I'm sure there are a lot of mixed feelings out there on Washington State Athletic Director Bill Moos' decision to bring Paul Wulff back for another year. From my conversations with people in Pullman last weekend, it was overwhelming how many people are in support of Wulff returning.
Although many people didn't see Moos' statement as much of an endorsement, what else is he going to say?
It wouldn't be appropriate for him to say Wulff has done an outstanding job because the wins don't support that. But as Wulff has said following the decision, people inside the football program see the good things that are happening there.
Improvement. Nobody can dispute the improvement in this team this year. The win over Oregon State in convincing fashion on the road confirms that. Corvallis is not an easy place to play either. Critics contend progress is graded on wins, the Cougars definitely fell off in this area but they had a long way to go to begin with, considering what Wulff had to work with.
Recruiting. Wulff and his staff continue to bring in talented players, especially at the skilled positions.
Academics. The Cougars placed more players on the first team Pac Ten all academic team (7) than any other team in the conference. Not much more needs to be said.
Coaching. Change needs to be made on defense. Having co-defensive coordinators doesn't work. They need someone in place that is in charge. Look for a change in this area.
Intangibles. I really don't think Moos had any other choice but to retain Wulff. Why start over? The players are 'buying into his system' and believe in the coaching staff.
Looking Ahead. The Cougars could realistically start the 2011 year 3-0 with a non-conference schedule that includes Idaho State, UNLV, and San Diego State. Three more conference wins and the Cougs are bowl eligible.
Sure, WSU could hire a guy like Mike Bellotti that could generate excitement in the program for the short term. He would come in and say Pullman is where he wants to be and he's excited about building a winner for years to come. He would also say he's not interested in going anywhere.
Sounds familiar doesn't it?