Dec. 1 Talking Points
Thursday, December 1, 2011
What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
When did it become indisputable that Paul Wulff had to go as football coach at Washington State University? With 3 minutes and 17 seconds left in the Apple Cup, the Cougars down by 17 points, facing fourth-and-13 on their own 30, what play did Wulff call?
It wasn’t as if making 13 yards in a single play against a pass defense as porous as the Huskies’ was unachieveable. The Cougs had made eight pass-play gains of more than 13 yards already in the game. Instead of taking one more shot at keeping a miracle comeback at least possible, Wulff had Daniel Wagner punt.
WSU fans got up in droves and started down the stairs at CenturyLink. It was time for Wulff to leave, too.
Some notes about new WSU coach Mike Leach:
• He has spent the last two years living with his wife and two kids in Key West, Fla., where the family does not own a car. They ride bikes everywhere, talking with the locals as they go, and Leach has his own barstool at Captain Tony’s, a watering hole once frequented by Ernest Hemingway.
• Leach is obsessed with pirates.
• Leach’s Texas Tech teams graduated players at a higher rate than the rest of the Big 12.
Briefly, let’s ponder the futures of two long-time Northwest football coach/personalities: Rick Neuheisel and Dennis Erickson. Both got fired from Pac-12 schools this week.
On the likeability scale, we place Erickson somewhere near or slightly below the mid-point and Neuheisel quite bit lower than Erickson.
Erickson is 64. We assume Arizona State was his last coaching stop, despite a 179-91 record, 11 bowl games, two national titles, and an 11-1 season at Oregon State as a college coach. (His pro mark with Seattle and San Francisco was 40-56).
Somehow, somewhere, Neuheisel will reinvent himself and resurface. He’s 50, has a law degree, and his combined mark at Colorado, Washington and UCLA is 87-58.
Neuheisel is slick with a good gift of gab. We expect to see him as a college football commentator, a guise to keep connected to coaches, assistants and college programs while networking toward his next real job.