A few weeks ago, we made a rather big deal out of the fact that WSU Athletics Director Bill Moos wouldn't definitively endorse Paul Wulff.
The team was 1-1 at the time, coming off a blowout loss to Oklahoma State and a less-than-impressive victory over Montana State, and it was sure looking like the team wasn't on the way to fulfilling Wulff's promise that the team would be much improved and competitive this year. Moos' tepid comments in support of Wulff seemed to reflect the general mood amongst fans that Wulff's job was in serious jeopardy.
At the time, I said, "Barring a distinct change of course over the next few weeks, this is going to get ugly." Well, in the time since, the Cougars have made progress -- sometimes marginal, sometimes significant -- each week, culminating in what most people would call the best performance of the Paul Wulff era on Saturday against No. 3 Oregon, which got a little bit of a scare from WSU.
Apparently, Moos has noticed. Via Vince Grippi at the Spokesman-Review:
"They had a lot of damage control to take care of," he added. "Not to throw stones at anyone, but there was a pretty big hole to dig out of and now we can be in a building mode."
And he likes what Wulff is constructing.
"You can have good football teams without a good football program, but they are going to be hit and miss and they're going to be quick fixes," Moos said. "If the program itself is solid, it will produce winning teams.
"As I observe this, that's the direction Paul is trying to take this program."
Moos also said he was "most encouraged" by how the team competed against Oregon.
Is this a full-on endorsement? Nope. As before, it doesn't promise anything beyond this season, and if someone wanted to take a cynical interpretation of what was said (that Wulff has set the stage for someone else to come in), they could. But this is certainly stronger than what was said before.