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Sorry, Coach

DISCLAIMER: This is your thread for any and all Wulff/coaching related comments. Bash or defend away; just remember to keep it civil and provide some actual reasoning for your thoughts.


What's the old saying about where nice guys finish?

I know that by writing this I run the risk of beating a dead horse. A horse that's only dead because so many of us Cougar faithful jumped to conclusions prematurely during the first two years of the Paul Wulff era. It's disappointing that stance may have been right.

However, this isn't just a knee-jerk "Fire Wulff" post. We didn't just come off a heartbreaking loss, I've had a full night of sleep, I'm completely sober (promise!) and my mind is totally clear. Nor is this a request to fire Wulff right this second - although I'll elaborate on that in a moment.

Nope, this is just a Coug fan losing faith in a coaching staff. Not just a coach, but the entire regime around him. One man doesn't create a debacle like this, it takes a team. Just like it takes a team to win a national championship. They're all at fault here, and it's mean-spirited to throw all the blame at Paul Wulff when he certainly doesn't deserve it all.

There's no sure formula for winning. If there were, all 120 FBS teams would do it, and the BCS would sure have a heck of a time trying to come up with a national championship game from among the one hundred and twenty some 12-0 teams (my prediction: Notre Dame versus Texas). A coach can have good process and lose; another coach can have bad process and win. One coach keeps things clean, coaches his kids up to their highest potential and goes 3-9. Another coach recruits convicted felons from Alcatraz Junior College, doesn't bother to coach them at all and goes 9-3 with a trip to the MoneyTree Caterpillar Bowl in Des Moines. Sometimes life just isn't fair.

Which brings me to Paul Wulff - the ultimate guy Coug fans want to root for in college football. He's one of us. He played offensive line - fought in the trenches - on hard-nosed, never-say-die Cougar football teams two decades ago. He's overcome more adversity in 43 years than some entire families have had in their whole lifetimes. He deserved a shot to coach at the highest level in college football and he got that opportunity at his alma mater. It was a rags to riches story and there aren't many people who did more to earn it.

That's why it probably has to hurt him even more than it does us to see the team in crimson and gray so thoroughly abused night after night. Fans like us don't have any control over how the team plays; Wulff does. It's his responsibility, his calling to make the Cougars competitive. And yet they aren't: 66-3, 63-14, 66-13. 69-0, 58-0, 52-6, 48-7, 43-7.


What hurts the most is that this year was supposed to be different. If you comb through the results of the last two seasons you'll find that yes, indeed, the Cougars had made a modest improvement last year. Of course that was until the entire team (it seemed) got injured and the Cougs were decimated and running out a patchwork football squad by the time the Apple Cup rolled around. And then fast forward to this fall, where the Cougars were once again relatively healthy (need I remind you that they have played their best football in the Wulff era when they weren't running out hoards of second-stringers), and have the most depth and talent on paper that they've had since the 2007 season where they were marginally competitive and a win away from being Bowl eligible.

So you can imagine my chagrin when the Cougars were down 7-0 in a matter of seconds, yet again. Paul Wulff has still never led a game in regulation against a FBS team [Author Edit: Hans't led a FBS game since 2008. I'm a dummy]. Down 17-0 at the end of the first (hey, we're only down something like 13623-3 in first quarter scoring since 2008). The team showed flashes of potential, but flashes of potential don't show up on the scoreboard. Which is the problem.

That brings me back to the X-Files poster. I want to believe. I wish I could sit here and write that the system will work. That we're about to turn the corner. But the fact remains that the last two years have been historically bad. Worst or close to worst in the country in just about every imaginable statistical category (except, of course, for punting yards). 2010 was supposed to provide relief. 6.6 yards per rushing attempt yesterday (we gave up 5.78/att. in the infamous 2008 season) and 65 points later it would appear there is no corner in sight, much less one to turn.

I hope I'm proven wrong. That Montana State gives us a blowout in the other direction, the SMU game goes to the wire and the Cougs hit their stride and compete in Pac-10 play. However, I think it's borderline delusional to think that at this point. I'm not going to stop rooting for the Cougs, nor should you, but the ship has begun to sail. It looks as if this is the beginning of the end of the Paul Wulff era. And if game midseason rolls around and the Cougs are still getting blasted, I have no problem with making an abrupt change.

Yes, Oklahoma State was just one game.

But, for me, it was one game too many.