Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Wednesday Fun With Video

November 26, 2008

Well well well….look who’s missing from this week’s ESPN “Bottom Ten”? Or better yet, look who’s #1?



Ouch. Never mind that we would probably be seven-or-more-point underdogs to at least half the teams on that list, but the point is we’re no longer there.

Kind of a weird week, what with the holiday and all. So I thought we’d take a look at some of the video from this last week, and there is some great stuff out there. We’ll look at Hawaii later, for our usual Football Friday, but for now, some video.

First, of course, the Apple Cup. Our own Hooty had a great shot of the game-winner, and the mad dash to the field. If you haven’t seen it already, or would like to see it again, you can check that out here.

But there are others out there who got some video up as soon as that game was over. CougarChris624 had this great look at the game, with photos and actual video from the game (including the Wulff shuffle).

Sorry coach, I think Jean Claude Van-Damme’s dance is better.

<img src="http://i34.tinypic.com/adp1k9.gif" alt="Image and video hosting by

Anyway, good work Chris. CougarChris624 is actually Chris Boyd, a 2006 WSU grad who has done some other excellent Coug video. We will likely do some things with him in the future.

Another clip, this one from KXLY. It has some good sideline shots, but the big thing here is to hear Bob-Rob & Jim call the winning kick.

NICE!

Finally, Saturday was ESPN’s Gameday feature on the WSU flag. It’s quick, only about three minutes and change, and they do make fun of us as being pretty bad. But still, hey, it’s nice that they threw us a bone.

It’s pretty amazing to think Crimson and Whitey have made the trip for 74 straight shows!?!? Always a source of pride to see it Saturday mornings.

That’s it for a light Wednesday. Enjoy your day, and GO COUGS!

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Friday Fun With Video – UCLA and WSU

October 3, 2008

I thought with the current state of affairs around here, it might be nice to look back at some history and feel GOOD about some things? And why not? We’re 1-4, the economy sucks, the political debates rage on where republicans and democrats are CONVINCED they won last night, blah blah blah. Besides, it’s Friday and nobody works Fridays, right?

So, anyway, UCLA. We’ve got this funny little recent history with these guys that is fairly impressive, no? Strange. I’ve looked at it several times, and I still don’t get it. We’ve beaten them when we’ve been awful (3-8 in 1995, beat them 24-15 in Pullman). We’ve beaten them when we’ve been great (1997, beat them 37-34 vs. UCLA in a game that started a history-making season). We clinched a Rose Bowl bid against them in 2002, when Jason Gesser limped through as impressive a performance as many have ever witnessed watching football on the Palouse, a 48-27 win in Mike Price’s last regular season game as the REAL head coach of Washington State. The 37-15 win in ’06, securing what we all thought as a bowl bid with a 6th victory of the season…..but we know how that turned out. Heck, we even beat them last year when UCLA was still pretty good, coming into the Pullman match-up at 5-2 and off a huge win vs. Cal the week before.

So 10 of the last 14, and six of the last seven times, WSU has prevailed. But if you go back a little further, there is one game that more or less started it all, all the way back to 1988. WSU has won 11 of the last 17 in the series if you go back to ’88. But believe you me, it wasn’t always this way…..not even close. What’s amazing is that from 1958 leading up to the 1988 game, UCLA was an amazing 17-1-1 vs. WSU! The Cougs beat them at home in 1979, and tied them in 1981, but otherwise, UCLA had completely owned WSU. But then, 1988 happened. A win that kick-started a strong recent run against UCLA, but also regarded as perhaps the best win in school history.

October 29th, 1988 to be exact, a day that will live forever in the hearts of WSU football fans everywhere.

To do a quick recap, ’88 was a big-time breakthrough season for WSU. After a disappointing 3-7-1 first year at WSU in ’87, Dennis Erickson’s second season was a rousing success, a 9-3 season capped by an Aloha Bowl victory. But what many people forget about that season is that when the UCLA game rolled around, the team needed a victory. They were coming in off a two-game losing streak, including a bitter home loss to ASU the week before, and the team was starting to stagger. After a hot 4-1 start, including huge wins at Illinois (44-7), Minnesota (41-9) and Tennessee (52-24), and at home against #19 Cal (44-13), suddenly they were 4-3 and some doubt was setting in. Perhaps they weren’t for real after all?

