Be glad the WSU-Arizona State football game wasn't televised. I was at Sun Devil Stadium to witness the bloodbath, and it was scarier than some of the costumes I saw while my fellow Coug friends and I walked the streets of Scottsdale, Ariz., on Halloween night.
The Cougs ran when they should have passed, and they paid the price for it, finishing with a pitiful eight yards on the ground. They botched a field goal, which prompted me to yell, "Fire Wulff!" (More on that later.) Their quarterbacks were sacked five times. Guys were fumbling, bumbling, stumbling. I felt as if we were watching a Pee-Wee football team, not a squad from a major college conference.
Before the game, one of my friends said he thought Nico Grasu would kick the game-winning field goal as time expired. I said the Cougs would lose by a touchdown. After the game, none of us could muster a sentence. We were stunned by how bad the Cougs were. They had seemingly shown progress against Oregon, Arizona and Stanford -- and they ended up laying a big fat goose egg against a team that, on paper, didn't appear to be much better than them. The friend who believed Grasu would rally the Cougs had bought our tickets and later apologized to us for inviting us to the game. (No hard feelings.)
I have wondered whether the Cougs' glimpses of promise the previous three weeks were not so much a result of them playing well enough to hang with their opponents, but instead a sign the other teams didn't take Wazzu seriously and just did the bare minimum to win. A 42-0 loss to a team that was near the bottom of the Pac-10 cellar makes me think there is a much larger gulf separating the Cougs from the rest of the conference. And if that's true, then Paul Wulff and Co. should get their pink slips by the end of the season.