Last year, the University of Washington football team went 0-12. The Washington State University football team went 1-11. The Cougars lone win? You guessed it. A victory over the in-state rival Huskies.
For as solid as the college football once was in this state, it's really sad how far the program's have fallen.
Washington used to be a loaded, stable football program that was a yearly contender for the Rose Bowl.
Washington State was a solid, stable football program that won anywhere from 7-10 games a season.
Then, everything went downhill.
Jake Locker remains the only legitimate athlete who could compete with USC (the class of the Pac 10) between both teams. One athlete. Two programs. That's how sad it's gotten.
Fortunately, it appears both programs have hit the bottom.
Last year, the Cougars went through Paul Wuff's first year as the head football coach. They weren't his players that went 1-11, but he earned the respect of those who are returning by how he handled it.
He knows Washington State football and how it's supposed to be. He was successful in building a program at Eastern Washington, his previous stop. He understands the intricacies of building a program and the patience required to build a program from the bottom of bottoms.
He'll keep the tempo, the attitude, the work ethic where it needs to be as the Cougs continue to regain their prominence. Slowly but surely, Wuff will bring them back.
The Huskies may be returning to normalcy a little sooner. Steve Sarkisian was brought in as head coach this year from the class of the Pac-10 (USC) and is beginning to resupply the talent pool.
Already, he landed the quarterback of the future in Nick Montana. He'll arrive on campus next year, likely already penciled in as the starting quarterback.
Sark will recruit, recruit, recruit until he gets the depth and type of team he wants. Then he will recruit some more.
He's young, he's energetic, and he learned from the best in Pete Carroll.
Together, Wuff and Sarkisian will take different paths to building the program.
Sarkisian will land the heralded recruiting classes. Wuff will develop his players over many years.
Either way, Washington's (the state) college football is in their hands.
So far, they know how to handle it.
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