Meanwhile, UCLA was crazy/sexy/cool, with Troy Aikman and company as the number-one team in the land. Aikman was a legit Heisman candidate, thriving under the bright lights of the LA market. So the task was huge, and the Cougs got off to a slow start as UCLA sprinted out to a 20-6 halftime lead. It didn’t look good. But WSU rallied, big-time, behind Timm Rosenbach, Tim Stallworth, Rich Swinton, Mike Utley, Chris Dyko, and oh yeah, the current head coach of your Cougars, Paul Wulff, for a stunning 34-30 win. Check out the waning moments, plus the on-the-field interview from Dennis Erickson after the game.

I love how that, even in the situation where UCLA had all the momentum (1st and goal on the 6?), the Cougar D still ATTACKED. Those last two pass plays saw blitzes, and Aikman took some heat. No scaling back at that point, might as well force the issue. But man, the joy Erickson had at the end of that game, with his Dad, how cool was that? Talk about pure joy!

I was too young to be at WSU at the time, but our own Hooty McBoob was a mulleted-up true FROSH in the fall of ’88. He said that, while watching the game in Pullman on TV, when that last 4th-down pass was batted down in the corner of the end zone to seal the deal, you could hear a collective roar all across campus. What a moment. Here’s hoping we’ll experience something similar, again….someday.

Enjoy your Friday, and GO COUGS!

Ready For Lift-Off

August 29, 2008

Abdullah, Collins Our Best NFL Hope

April 25, 2008

What’s up with Tim Tebow and buxom young women?? Every time you turn around there’s something new. It is what it is. He’ll probably have a good day tomorrow and he’s not even eligible for the draft. Tim Tebow, we continue to salute you.

Anyway, happy Friday. Hopefully tomorrow is happy for Husain Abdullah and Jed Collins, our two best hopes for playing on Sundays.

As Brinhater “opined” yesterday (much to the chagrin of few of you), Alex is looking at 7th round/undrafted free agency. Brink has been getting some good vibes from various teams, and is hopeful for the call this weekend. But no, I’m not going to pile on. Too much has been said about Brink over the years, some of it completely not his fault. Enough. And I will always counter the anti-Brink rhetoric with “yeah, but those Apple Cups…” and in Forrest Gump style, that’s all I have to say about that. UW has struggled, to be kind, over the last 3-4 years. But still, those games were pretty important at the time. In other words, I’ll TAKE IT. And so will Brink.

Now for some WSU draft history. Our last ten drafts are actually OK. Not great, but not the end of the world (although you can see it from here). Check it out:

2007
WR Jason Hill, 3rd round, #76 overall – San Francisco
SS Eric Frampton, 5th round, #165 overall – Oakland

2006
RB Jerome Harrison, 5th round, #145 overall – Cleveland

2005
CB Karl Paymah, 3rd round, #76 overall – Denver
OT Calvin Armstrong, 6th round, #211 overall – Philly
DB Hamza Abdullah, 7th round, #231 overall – Tampa Bay

2004
WR Devard Darling, 3rd round, #82 overall – Baltimore
CB Jason David, 4th round, #125 overall – Indy
SS Erik Coleman, 5th round, #143 overall – NY Jets

2003
CB Marcus Trufant, 1st round, #11 overall – Seattle
DT Rien Long, 4th round, #126 overall – Tennessee

2002
LB Raonall Smith, 2nd round, #38 overall – Minnesota
FS Lamont Thompson, 2nd round, #41 overall – Cincinnati

2001
WR Milton Wynn, 4th round, #116 overall – St. Louis

2000
DT Rob Meier, 7th round, #241 overall – Jacksonville

1999
CB Dee Moronkola, 7th round, #242 overall – Jacksonville

1998
QB Ryan Leaf, 1st round, #2 overall – San Diego
DT Leon Bender, 2nd round, #31 overall – Oakland
DE Dorian Boose, 2nd round, #56 overall – NY Jets
C Jason McEndoo, 7th round, #197 overall – Seattle

Some WSU draft tidbits: For the last thirteen drafts overall, we’ve had at least one player selected. Even the King of Poop Island years produced at least one guy the NFL wanted bad enough to spend a draft choice on. Nothing wrong with that! That said, in the last 10 drafts, we’ve had a total of 20 players selected. That’s “good” for MRS. LAST in the Pac-10. 10 out of 10. OUCH. However, maybe our recent draft history bodes well for Husain Abdullah. 7 of the last 13 WSU draft picks have been DB’s. And since 1998, 13 out of our 20 total draft picks have been defensive players.

Anyway, here’s the SI.com takes on our top two kids, Abdullah and Collins. Note – Abdullah and Collins are the two best prospects we have. Bumpus, Ropati and Brink are all projected as undrafted free-agents, at best, so we won’t go into detail there. Click on their names if you want the NFL poop on them :

Husain Abdullah: 6-0, 204, 4.67-40 time. Grades out at 3.28 in SI’s grading system. That basically means a late-rounder/practice squad/special teams fence-sitter.

