Happy Humpday Cougs! Normally you would find the Paul Wulff radio show recap in this here space, but alas, no show last night. Something about a hoops game, or something, bumped Wulff off the airwaves? Instead, the show will air TONIGHT at 7 PM. We’ll do our best to recap it then. However, that doesn’t mean that Wulff has gone completely underground. Quite the contrary, in fact, as coach Wulff hopped on the Seattle sports airwaves with Ian Furness at KJR for a really good interview. Give it a listen here, trust me, it’s worth it. They touch not only on the big win over the Beavs in Corvallis, but they also talk about the general state of the program, the future, and the question of the day, his job security and his relationship with Bill Moos and President Floyd.
They also talk about Wulff later in their second hour of their show, about Wulff’s job security, Mike Bellotti, etc. You have to scroll towards the end of the audio clip, about 3/4ths of the way, but you can get their take on the situation.
A lot has been written about what happened over the weekend. It was just such a surprising performance for most of us, and it came from what felt like an unexpected situation. But was it, really? Was this so out of left field, and a complete shocker of all shockers?? Or was this actually several weeks in the making, and something that we should have seen coming? Consider:
1) Improvement in performance and in final scores vs. top-shelf opponents. I know that at the time, it felt a little hollow in the “improvement” talk/buzz, but remember that WSU was close to making it a one-score game vs. Oregon early in the fourth quarter. And while they did tack on some points late at Stanford to make it a 10-point loss, still, is there anything “shameful” in losing by 10 in Palo Alto? Did you see what Stanford did the following week vs. UW?? Have you noticed that Stanford is a one-loss team this year, only losing at Autzen??
And for what it’s worth, the big-time gauntlet of Oregon, Arizona and Stanford, WSU was outscored by a combined 47 points. The most they gave up against those three opponents was 43 points, vs. Oregon. Compare that to, oh, I don’t know, how UW did against those same three opponents? The Huskies were outscored by 108 points. You put that in perspective, being outscored by a “mere” 47 isn’t too bad, is it?
2) But maybe most of all, the signs were there vs. Cal. They ran the ball with more effectiveness, they played strong, attacking defense, and there was a feeling that they were just a couple of plays away from winning that game. But more than just that single-game performance, it was more about the big picture. They hung all the way with Cal a week after LAYING A PROVERBIAL EGG vs. ASU the week before! To see a young, tired, beat-up team without a bye week to scrape itself off the mat? Pretty remarkable if you ask me.
This is a weird position we’re in right now, isn’t it? It’s been such a long grind, 11 straight games without a breather, all with one of the youngest two-deep rosters in the conference. It seemed like they were just done, kaput, finished, taking a knee/mailing it in/whatever, after that ASU game. But instead, they at least appear to have taken a rather large step with nearly beating Cal, and then of course, knocking off a decent Oregon State team on the road.
That said, just remember – it’s never that bad, and it’s never that good. It’s an old saying, but it’s true. While yes, we were losing, the signs were there and it really wasn’t that bad. And yes, we won a game, but things aren’t exactly perfect, know what I mean? Sometimes, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. So no, they aren’t that bad as they looked against ASU. And no, they probably aren’t as good as they looked at Oregon State! I don’t want to totally go “wet blanket” here, but it’s just the reality of the situation. The improvement is exciting and there is very little doubt that they are taking big steps forward on Saturdays now, not just steps that we don’t see during the week. But I don’t know, I don’t want to get too carried away here. I certainly don’t want to talk s*it about UW either, just because we won one game. Keep the bigger picture in perspective, and remember – past performance is no guarantee of future success!
Read on for some other things out there today….
Ted Miller wrote a really good blog entry about the Cougs, and Paul Wulff leading the team, hopefully, out of the abyss.
Are we out of the abyss? Maybe. But I like how Miller points out something important about that Oregon State win:
But nothing about the Cougars win feels “freaky.” And this victory — their first on the road since 2007 — is about more than a long-awaited payoff for the Cougars. They have repeatedly played well into the second half and even the fourth quarter this season.
Miller later says that “this is a column about why the only sensible decision is to retain Wulff.”
That more or less seems to be the feel out there right now, doesn’t it? Now that they have finally shown the end-result on a Saturday, a complete, four quarters of playing some pretty good football against a legit opponent, isn’t that what we’ve been waiting for in nearly three full seasons of the Wulff regime? We’ll see what happens after the season is put to bed. But momentum is a funny thing. A little over a week ago, we were all convinced that we were 1) going to lose out, and 2) Wulff’s run was at an end. Today feels like a whole different deal, doesn’t it?
Finally, we voted in the SB Nation blog poll. Check it out:
That’s about it for today. We’ll have the radio show recap after tonight’s show. Until then, enjoy your day and as always, GO COUGS!