Let me start by saying that I can handle losing. I'll even go so far as to say that I can handle losing 60 points nearly every week, given the nature of rebuilding a really messed up program.
But I can't handle what happened today. Because today, I'm embarrassed to be associated with this team.
Let something sink in for a second: Of the 46 offensive plays today, 37 of them were runs. In a game in which we lost 69-0, more than 80 percent of our offensive snaps were running plays. Eighty percent.
Now, I've defended Paul Wulff in just about every possible way this year, and Grady even more so. But today was indefensible. The goal of football is to score points, and while it's one thing to know you're unlikely to score enough points to win, it's another thing entirely to make certain you won't score any points with a game plan that wouldn't, under any circumstances, score points against anyone.
Paul Wulff and Todd Sturdy should be ashamed of themselves for cheating their players and their fans, most of whom paid a lot of money for tickets, gas and lodging -- in the toughest economy since the Great Depression -- to come to that sham, which I will henceforth refuse to call a "game," since only one team was trying to win.
This is, unquestionably, the low point in the history of Washington State University athletics.
Some might say that Wulff was simply doing the prudent thing by protecting his last upright, Pac-10-caliber quarterback in a game that was unwinnable. To which I say two things:
- If Kevin Lopina is truly so hurt that you can't take a chance that he'll get hit, then it's irresponsible to put him on the field in the first place. (But I would guess he couldn't have been that hurt, since he was out front throwing a block for Jeshua Anderson on that third quarter reverse.)
- If this coaching staff can't come up with at least a handful of creative ways to protect Lopina by getting the ball out of his hand in a timely fashion ... well, then these guys have no business coaching at the Pac-10 level.
Thanks to today, I'm now fairly certain Paul Wulff has now just about used up every last bit of goodwill he had for this year. I'm not going to say he should be fired or anything silly like that; if he was the right guy six months ago, he's still the right guy now. But this was inexcusable, and shows that he's got a lot to learn about this job.
I'll get over this at some point, but it's going to be a while. If Grady wants to write about football in the next two weeks, more power to him; but I will not be dignifying today's abomination of a performance with any more football content between now and the next game. No more trying desperately to spin negatives into positives. No more straining to see baby steps. When this team gives me something to write about, I will.
Until then, it'll be all hoops, all the time from this guy.
Twenty-three days until basketball season.