BIOGRAPHY: Three-year starter who posted career-high totals of 84/4/5 as a senior after 66/3/4 the previous year.

POSITIVES: Athletic defensive back with marginal ball skills. Diagnoses the action, flashes the ability to play sideline-to-sideline, and has a nice first move to the ball. Aggressively defends the run and puts his shoulders into ball-carriers. Displays a sense of timing, quickly closes to the action, and displays good hands for the pick.

NEGATIVES: Wastes a lot of motion, not efficient, and must learn to play within himself. Average footwork and skill moving in reverse.

ANALYSIS: Abdullah is a competitive safety who’s best suited for a zone system where the action is in front of him.

PROJECTION: Early Seventh Round

WSU Football Blog Says: Interesting how much ink Abdullah has picked up this week. Vince at SR.com mentioned it early, how there was very little out there, then suddenly there were a few different stories in different NFL markets that popped up. Could it be teams are suddenly interested in him more than the experts thought? Maybe his agent is pumping their guy this week? Whatever the case, he’s on the radar. I think we’ll see him go on Sunday, but I think he is definitely going to be drafted. Could be a decent special teams guy early. He needs to get stronger though. Anyone remember that TD against Idaho, where the Idaho WR literally ripped the ball right out of Abdullah’s hands in the end zone? An average WR from Idaho shouldn’t be able to rip the ball out of Abdullah’s hands for a TD. He had a heck of a year though and with our recent track record of putting DB’s in the NFL, he’s got a shot.

Jed Collins: 6-1 1/2, 255, 4.85-40 time. SI grade of 3.25. Late rounder/practice squad/special teams guy.

BIOGRAPHY: All-Conference selection as a senior when he became a full-time starter and posted career-high numbers of 52/512/3.

POSITIVES: Sure-handed pass-catching tight end with an improving game. Quickly gets into routes, nicely adjusts to the errant throw, and uses his frame to shield away opponents. Gives effort blocking, stays with assignments, and works hard to produce.

NEGATIVES: Mostly a short-yardage pass-catcher and lacks the speed to break free downfield. Lacks footwork in pass protection, bends at the waist, and possesses marginal playing strength.

ANALYSIS: Collins did a terrific job in his first season as a starter and he could find a spot in the NFL as a backup.

PROJECTION: Late Seventh Round

WSU Football Blog Says: Moxie, moxie, and more moxie. Jed is full of it. He’s not a top-shelf NFL talent in terms of measurables, but there are teams out there that value character, intelligence, and team-first guys in a big way. Collins can catch the ball, he can block, and he’s played well in a pass-happy offense. I will always remember him from the Oregon game and UCLA game in ’06, and also the UCLA game in ’07. The ’06 games for his receiving, but the ’07 game for his blocking. We had an outstanding game running the ball on UCLA’s D in ’07, and Collins was basically an H-back for the entire game, motioning across the line and becoming the lead blocker on counters or sweeps. Then he would motion across and then at the snap reverse his direction and block on inside dive plays. I could see a team like New England or Seattle, organizations that value character, taking a shot with Collins. Go get ’em Jedzilla!

Hey, what do you know, VIDEO of Collins!

Finally, what would a day be without an update on the best soap opera going? Another day, more damaging e-mails. Even the national media is in on it now, with ESPN’s latest headline “Newly revealed e-mails could cause headaches for Sonics owner”. And now, Clay’s favorite human being, David Stern, might be deposed, under oath??


Momentum is on the Seattle side of the ledger and you have to wonder how much longer Bennett and the rest will want to deal with this hornet’s nest. Because, uh, it’s only going to get worse from here on out. The city and Howard’s attorney are going to keep piling on. Ultimately you have to wonder when enough is enough and Bennett’s group pulls the plug.

Recruit Profile: Calvin Schmidtke

January 24, 2008

Ok, enough about Heath Ledger. Sorry to those of you that weren’t thrilled with that yesterday. But today, we move forward with a profile of QB recruit Calvin Schmidtke.

Schmidtke is an interesting prospect for this year’s class, mainly because of two huge things – 1) His success in a pass-happy offense, which fits the Wulff/Sturdy offense to a T, and 2) His lack of prototype size and recruiting attention for a player of his ilk.

