very good. Check out his numbers for the UNLV game. Add in his frequent misses of blocking assignments and his inconsistent play, and you have a recipe for keeping him on the pine in favor of Galvin and Winston.
2 years, 10 months ago on Don't Blame Bennett
@350zcoug@WSU91@Sutra Like I said all offseason, there's a huge difference between being competitive and being able to win tough games (i.e., against SDSU and against conference foes). I'm sticking with my call of the Cougs going 4-8 this year.
2 years, 10 months ago on Back to Earth
Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The UNLV rout was really impressive, and I have a lot of hope for this season, but honestly, we could be setting ourselves up for a huge fall as well. Huge difference between beating cupcakes at home and beating Pac-12 teams, even mediocre ones, at home. I still see the potential for us being competitive in a lot of games but still losing them, with us then left to wonder what would have happened if we had Tuel instead of Lobster and a few things broke our way. There's a big difference between just being competitive and being able to put away conference foes, especially on the road. Hope I'm wrong! Go Cougs!
2 years, 10 months ago on Return of Cougar Football!
@Bleed Crimson I agree with this assessment generally. Assuming wins over good (not great, but good) teams like SDSU, Cal, UCLA, and UW on the road is a fool's errand, especially when we're coming from a position of being completely noncompetitive. We'll be much better this year, I believe, but I think even good, competently coached WSU teams would have a hard time going out and winning more than half of their games against SDSU and some decent Pac-12 teams on the road. It's just not that easy to do. Teams need to learn how to win and close out games, especially on the road -- just being good enough to reasonably compete in the conference isn't enough, necessarily, unless everything works out absolutely perfectly. Even if you think Wulff is a good coach, getting these guys from the 2008-2010 level of survival and trying to do some decent things, to the expected 2011 level of winning conference games on the road, is a big step, especially when several of those winnable games are are in a row at the beginning of the season. I'm seeing something like 3-9 or 4-8 with some "quality" losses that indicate that the talent level is closer to par in the conference. I'd love to be wrong, and I think it's possible for everything to work out and for this team to pull off something like 7-5 or 8-4 and a bowl game, but the realistic odds of that are infinitesimal.
2 years, 11 months ago on The Third Annual "HOPE OR NOPE?"
I thought everyone knew Big Dolph was a Coug. I highly recommend his work in "Army of One."
3 years ago on BREAKING NEWS
@WhiskeyAmigo You do if they're better than the other guys on the roster. That's why, e.g., Chima sat for Bucannon last year, and why Mizell played over Ledgerwood. Barring injury, though, I think we have enough decent athletes (by our own standards) as non-freshmen that we won't need to play very many freshmen this year.
3 years ago on If I Were a Bettin Man (Vol.1)
I think you guys are right. This is why I've been telling everyone I know that going bowling this year, while a possibility, is much more of a reach than people think. Sure, it's possible to win games in which the other team is favored, and maybe these odds change over the course of the season, but the people talking about starting out 4-1 or 5-0 and going to a bowl are nuts, IMO. They're guilty of the (understandable, I guess) sin of looking at "improvement" on our team while disregarding how it actually stacks up against other teams in the conference (or out of conference, in the case of SDSU). You have to consider who's going to be on the other side of the ball. Just because a 2-10 team improves, and just because that 2-10 team was "competitive" in some of its losses, doesn't mean that it's suddenly going to win at least half its games, especially when manyof its winnable conference games are on the road. I absolutely hope that I'm wrong, and things can definitely change, but right now I just don't see anything better than us going 4-8.
3 years ago on Happy Birthday!
@coachT Thanks for the input, Coach T - good stuff!
3 years ago on Early Start = Early Impact?
@SeanHawkins Wrong or right, I think he needs to sell what he has. He has a program on an upswing and ample opportunities for PT for underclassmen. Some (not all) kids who have verbally committed elsewhere may find the idea of coming in and being able to start right away more appealing than being stuck as a backup (or buried somewhere even deeper in the depth chart). This will be more persuasive if the team can win some games this year. I don't think kids have a problem with coming to a team that has some upside and where working to play in bowl games each year is realistic, even if that team is, say, 5-7. Coming to a team that gets annihilated each week by 5 TDs is a whole different issue.
