This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
There's trouble brewing in Pullman, and Mike Leach is not pulling punches on his own players.
Both immediately after Washington State's 31-28 loss to Boise State and at his Monday press conference, Leach ripped into his own team, questioning their toughness and comparing them to a "JC softball team."
"We have this assumption that they know stuff, but as coaches we have to be smart enough and disciplined enough to get that out of our heads," Leach told the local press. "They don't know anything. We wouldn't be re-teaching the same stuff we did last year if we could trust any level of retention. We can't."
Leach has good reason to be upset: A week after losing to Eastern Washington at home, the Cougars went on the road and were knocked off by the Broncos. Now, one of the dark-horse picks to win the Pac-12 North is sitting at 0-2 with a game against Idaho coming up on Saturday.
Leach outlined several problems he had with his team: Receivers aren't running the routes properly, the offense is easy to tackle, the defense isn't running through contact, and the team overall doesn't like "to run and hit."
The Spokesman-Review reported that Leach is upping padded practices and physicality this week, and potentially for the rest of the season.
"You know, if you want to be nice to them and all this kumbaya crap, it doesn't work," he said.
Coaches strike down after-the-fact game changes
The college football world was spellbound this week when Central Michigan threw a miraculous deep pass, a receiver pitched back the ball to an open rusher, and the Chippewas scored the game-winning touchdown against Oklahoma State.
Soon after, reality set in: The MAC and Big-12 suspended officials who incorrectly awarded CMU an untimed down that led to the play. The conferences concluded that the game should have been over on the previous play, and the Cowboys should have won.
When reporters inquired whether Pac-12 coaches thought game results should be able to be changed in the event of similar missed calls, it was met with universal skepticism. Kyle Whittingham called it "a can of worms." Stanford's David Shaw referred to it as "Pandora's Box." The general consensus among coaches was if game results could be changed afterwards, there would be a slippery-slope effect of how many elements could be tweaked outside a team's control.
The coaches did have suggestions for officials, with Leach articulating his idea for a "farm system" and relegation of poorly performing coaches. He also suggested that conferences pay officials more to make the gig more desirable. But the overall feelings were summed up by Shaw: "The bottom line is once the game is over, it's over."
USC suspends Masina, Hill from team activities
A cloud descended on USC at the season's start when multiple media outlets reported that Brighton High alum and sophomore linebacker Osa Masina was under investigation for sexual assault in California and Utah. Teammate Don Hill is also under investigation by the LAPD, but neither has been charged with a crime.
Now, neither will be able to participate in team activities, USC coach Clay Helton told local media on Tuesday.
Masina was suspended shortly before the season and did not travel for the team's opener against Alabama, but was able to practice until this week.
Tribune Power Rankings: Pac-12 football
1. Stanford (1-0) • Cardinal got plenty of rest before this week's opener against USC
2. Washington (2-0) • Browning's second straight star performance yielding Heisman buzz
3. Utah (2-0) • Defense's strength once again helps compensate for offensive struggles
4. UCLA (1-1) • Bruins' passing game will go against penalty-weakened BYU secondary
5. Oregon (2-0) • Nebraska's Mike Riley gets a shot at the Ducks for first time since his OSU days
6. Colorado (2-0) • After two games of 44-plus points, Buffs get a test against Wolverines' defense
7. Arizona State (1-0) • Kalen Ballage's eight-touchdown barrage deserves more attention
8. USC (1-1) • Aggies couldn't move on Trojans' defense, and special teams was an edge, too
9. Arizona (1-1) • Second straight ugly start almost cost Wildcats against FCS' Grambling State
10. California (1-1) • Their defense is what most thought it would be not good
11. Oregon State (0-1) • Can Beavers keep the momentum of a decent first game after bye?
12. Washington State (0-2) • Dysfunction taking root early in Pullman this season