In other words, Schmidtke is exactly the type of QB that WSU never would have given much consideration to in the past. If you’ve watched our offense since 1987, you know the type of QB that excelled in the one-back offense. The tall, strong-armed, NFL prototype passers like Rosey, Bledsoe and Leaf were the perfect fit. Not only were they big enough to see the mismatches with a spread-em-out offense under center and in the pocket, but they were also big enough to take the inevitable beatings that were frequent under a one-back offense. With zero help back there on passing downs, usually that QB was on an island and defenses brought the house. But it was all about our QB finding the mismatch and getting the ball off before the D could get to him.

Obviously there are exceptions. Gesser was 6-1 and while he didn’t have the size or the arm, he had not only an understanding of the offense but an extra sense to avoid the pass rush that the great ones have, ala Brett Favre. So many times Gesser would roll away from pressure when it looked like he didn’t even know it was coming from a blind spot, etc. If you are ever bored, pull up the 2002 USC game and watch how many times Gesser is rolling out or rolling away from pressure and making plays. And of course, the red-headed stepchild, Alex Brink, lacked the great size and arm strength, but he put up the best career numbers in school history in this offense. (NO, we will NOT debate Brink anymore. It’s done.)

So, Schmidtke basically goes against the grain of what we normally look for and, obviously, hope for in a QB. But you have to remember the kind of new offense we will be running, and why it makes so much sense for a recruit like him to be a guy that is high on our board, while other schools might not feel so inclined.

First of all, consider the numbers: Completed an astounding 76 percent of his passes as a senior — racking up 2,724 yards and 37 TDs with only 5 interceptions. He also rushed for 10 scores. 2007 Tacoma News-Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year, Seattle Times first team All-State. Earned Associated Press first-team Class 2B All-State honors following his junior season at Life Christian Academy when he threw for more than 3,000 yards, completing 66 percent of his passes, and posting 46 TDs vs. 15 INTs. Was an all-league choice as an LC sophomore after passing for a school record 2,379 yards with 23 TDs and 10 interceptions. Also plays safety. Grew three inches between his sophomore and junior seasons.

What does all that tell you? 76 percent of his passes in a pass-happy offense, with 37 TD’s and only 5 INT’s, is simply exceptional no matter how you slice it. Whether you are playing 8-man football, or even playing against air with your buddies in the street, seriously, 37 and 5?? WOW. That’s throwing a ton of strikes. And that’s all in an offense that is perfectly suited for him, not the traditional offense that might see him overwhelmed if he hung in the pocket every play.

Here’s a scouts read on Schmidtke, from ESPN.com:

Evaluation: Schmidtke is a productive quarterback prospect with the moxxy needed to move the chains and improvise when the original play breaks down. Lacks great size but is a crafty gunslinger who can buy extra time with his quick feet and throw on the run with above average accuracy. Ball handling skills and overall mechanics are adequate when he has time to settle his feet. Keeps the ball high upon delivery with an adequate release point. Flashes good wrist snap and rotation on intermediate-to-deep routes and shows good touch in the three-step game. However, he is not your prototypical drop back pocket passer lacking downfield arm strength and the velocity to fit the ball into tight spots in coverage. Tends to look at his intended target and flee the moment he feels pressure without going through progressions. Is a quick, decisive runner but does not warrant legit dual threat status that make him an ideal prospect in a zone read scheme at the next level. Bottom line, Schmidtke is a crafty quarterback prospect who takes command of the offense and is productive despite lack of ideal measurable; should excel in an open offense with the freedom to make plays.

Now, before you freak out over the line that says he does not warrant legit dual threat status in a zone read scheme, you should consider the numbers from Matt Nichols at EWU last year. Nichols threw from an astounding 3700+ yards, 34 TD’s and only 9 INT’s as a sophomore in ’07. It was the first year Nichols played in Todd Sturdy’s offense. But Nichols only rushed for 392 yards, so it’s not like you have to have the running ability of Jake Locker or Dennis Dixon to make an offense like this work. And Nichols is 6-2, certainly not the NFL scouts dream for size, but far and away good enough to just tear it up in this offense.

Here’s some footage of Schmidtke. The video is pretty grainy in spots, in fact it looks like some of it was taken with a cell phone camera(!), but you get the idea of the dual-threat he really looks like on a few of those runs. You also see him under center quite a bit, something he’ll never do in Pullman, and to me that makes him that much more impressive that he can be his size, yet still drop back and get the job done, even if he isn’t NFL-caliber:

Bottom line? In the new Todd Sturdy offense at WSU, Schmidtke looks like the perfect fit.

Alex Brink’s Final Chapter

December 31, 2007

Ok, so, Alex won’t win any popularity contests. Not here, and probably not anywhere else. But we’ll always have the Apple Cup wins with #10. And since it’s New Year’s Eve, why not look back at the biggest drive of 2007?

