Odds and Ends, Volume 1, Edition 4

Article updated at 12:51 PST to include a link to KJR interview with Jim Walden

Happy Thursday Cougar fans!

LucasCoug back at you with an Odd & Ends post for all things Wazzu.

First things first, some interesting news on Jack Thompson.  I am not sure how many of you are aware but Tony Thompson recently launched the Facebook group Put The Throwin’ Samoan in the CFB Hall of Fame!!! in an attempt to push father’s College Football Hall of Fame candidacy into the online stratosphere.  Keep reading for more….

Yesterday afternoon Tony sent the following message to the entire group:

Hey everyone. So I have some bad news. I talked to the Sports Information Dept. at WSU and they contacted the
National Football Foundation. The NFF runs the College Football Hall of Fame. They said that my dad cannot be inducted into the CFB-HOF because he wasn’t elected 1st Team All American by either the Associated Press or Coaches Poll while he was playing at WSU. To get into the Hall of Fame, one has to be elected 1st Team on an “official” All American team. He was voted 1st Team by The Sporting News. But The Sporting News’ All American Team wasn’t considered “official” until the ’80’s. But, we’ll see if in the near future we can find any kind of loophole to hopefully get the job done! Thanks so much for all the kind words. My dad, as well as our whole family, have been grateful for all the support. GO COUGS!!! -Tony T.

In my mind, the response WSU and Tony received from the NFF is a completely inadequate justification for JT, whose career is as follows:

  • Threw for 7,818 career passing yards from 1975-’78, becoming (at the time) the most prolific passer in NCAA history
  • Set Pac-10 records for attempts, completions and TD’s
  • Three time All Pac 10 Selection
  • Three time All American, who finished in the Top 10 of 1978’s Heisman Trophy voting.

Please put JT in the HALL!

Moving on, yesterday, ESPN’s Ted Miller had an excellent Q&A with Assistant Coach Chris Ball.  Ball, by the way, was named by The Sporting News as the top assistant in the conference last year.  So if he is the best assistant in the league, yet the team has finished last in defense the previous two seasons, how can you tell me the wins and losses are anything other than a dearth of talent and not the coaching staff’s responsibility?  Sure the coaches take responsibility for the losses, but most of the people who are so down on this program only blame the staff.  In my mind (and that of The Sporting News as well) blaming them isn’t fair.

By the way, did you read Bud Withers’ article in the Seattle Times about Coach Wulff keeping the players in a positive state of mind?  My favorite part of the article is when Wulff said the following:

First winter workout, the first-year freshmen who work out every day at 5:30 in the morning, every one of them had a red rose. And when they walked into that winter workout, they handed it to the strength coach.  They may be young, and they may be swinging a bigger stick than they can swing right now, but that’s setting high expectations.”

Obviously, those are pretty lofty expectations that even Vegas likely won’t give odds.  But again, you have to believe you can get to the Grandaddy before you can actually play in it!


Once again, the old ball coach, Jim Walden, joined the Ian Furness Show on KJR.  They hit on lots of different things, but I loved to hear Walden compare what he saw this spring compared to the spring of 2008, the first spring session under Paul Wulff.

I think I trust Jim Walden’s word more than any others.  Who else is this open with media?  Who else will tell you what it is like to coach in the Pac 10?  If you didn’t get the chance to listen to the last interview of Furness with Walden, drop whatever it is you are doing and click here.  He discusses the current staff and players, so trust me – Walden knows more than any of us about running a college football team!

The last bit of football related news.  Yesterday morning Husky defensive end Andru Pulu, pled guilty to second degree assault.  At least the Cougs keep it a few degrees lower for their assault charges.  Pulu will be sentenced on May 7th.  The Huskies are more shallow than Paris Hilton along the defensive line.  Hell, I am going to throw it out their now, even though it is way too early to make these types of predictions.  In 2010, Wazzu’s defense will have better rankings statistically than UW’s.

Yesterday there was some interesting news on a current Coug hoopster’s Twitter, regarding one of the team’s recently departed guards.  Two different instances, the first of which alleged Xavier Thames would be staying in Pullman with the team.  The second tweet mentioned Thames would actually be going to Europe to play professionally instead.  This sure puts an interesting spin on how much is too much when it concerns student athletes and their social networking accounts.  Do you remember my article about this back in January?  Still not totally sure what to make of that. 

In other news, per Howie Stalwick over at Cougfan, former walk-on John Allen is transferring to WWU, while Anthony Brown is considering lacing em up at CWU.

Finally, per the Seattle Times – the 2010 Big XII & Pac 10 Hardwood Classic has a couple of match-ups close to home.  Kansas State and their insaneteresting coach will visit Pullman on Friday, December 3rd, which is the night before the Apple Cup.  I know I will be taking Friday off and headed over early to watch what appears on paper, to be one helluva game!  Furthermore UW will host Texas Tech on December 4th, and then travel to Texas A&M one week later to take on the Aggies.

That is all for now.  Go Cougs!