FanPost

Pac10/12 Worst Of All Time: Game 4, 2009 WSU vs 2007 UW

We are halfway through Round One of the inaugural, and final, Avezzano Cup. The virtual slugfest (literally, banana slugs having a festival) continues, courtesy of WhatIfSports.com, with a postseason Crapple Cup!

How They Got Here

#4: 2009 Washington State (1-11, 0-9)

PTS/G: 12.0 (119th of 120) ▪ Opp PTS/G: 38.5 (118th of 120)
SRS: -14.87 (112th of 120) ▪ SOS: 6.0. (13th of 120)

Not all teams predicted to finish last in the conference do so, but sometimes the media and blogosphere get it right. And make no mistake: Despite an inability to duplicate their cross-state rival's 2008 achievement, the 2009 Washington State Cougars were nevertheless very, very bad.

Wulff_medium

In 2009 Wazzu was the consensus choice to continue the team's lack of success from 2008. The good news for HC Paul Wulff, given the honorary title "beleaguered" when he signed his first contract, was that a lot of experience was returning. The bad news is that the returning experience was, at least on paper, from arguably the worst team in the nation. The '08 Cougs had been outscored in conference games 440-61, allowed 5.78 yards per play - worst in FBS, only managed 8'3" per rush and gave up 42 sacks. And all that returning experience was paper thin, other than RB, where Cal transfer James Montgomery was expected to at least not get tackled in his backfield.

The Cougs were losers before the season even began. First, WSU was still feeling the effects of a big scholarship hit in 2008 for violating NCAA Academic Progress Rate conditions under previous HC Bill Doba, who had tried to keep his team competitive by recruiting JC players, many of whom didn't qualify, dragging down the average. QB Marshall Lobbestael, recovering from a blown out knee suffered as a true freshman in 2008, was arrested in February, charged with possession of alcohol after being found passed out in a car in a grocery store parking lot with a bag of vomit, or McDonalds, in his lap (he was put on "indefinite suspension from football activities", whatever those would have been in February). Then, the gang in Pullman learned that while he was coaching Eastern Washington, Wulff himself had been a bad boy. The NCAA said Wulff had far too many coaches on his staff and was caught practicing with ineligible players. Wulff said his EWU team didn't have enough money to afford a full-time compliance officer, and "there are so many rules, things slip through the cracks." EWU was hammered: three years probation, one-year postseason ban, scholarship drop, reduction in coaching staff, one-ply TP in the coaching office rest room. And in a rare show of discipline against those responsible for malfeasance, Wulff was personally made an example of by the NCAA: He was suspended for the first three days of practice. The editorial writers, particularly in eastern Washington, were concerned...

What a farce, a portrait in discrimination and prejudice toward the players while babying the guy that caused the problem. Wulff was on TV the other night, grinning from ear to ear and acting like an angel. What a crock! Wulff shows no remorse and WSU shows no shame for hiring a devious person.

The NCAA should quit acting like pompous dictators and start paying attention to who is really the problem. Maybe they should also look in the mirror. Having Wulff continue coaching is kind of like putting Bernie Madoff in charge of the Treasury Department. -- Spokane Spokesman-Review editorial

For Wulff, that three day break from watching his team labor through daily doubles must have been hell. Would this absence of veteran leadership push a fragile Wazzu team over the edge into suckitude?

There was a miraculous September victory over visiting SMU, where Marshall Lobbestael led Wazzu from a 24-7 third quarter deficit to a 30-27 overtime win. It is unknown whether SMU ever lived this loss down, but it says something about something that the only clip I can find from this inexplicable win is only nine seconds long:

Wazzu, having thus gotten off the schneid early, managed to assemble one of the worst conference slates since Avezzano himself roamed the sidelines in Corvallis. The Cougs were, as so often seems to be the case with cellar dwellers, decimated by injuries to key players. True freshmen occupied many of the skill positions. By mid-October, ¾ of the defensive line was out for the season, and the guards were #6 and 7 on the preseason depth chart. They only had 13 scholarship players healthy for Oregon State in November. A 0-9 conference record was capped by a humiliating shutout in Seattle. And yet, in some ways the season was an improvement over 2008: the Cougs were only outscored in conference 357-74! But the O-fer guaranteed their place in the Avezzano Cup; and Paul Wulff has two squads in the bracket. A dubious honor, perhaps, but honors are honors!

#12: 2007 Washington (4-9. 2-7)

PTS/G: 29.2 (53rd of 120) ▪ Opp PTS/G: 31.6 (93rd of 120)
SRS: 4.41 (51st of 120) ▪ SOS: 8.53 (2nd of 120)

Willingham_mediumMan, I am getting tired of writing about Washington's lousy football teams. I know it's part of the job, ok? When you take on the herculean task of comparative evaluation of the worst PAC teams of the last sixteen years there is no avoiding the fact that the Huskies had four - four! - of them. That's 25%! (I took math in school.) But eventually, all the great expectations and misplaced optimism and grinding humiliations begin to run together. So, for the rest of the first round, I will abstain from piling on, at least when it comes to UW and Tyrone L.Willingham. After all, doesn't leading a team to three last place finishes in four seasons speak for itself?

Suffice to say the '07 Huskies, for a last place team, could have been worse. They had Jake Locker, who as a redshirt freshman garnered the first of his four preseason Heismans. And they won four games! Good for them! They swept the Bay Area schools, knocked off #22 Boise State (!?) and managed to defer the inevitable coaching change for one more year. For the season, they were only outscored by 2.4 points per game! This accounts for their relatively high low seed. But will all that translate into a first round exit from the Avezanno Cup?

BENZDUCK'S LINE: 2007 Washington -17 ... the Cougs were really bad in 2009, and UW showed enough offensive spark in 2007 to give the impression they could cut through the Waazu defense like a knife through Cougar Gold cheese.

RESULTS:

Final - 8/9/2012

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

final

2009 Washington St. Cougars

3

0

3

3

9

2007 Washington Huskies

0

7

14

28

49

Click here for the full box score

As expected, 07 UW wins in a rout, although the virtual Cougs made a game of it for a half. Surprisingly, Waahsu outgained the Huskies 460-435, but turnovers and an inability to stop the UW running game (298 yards on 58 carries) doomed Wulff's charges, who advance to the quarterfinals; they will meet the loser of a battle of two 20th century titans-- Mike Price vs Mike Riley.

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This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or the Addicted To Quack Moderators. FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable Oregon fans.

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