Happy New Year, Cougar Nation!

BREAKING NEWS: Wulff Lands First Recruit; Rick Neuheisel Wanted WSU Job?; When Will Derting Attacks

December 15, 2007

You may remember me from such incidents as “I’ll take U-Conn for $7000 please” and “FOR THE LAST TIME, I’m not interested in the San Francisco job!”


BREAKING NEWS as of 3:00 PM 12/15 – Wulff has landed his first commit of his tenure at WSU. TE prospect Skylar Stormo from Kamiak has verballed to WSU. Stormo is a big kid at 6-4, 220, and is a hoops player as well. A 2-star prospect, but a potentially nice addition to the class. Picked WSU over the NW Pac-10 schools.

That appears to be the rumor coming out of LA anyway. I guess trying to coach up Kyle Boller in wonderful Baltimore has become tiresome. Scott Wolf is pretty reputable, so I would think there’s something to this. However that’s already a couple of days old. The new hot topic is Neuheisel returning to his old haunts at UCLA.

The last we saw of Neuheisel after the ’02 AC, he was dodging bottles of 151 as he ran off the field, flipping off the student section in the process. I am pretty sure I yelled something at him as he went to the tunnel, but I really can’t remember. It’s all such a blur. Given all the bad blood and the way Neuheisel went about his business, I can’t fathom Sterk had any reaction other than “pass” when he called for an interview.

UCLA and Neuheisel, what a perfect fit. A soft coach who wins with the previous coach’s players and everything’s great at first. Then you realize he recruits 20 wide receivers, running backs and QB’s every recruiting class and basically ignores offensive and defensive linemen. All for a program that traditionally starts out hot and then fades into mediocrity, year after year after year? We’ve got a match!

But seriously, does the thought of Neuheisel returning to the Pac-10 at UCLA worry you? I mean he was 33-16 at UW and led them to a bowl game in all 4 years at the school. He got himself in a lot of hot water by pissing on the NCAA rule book, time and again, and just couldn’t stay out of the coaching rumor mill whenever a hot job opened up. He takes the brunt of the blame for UW’s situation, and his passion for finesse really turned the team into a shell of what they used to be in the 90’s.

Meanwhile, recruiting is starting to make a little news. Apparently Paul Wulff was out on the road Thursday night, in the home of Redmond’s Cody Mackay. Mackay is a UW commit right now, but he showed a lot of interest in WSU before the Doba firing. He is still considered a UW commit, but he wants to take a visit to Pullman in January to reassure himself of his choice. We heard rumblings from Paul Sorensen about this, that Wulff and company were going to take a run at some kids who have already committed, and they are all fair game at this point.

Now will it lead to anything? We’ll see. All I know is, from following this recruiting thing for many years now, you NEVER know until signing day what’s going to happen. I mean Michael Bumpus was a strong USC commit all the way until the week before signing day, when Dwayne Jarrett dropped from the heavens on USC and suddenly they wanted him to greyshirt. Next thing you know, Bam! Bumpus signs with WSU. Anything can happen between now and early February.

There is still some confusion over the coaching staff, and as Vince mentions today, it might be another week or two before things are settled. Right now we know that Levy is back, and Bruiser has been retained as well. But what about Rosey and Peterson? It appears that they haven’t officially been let go, but it’s really not clear at this time if they’ll be part of the new staff either.

Interesting tidbit that Vince mentions talk of Wulff trying to get a veteran defensive coordinator instead of giving the job to Jody Sears. I had assumed, like many others, that if Sears was coming he was coming to be the DC, but that looks like it’s not yet settled. I also wonder about Sturdy coming as the OC when the EWU job is sitting there. Sturdy is regarded as a spread offense guru, and how can anyone argue with the kind of numbers they put up this year. But Sturdy was a head coach for many years before that, and he may choose to throw his hat in the ring for the EWU head job vs. being an OC at a BCS school. Who knows. Maybe this could be part of the reason Rosey is still part of the program, as a fall-back in case Sturdy gets the EWU job? Again, this will all clear up in the next week or so, but it’s nice to see some things coming together.

Moving on, the new Big Cat, Wulff, was on KJR again this week with who else, Elise and Ian. Another good interview, give it a listen here.

Tip of the hat to Brandon Gibson. Not only was an first-team All-Pac-10 in a conference that is always full of excellent WR’s, but he’s now been named to Phil Steele’s All-American team. Here he is making yet another great catch on a fluttering Brink go-route that was wildly off the mark. Gibson was a 3rd team selection, but still, nice to see some national recognition for one hell of a WR. Let’s hope he returns next year to put up sick numbers in this WR-friendly offense! It’s easy to say that Gibson is probably the #1 recruit on Wulff’s radar right now. We pointed it out yesterday that an unknown sophomore WR at EWU named Aaron Boyce hauled in 85 balls for over 1300 yards last year. Just think what Gibson could do in ’08!

