If you're a football nerd, one of the best sites around is SmartFootball.com. You can literally lose yourself for hours exploring Chris Brown's archive of posts, which -- as the name of the site implies -- will make you a heck of a lot smarter football fan as he breaks down schemes into something easy to understand. You learn pretty quickly that football (despite what a lot of coaches want you to believe) is not rocket science, and that there aren't a heck of a lot of new (good) ideas -- most "new" stuff is a variation of something old.
In looking up some info this morning, I just happened to stumble across this post that Brown wrote about a year and a half ago on the offense of the WSU glory days of Ryan Leaf and Mike Price.
For a time, especially in 1997, the two, Leaf and Price, coach and quarterback, combined to put on a show worthy of the sliver of immortality reserved for all such successful seasons. ... Mike Price liked to joke that he could explain [his offense] in five minutes on the back of a napkin. An exaggeration, but not much of one.
It's amazingly detailed. (Complete with pictures and video!) And while it's a nice trip down memory lane, I actually have an ulterior motive for bringing it to your attention today: When you read it, you should immediately see that the Cougars are now employing many of these principles on offense. It's out of slightly different formations (shotgun, pistol, etc.), but the sorts of routes they're using to try and exploit coverage and -- more importantly -- the sorts of things they're asking Jeff Tuel to do pre-snap are remarkably similar.
One other item of note: Ken Bone will be participating in a live online chat at The Seattle Times today from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. PDT, if you're interested . EDIT: Never mind! That's tomorrow. Sorry.
On to the links!
WSU Football News
Paul Wulff Radio Show Recap, Week Six of 2010 - WSU Football Blog
You could definitely hear a difference in the tone of Wulff, and you can tell that they are feeling a lot better about things this week compared to a week ago. Funny how some signs of progress shown on the football field will do that for a head coach, isn't it?
A busy Tuesday at WSU - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Oct. 5, 2010
Wulff had another long Pac-10 call today, with the first question concerning the UCLA game and whether he considered the outcome progress. ... He went into some depth about progress but the bottom line was, he said, is yes, it was progress. Asked what he told the team in the locker room, the answer was even longer, speaking about where the Cougars are now and where he expected them to be. Turns out, for this year, they are meeting those expectations.
WSU football: C.J. Mizell starting to ‘get it’ | Moscow-Pullman Daily News Blogs
Myron Beck: "He thought him being a highly ranked guy out of high school, he thought he could come to little ol’ Washington State and start, and didn’t have to work hard. I told him, we’re D-1 athletes just like you, and you’re going to have to work for it. He said ‘I didn’t think you guys were this good.’ "
Wulff needs Cougs to take next step - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Progress for Washington State? How about this: The Cougars played a competitive game at UCLA into the fourth quarter last Saturday. The week before, Texas did not do the same in its own building. Of course, the problem for Paul Wulff and the Cougars is descriptions of success require words. Often a lot that are carefully arranged. Most fans only want numbers and a letter: What's the score and did we get the "W"?
Scout.com: COUGAR FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
SO WHAT DO you get when you match up the No. 1 offense in the nation against the almost-worst (No. 118-ranked) defense in the nation? Oddsmakers say the answer is a 36-point margin of victory for Oregon. The better answer is this: A Cougar offense that needs to devour massive chunks of clock time if this one is going to be anywhere near respectable.
More WSU News
Donating Hoops season tickets – update " Cougar Athletic Supporter
Simply stated we are trying to get 12-15 people to purchase Basketball season tickets for $230 and donate them all to local charities. We have a handful of people signed up, but need more to make this a reality.
Cougars need Moos to deliver off-field victory - Spokesman.com - Oct. 6, 2010
"If I’m at Washington State for the next 10 years," said athletic director Bill Moos, "this may be the most important juncture we face in that decade."
Local News | Moos to get look at Oregon program he helped build | Seattle Times Newspaper
Bill Moos helped build the Ducks into a football power during his 12 years as athletic director for Oregon. He'll view his handiwork from the other side for the first time this Saturday.
Cougars Finish Tied for Fourth at the Wolf Pack Challenge - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Cougars finish the tournament tied for fourth with San Francisco, both carting a 578 (289-289).
Thompson Leads Cougars at Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
Sophomore Ali Thompson shot a 1-over 73 to lead the Washington State University women's golf team during second-round play at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational, Tuesday, hosted by the University of Washington.
Eileen Maes Named Pac-10 Women's Soccer Player of the Week - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
Maes became the sixth Cougar in school history to record at least three goals in a match when she found the back of the net three times in Washington State's 4-0 victory over Gonzaga, Oct. 1.
Pac-10’s super punters give conference leg up - Spokesman.com - Oct. 6, 2010
Washington State senior Reid Forrest is having his best season, averaging 44.9 yards per punt, with 10 covering more than 50 yards, second only to Hankins (12) in the conference. But Forrest’s career-best average is only good enough for fifth in the conference stats.
Other Stuff We Like
Cover-3: Saturday Night Special | FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis
FO breaks down the Pistol, which I know is a week late, but it's a fascinating read.
Heisman Trophy Watch 2010: Terrelle Pryor Stumbles, Denard Robinson Surges - SBNation.com
SB Nation is a collection of over 250 individual communities, each offering high quality year-round coverage and conversation led by fans who are passionate about their favorite teams, leagues or sports. By empowering fans, SB Nation has become the largest and fastest growing grassroots sports network.
College Football Coaches On The Hot Seat: Tim Brewster Leads The Way - SBNation.com
A look at five college football coaches who are squarely on the hot seat entering Week 6 of the season. Guess who's on the list?
College Football Rankings: BCS Insider Has Ohio State, Oklahoma Battling For No. 2 Spot - SBNation.com
How close is Oklahoma to Ohio State in BCS potential? Chances are one will lose and make this point irrelevant.
College Football BlogPoll Rankings, Week 6: Alabama's Dominance Cannot Be Contained By Math - SBNation.com
Our weekly college football rankings, as voted on by bloggers, has Alabama securely in first, with Oregon taking over the No. 2 spot.