Moore: It's Tuel time!

Jim Moore checks in with his usual Cougar-related ramblings for the P-I today, feeling sort of jilted like the rest of us after the promising start against Stanford.

He's asking for a radical change. The money quote:

Is this a knee-jerk reaction? Hell, yes, it's a knee-jerk reaction. Bringing (Jeff) Tuel in goes against conventional wisdom and could backfire and might be the worst decision ever, but please, isn't it a risk worth taking? What's the downside, that he's not quite ready, that he might make mistakes, that it might shake his confidence? Or, egads, that the Cougs might lose some more games?

... Then there's the upside, the chance that Tuel will throw some spectacular passes and spark the Cougs and make them exciting again. When you get right down to it, that's what troubles me the most -- the Cougs are boring, no fun to watch, so unlike Wazzu teams from the past that posted losing records but were at least moderately entertaining.

I wholeheartedly understand the sentiment -- after all, I said to my wife that thing that was killing me the most on Saturday wasn't the losing; it was that these Cougs have a way of making being a Cougar football fan un-fun, which is about the worst thing a sports team can be, next to just plain uninteresting.

However, while I know and like Jim, I couldn't disagree with him more on this one. First of all, I don't see where Tuel would be much of an upgrade over either of the guys we have. Will he throw more exciting incompletions because his arm is stronger? We went through that last year with Gary Rogers, and the novelty wears off pretty quickly.

But for arguments' sake, let's just say Tuel is all that and a bag of chips. How's he going to make spectacular throws to a decidedly unspectacular receiving corps? He's not throwing to Jason Hill, Michael Bumpus and Brandon Gibson as Alex Brink was.

Like I said, I understand the sentiment. And I'd be all for it if this team was a quarterback away from being competitive and Kevin Lopina and Marshall Lobbestael had been stinking up the joint. But quarterback is just about problem No. 8 on the list of things keeping this team from being good, and the things that are not making Cougar football fun have almost nothing to do with the quarterback.

Let him get his redshirt year, let him get stronger -- looking at him, I think the 207 he's listed at is a bit generous -- and let him start our march back to Pac-10 contender next year. The worst thing in the world would be looking back four years from now and wondering what it would be like if we hadn't wasted his first year of eligibility on an 0-12 team and he had just one more year.

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