Finally, for not much of a reason…..WILL…..DERTING! This is a little clip from the ’03 Notre Dame game, where he tried to put QB Carlyle Holiday in the morgue. God how I miss that guy. Enjoy:

UPDATE – Kevin Sumlin Interviewed today; So Who’s REALLY on the List?

December 7, 2007

Updated 12/7/07, 2:30 PM – As reported by the Spokesman, Oklahoma assistant Kevin Sumlin has interviewed today for the job. So the ball is officially rolling. John L will get an audience, we know that. But what about Wulff??

At this point, I wouldn’t even doubt that these guys were contacted by Moos. I don’t know if they’d work in Pullman though, but with the writers strike, you never know. I don’t think coach McConaughey would be ok with the “shirts must be worn at all times” rules for a head coach though, so it’s probably a pipe dream. And the other guy, I think he’s still stranded on an island somewhere.

Ok, bad joke. But you get the idea. Who the heck is really on the list? Who’s been contacted? Who’s yet to speak with the team? And why is it that we’re two weeks in and there’s not even an known interview yet? Is Sterk up to his Bennett-like tricks??

First, here are four of the most prominent names that we know of who have admitted to being contacted about the job:

1) Paul Wulff
I don’t know if you caught his interview last night, but give it a listen here if you dare. I’ve heard him talk before in small shots, but this is the longest I’ve heard him. He’s definitely got the passion for the job. He’s confident, yet not overly arrogant and he certainly doesn’t talk in “coach speak” filled with cliche’s, etc. He’s a Coug, there’s no doubt about it, and that could sell really well. He pushes the whole underdog mentality and he totally understands what Pullman is all about. And, no, there will be no coordinator deal while he’s biding his time to be the head guy. In fact, in the interview he admits that WSU has approached him in the past about being an assistant or a coordinator and he turned them down. He is a HEAD COACH, and don’t forget it.

Here’s the thing though. In his interview he says flat-out he’s been contacted, but, still no interview. We’re almost two weeks into this thing and no interview? And he’s just 75 miles up the road? That seems a little odd. Or is it?

First of all, Wulff said publicly that last week he was interested but didn’t want to talk about it as he was getting ready to play a playoff game. So he wouldn’t even be ready to talk until this week. Then, Jim Sterk was in NYC for the first part of this week to attend an awards presentation. So, Sterk has only just got back into the office. There’s literally like 1 or 2 days, tops, that they could even meet. So I really think he’s going to get his shot at this thing, but the timing has to be just right. And, based on what we’ve been told around here, you can lean heavily towards the idea that as far as some people know, he IS very close if not the #1 guy on the list right now.

Here’s a Youtube video by Wulff, asking fans to help raise funds for an EWU football program that is on the rise, but definitely needs money:

2) John L Smith
We’ve joked that John L has set up a campaign headquarters and wants to get this job so bad he can taste it. He’s a former WSU assistant and had a lot of BCS experience, so he does fit the bill to a certain degree about what some people are looking for. But I don’t know. Age is against him, 59 right now and not getting any younger. We already know we’ve been beat up in recruiting circles this year based on age, so do we want to go back there for a guy who is known for kind of “losing it” at Michigan State??

And who could forget “the slap”?

Is that the guy Sterk wants to hire? Hmmm. We do know that it’s likely that Smith will be meeting with Sterk, potentially even today or some time this weekend.

3) DeWayne Walker

He’s got the reputation at UCLA for being an excellent position coach and a fantastic recruiter. He’s young and has a lot of energy, something that is going to be required for this job. He’s African-American, and that’s something that is considered in this. The downside is the UCLA situation itself, and Walker is very much a viable candidate for that job as the head coach. So if we want him, there’s going to be some stiff competition. Plus he’s never been a head coach, and that could be an issue with Sterk.

4) Mike Price
He’s been contacted, admits interest, yet that’s as far as it’s gone. He’s said as recently as Wednesday that WSU is “his school” and he’s interested. But then in the next breath says he’s working on an extension for UTEP? Maybe this is a case of “Mike, we’re going in another direction but we’ll do you a favor. This thing is going to take a while, so, we’ll float your name as someone we’re interested in. You can use that as a hammer in your contract extension talks with UTEP and you can get that one last big extension.” It sounds like a dirty trick, but look around the country. It happens EVERY DAY with college coaches! The latest is Grobe from Wake Forest, who was all but done and was going to take the job at Arkansas yesterday, only to suddenly get a great contract extension! Wouldn’t be the first time – nor the last time – something like that went down. I do think that there’s a shot Price could come back, but from what we hear, it’s not likely.

