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Washington State Football: Is Coach Paul Wulff Back on the Hot Seat?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 05:  Washington State Cougars head coach Paul Wulff argues a call during their game to the California Golden Bears at AT&T Park on November 5, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Alan BlackAnalyst IIINovember 11, 2011

During his first three seasons as the head coach of the Washington State Cougars, Paul Wulff amassed a record of 5-32.  Despite repeated calls for him to be fired, Wulff was allowed to return for a fourth season as head coach.

Through the first four games this season, it looked as if Wulff may finally have the program headed in the right direction.  The team was 3-1, and needed only to win three of their last eight games in order to become bowl eligible.

Calls for Wulff's dismissal quieted considerably.  The team's biggest concern was the fact that they now had too many capable quarterbacks on the roster, as Jeff Tuel was returning from injury while Marshall Lobbestael had played superbly in Tuel's absence.

Fast forward five games and the Cougars have once again reverted to their losing ways, having dropped all five of those games.  Tuel is out injured once again, while Lobbestael has struggled.

Just when Wulff's job seemed to be safe, his coaching seat has gotten a lot hotter.  How much longer can he last as the Cougar's coach?

The Cougars are 3-6 on the season, and would have to run the table to become bowl eligible.  That seems highly unlikely given that they face Arizona State, Utah, and Washington, all of which have winning records.

So, is there any way for Wulff to save his job and return for a fifth season? 

To put it mildly, there is a better chance of the Idaho Vandals winning the national championship this year than there is of Wulff returning next year.

Wulff has simply failed to produce results while at Washington State.  Including this season, his overall record as the Cougar's head coach is 8-38. 

There are three FBS teams named the Cougars, and during Wulff's tenure Washington State has been by far the worst of the three.  The BYU Cougars are 34-14 during that same time period and have multiple Top 25 finishes, while the Houston Cougars are 33-16 and currently in the Top 25 of every poll.

If you type in "Cougars football" into a search engine, most of the results will be for the other teams bearing that name.  Wulff's tenure has seen the Washington State football program slip deeper into obscurity, as well as produced poor results on the field. 

Coach Paul Wulff better enjoy coaching the rest of the Cougars' games this season, because it will almost certainly be his last opportunity to do so.

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