3 years, 1 month ago on No More Mr. Nice Wulff
Sean, I know you're not getting a ton of comments to these, but keep writing 'em! People are reading them ... traffic's just down a bit due to the time of year.
3 years, 2 months ago on Livefyre conversation - http://wsufootballblog.com/2011-articles/may/2011-spring-fish-wrap-ucla-bruins-edition.html
@CougarLou32 @justashleyrae Nobody will change the name unless and until a major sponsor rolls in. Moos isn't going to let that revenue opportunity walk away for nothing, and he's not going to pay for a temporary "rebrand" while seeking that high-dollar donation for which he'll give away stadium naming rights. For all we know, he is out greasing palms with some high-dollar companies/alums regarding that very point right now.
3 years, 2 months ago on Martin Needs To Go
I agree - I want a live Butch. I don't think it will ever happen, but it would be awesome.
3 years, 2 months ago on Livefyre conversation - http://wsufootballblog.com/2011-articles/may/martin-stadium-entrance-song.html
@WallaCoug I remember those. This guy doesn't know what he's talking about, though.
3 years, 2 months ago on Wednesday Three-Cast
@CougarLou32 I hope you guys are right. We'll see.
3 years, 2 months ago on WSU Baseball Drops Huskies (+) Other Ramblings
"Ladd averaged 10 points a game and shot 39% from behind the arc in his one season at Fresno State as well. If his offensive skills can translate from the WAC to the Pac-12, the Cougars will feature one of the better offenses in the league."
Uh, no. Even if those skills translate, the Cougs will still only have a small number of moderate threats, none of whom is all that good, and you'll see them get bogged down in the halfcourt game the same way they did this year when KT wasn't on the floor or was ineffective (the latter of which wasn't all that frequent). That's not "one of the better offenses in the league."
@Deek @Ambush184 @Longball Agree fully. Everyone is treating the early-season games as "gimmes." No way, especially not on the road at Colorado or SDSU. I think 5 wins is a good over-under for this season. Hope we get the "over," but I think folks are underestimating how difficult it will be to do so.
3 years, 3 months ago on Livefyre conversation - http://wsufootballblog.com/2011-articles/april/2008-class-redux.html
@Ambush184 I'm glad Moos is at the top of the list for you now, but how could you not already be in favor of hiring him, as well as in favor of the excellent job he's doing? We're lucky to have him.
3 years, 4 months ago on The Big Decision
I don't care much about the NIT either, but you have to be at least a bit excited about seeing some more from Klay and Co., as well as the possibility of our guys going to Madison Square Garden and (potentially) going up against some quality teams and taking them down.
3 years, 4 months ago on Livefyre Conversation - http://www.wsufootballblog.com/2011-articles/march/tourney-pick-em.html
I'm worried that we'll see something similar with the football team. We now have talk about bowl games, potentially even 8 wins, for a team that was 2-10 last year. Sure, they'll be better, and I understand that some of the losses last year were close (relative to the disaster of 2008-09), but I fear that this coming November, I'll be here reading a similar "we really got ahead of ourselves" post. I think everyone is underestimating the massive difference between being better than terrible and having some good players, on the one hand, versus being a team that can get some wins against solid Pac-12 teams, all of whom are pretty good in their own right (and some are better than just "pretty good"), on the other. In other words, it's like what we're seeing with the basketball team (except the football team, if we're being honest with ourselves, is a notch below that). Was the bball team good enough, if they had executed better, to have beaten Arizona, USC, Cal, and Stanford (at home)? Yeah, definitely, but they didn't, and they'll probably finish in 6th-8th place. I think we'll see something similar in football - we'll get our out-of-conference wins, but I think these games that people are treating as toss-ups, such as Cal, ASU and Utah at home, and UW in Qwest, will be a lot tougher than we think, and we'll definitely get pounded by Stanford and Oregon. In other words, all of those games are "winnable" in that we're not playing the '85 Bears and we're lucky to have USC off of the 2011 slate, but we're still probably going to be dogs in every single game this year except UNLV and Idaho State. You really think we can win 4 or 5 games where we're not favored to, based on what you've seen the past couple of years, just because we're a year older? I don't. Hey, I hope I'm wrong and we're instead talking about in November about how cool it will be to go to the Las Vegas Bowl or something along those lines, but I doubt that will be the case.
3 years, 4 months ago on Great Expectations