Now, rumors:

June Jones was floated over the last few days, and in particular last night the rumors started to percolate. KRKO 1380’s Jeff Aaron said on the air that he heard yesterday that Jones is the new hot rumor floating around the WSU athletic department offices. It kind of makes you wonder, is it realistic? Well, as our good friend Kaddy points out, Jones only makes $800K at Hawaii. I believe we could match that, if not exceed it. He’s the king of the world over there, sure, but it is a WAC school and there’s always the lure of BCS competition. He’s from Portland so he does have some NW ties, although nothing directly related to WSU. Still, there are some strange things about Jones. One rumor is that he’s very friendly with the female coeds. Even one rumor had him so friendly with one notable Hawaii volleyball player that she ended up suddenly transfering all the way to Alabama. The talk was that she “with child”. Hmm, screwing the students might not go over well with Jim?!?

There was someone named “Bucky” who floated a Barry Alvarez rumor last week. It sort of makes some sense if you think about the Bennett connection. Retired guy with great success recently is brought in to get the program to another level, maybe even a succession plan behind him. Sterk was in Madison this fall of course, for the opener, so you know their paths have crossed. And I would imagine that if “Dick Bennett is on line 1 Barry” happened on a regular day in Madison, that Barry would pick up the phone. And, Alvarez has been in rumor mills since he retired, so stranger things have happened (like Bennett to WSU??). But Alvarez is a Wisconsin guy, he’s their AD right now so why would he even want to get back into the grind?

Other names floating include Turner Gill, for obvious reasons and rumored to have talked with Sterk already, although no confirmation there. Gill says he isn’t really looking for anything new at this time after striking out with Nebraska. Brady Hoke of Ball State is on the radar, but it might not be a match. In fact, Hoke is showing up in other rumor mills, including Michigan where he was a former assistant. Bob Gregory admitted he got a call about it, but nothing has happened there.

So, that’s where we are. With Sterk’s statement of “no more comments!” in regards to this search, well, rumors are going to fester. Someone is going to go online at a message board or (gasp!) a blog and say, “I’ve heard so-and-so is interested!” This is what happens when there’s no communication. Like it or not, the rumors are only going to get hotter as things roll forward.

Meanwhile, hats of to UW. I’m not kidding either. Have you seen their latest commits??? Fogerson from O’Dea, the kid who ran for 297 and 4 TD’s in the state title game last weekend, finishing with over 2500 yards and 36 TD’s this year (wow!). He actually committed to Ohio State, but now says he’s going to be a Husky? And then the number one fish in the state, Ta’amu of Rainier Beach, now says he’s going to UW? They are looking at a top-15 class in the nation, at least. Not that we were going to compete with these guys on the recruiting trail, and we usually pursue a different kind of kid, but they are flat-out killing right now. Willingham has set up a fence around the state and right now, he’s keeping ’em home. That’s HUGE.

Meanwhile we have 3 commits, and probably half our assistants are working the phones on trying to land a new job when they are still on our payroll. Come on Jim, this thing could turn out to be a total mess if you don’t get moving. Please, MAKE A GREAT HIRE HERE. The heat is on!

Turkey Day Q & A; 2002 Rose Bowl Clincher Vid

November 22, 2007

First of all, it’s good to be Tim Tebow. I would imagine he’s got a lot to be thankful for today. And I’m not talking about the Heisman front-running status either.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled WSU blogger ramblings. We did a quick Q & A with UW blogger John Berkowitz of the UW Football Blog. He does a fine job of covering his team and has a lot of passion for his Huskies, even while living in Illinois. Check it out here (Brinkhater was especially funny). It eventually morphs into a hoops discussion and how we’ve topped them 5 straight…and counting….but give it a read anyway.

Second, I don’t normally do this kind of thing, but I couldn’t resist – my 6-year old proudly donned the colors at school yesterday, and he told me he got a lot of “Go Cougs!”, even here in Mill Creek. But I loved the picture that the teacher took of him yesterday, so I just had to share:

“Ahhhhh, yeah. One on each arm, and dressed in the colors. That’s how I ROLL Daddy.” He’s got something to be thankful for this year too. Not quite Tebow, but hey, you have to start somewhere. Nice work son.

