In a morbid sort of way, I'm finding it interesting to see where each fan's breaking point is with this team -- and, in a larger sense, with the Paul Wulff regime. For some, it happened last season. For some, it happened after the first game this year. For some, it happened after Montana State.
And for SeattlePI.com columnist Jim Moore, it happened Saturday.
Am I frustrated? Yes. Am I tired of this? Yes. Am I at a point where I can't take it anymore? God, yes.
I tell myself that it's just football and it's stupid to get worked up about something that doesn't really matter in the scheme of things, but I can't do it.
He goes on to talk about how the part that's driving him the most batty is the inner conflict of being upset with the performances and feeling like a "bad Coug" for not giving enough weight to the challenges the program faces. Jim can be sort of a pessimist sometimes, but when it comes to the Cougs, he's generally an eternal optimist -- hence his inner struggle over all of this.
And when only about 20,000 people show up to Pullman on a beautiful September day to watch WSU take on USC -- typically a premier draw -- it's not too much of a stretch to say that Jim is probably not alone in having reached that breaking point.
What does that mean? A nice piece over at the WSU Football Blog argues that it means this weekend suddenly becomes huge.
As the empty seats indicate, the broader fan base at large has simply given up on this program. And because football is THE money maker for all athletic departments, and because universities are currently being crushed by state budget woes, the apathy that we are now witnessing represents a terrible, terrible alarm for all of those out there who still dare to care. And what does that alarm ultimately signal? Judgment Day is ever so near.
I'd like to say that I agree or disagree, but I don't think I can. It's funny, but as a writer on a WSU-centered site, I honestly feel like I don't have a very good pulse on the fanbase at large. Most of us around here aren't those casual fans. We're the die hards who analyze every quarter, every drive, every play in an effort to figure out what's going on. And although all the writers around here are pretty confident around here that progress is being made, we also have to acknowledge that sometimes progress just isn't enough because the decision is more complex than that -- which is what the WSUFB piece gets at. At EWU, progress is enough. At a Pac-10 school ... well, it's a little more complicated.
Anyway, just some food for thought this morning. Before heading to the links, take a moment to answer the poll question below, as I'm genuinely curious where our readership stands.
NCAA: WSU at UCLA Game Week - SB Nation Seattle
The official SB Nation StoryStream(TM) for game week news and notes. Check here for updates throughout the week.
Felt a little like the Scarecrow yesterday - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Sept. 28, 2010
The battle at safety between senior Chima Nwachukwu and freshman Deone Bucannon meant divided practice time with the first unit for the two. Paul Wulff said they both will play Saturday.
First look: WSU at UCLA - Spokesman.com - Sept. 28, 2010
What it means for WSU: The Cougars must be able to answer this question in the affirmative: Can you tackle? If they show they can, then they have a shot at controlling the Bruins offense. And that would give them hope for the rest of the Pac-10 schedule, something that is in short supply right now. After the Bruins, No. 4 Oregon and No. 14 Arizona come to town, followed by a trip to No. 9 Stanford. Without a strong showing against the Bruins, the next month could be hell.
Cougars Travel to Face UCLA Saturday - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State University football team (1-3, 0-1) looks for its first conference win of the season as it travels to Pasadena to face the UCLA Bruins (2-2, 0-1) at the Rose Bowl Saturday (Oct. 2). Kickoff between the Cougars and Bruins is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., and the game will be televised live by FSN Northwest.
Sankey on pace for state record - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Sept. 27, 2010
Sankey has 1,102 yards through four games. At the current pace, he would finish with 2,755 through 10 games (the 10th game either being a state play-in game or a crossover game).
Scout.com: NFL Cougar Highlights: Week Three
HOW SLIM ARE the pickings for notable news from the world of Washington State alums in the NFL these days? So sparse that the most noteworthy story of professional Coug gridders this week comes from the upstart United Football League.
Pac-10 Announces 2010-11 Basketball Television Schedule - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
Washington State University men's basketball can be seen on national television a minimum of nine times this season, Pacific-10 Conference commissioner Larry Scott announced Tuesday along with the Pac-10 men's basketball television schedule.
Other Stuff We Like
The Party Next Door - Lookout Landing
Qwest, though, is something else. There's no denying it. Though the game went well, the game didn't dictate the atmosphere like it might in other places. The atmosphere was almost independent. People were there to be loud and cheer on the Seahawks, and hopefully the Seahawks would win, but even if they didn't, the atmosphere would've been nuts. The Seahawks don't so much play home games as they do participate in 70,000 individual experiences.
John Feinstein - Nothing pretty about the BCS beauty contest
For all the propaganda about how wonderful the Bowl Championship Series is because it gives college football's regular season so much meaning, here's what the 2010 season may boil down to: style points. Sort of like in figure skating.