More coaching change chatter going on. The Go-2-Guy was on KJR yesterday afternoon, and while he didn’t specify a source on the matter, he concludes that it’s his belief that it’s “basically a done deal with Doba” and that we’ll see a change. Meanwhile Sterk gave another no-comment on Doba in today’s P-I, only to say that it will be addressed after Saturday’s game. And again, the silence is deafening among the WSU Football Blog “sources”, so you can sort of connect the dots here. Personally I’m leaning heavily towards a Monday morning presser to announce a change, but we’ll see.

Finally, I’ve been feeling some memory lane type-stuff this week with all the Apple Cup highlights and stories. I thought I’d put up some video of when we blew out UCLA 48-27 to clinch the 2002 Rose Bowl bid (I’m trying to use Blogger’s video feature, so I don’t know if it’ll look good or not compared to AOL Uncut of Youtube, but I thought I’d give it a shot.).

It’s just the last minute of the game, but there are some Gesser highlights mixed in and of course, post-game comments from Price and Gesser. I love the true emotion in Price after that game, after witnessing Gesser step up on one leg and take us home, it’s just fantastic. He really is at a loss for words, like many of us were after watching that game unfold. I also like Keith Jackson talking about Bill Doba and how he’s “a pretty damn good defensive football coach” after Dobes got the Gatorade shower. I also like listening to Bob Toledo hugging Gesser and saying “you’re a hell of a Warrior” a few times. The MVP of the history of WSU, hands down.

Hmmm, how about a Price – Gesser coaching combo in Pullman? Maybe Price is the head guy, Gesser can be an offensive/QB coach, Doba stays as the DC and when Price steps down, Gesser gets the “dream” job?

Nah. It makes too much sense.

Brinkhater will come out swinging tomorrow with the final Football Friday of 2007, complete with a prediction (note that unlike our Cougs, Brinkhater is a perfect 11-0 in picking WSU football games in 2007. The perfect season is on the line tomorrow!). So, to all, Happy Thanksgiving!

Doba Denies Resignation Rumor; 2003 Video (Including Holiday Bowl)

November 21, 2007

Not a shocker by any stretch, but, Doba has denied the resignation rumor to the Times today:

“I don’t plan to resign” Doba, 67, said Tuesday.

Even if he’s already cleaned out his office and has the motor home idling in the driveway, what is he going to say 3 days before the game? Yep, I can’t wait to blow out of this one-horse town and get back to Indy with some serious coin in the bank and 19 grandchildren waiting for me with open arms?? But seriously…..Doba’s just not the type and we’ve been saying it since midseason – it’s not in his DNA to simply quit at anything. But once again, Sterk says that his job will be evaluated at the end of the season, with no further comment.

Other points of interest on Hump-day:

  • The Times also has a story about that pesky Internet and how the different schools do – or do not – read this garbage. The thing is, the message boards or comments, it’s “safe haven” so to speak, where fans can unload with some sense of maintaining their anonymity. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it’s better that someone unleash their frustration online vs. kicking the dog, punching the walls, or much, much worse.
  • Tony Harris is dead, and we may not ever really get the cause. Some claim suicide, some have no idea. What is known is that he basically disappeared for a few weeks and witnesses claim he was asking for food or money on the street. What a sad story. Sad for him, but especially his wife with their first baby due next month. Damn.
  • Howie has a good notebook in the P-I. Specifically the margin of loss for us this year is staggering. 24 points, and that INCLUDES a pair of 3-point losses? My God that is really bad. I don’t know who said it, maybe it was Jim Walden on a post-game radio segment, but someone said that a sign of a poorly coached team is complete inconsistency from week to week. That’s a pretty hard thing to define, because often in college football the talent is wildly different from program to program, and when a thin team like our Cougs are also inexperienced in a lot of positions, the results can be pretty frightening!

Finally, to help ease the sting of the Oregon State mess on Saturday, here’s some video goodness. This is from the 2003 season, a game in which we came back from a big deficit to win 36-30. That was the game that Scott Lunde kept catching slants over the middle, remember?

That 2003 team, easily one my all-time favorite teams to watch. Boy, that defense, man oh man could they play. The swagger, the speed on the edges with Acholonu and Brown, the power up the middle with Williams and Tupai, the linebackers fly around, the DB’s were fast and aggressive and many of them are in the NFL right now (Coleman, David, Paymah and Frampton), etc, etc, etc! But pay special attention to when the Beavers have the ball and not only listen to the crowd noise, which is great, but just watch the aggressive d. Those were the days. Check it out:

The next one is the final minute, plus some post-game, of the 2003 Holiday Bowl. The video is from the broadcast, but the audio is none other than the Jim-n-Bob show! Enjoy: