Jeff Tuel and the Pullman turnaround 

July, 19, 2010

No team from a power conference seems to have a bleaker outlook than the Washington State Cougars.

They're 3-22 the past two seasons, and last season, they weren't just bad; they weren't even in driving distance of "bad." They were atrocious, with the slimmest margin of defeat being 13 points. They lost by three TDs or more nine times last season. Going into this fall, no Cougar is listed on either of the first two preseason all-Pac-10 teams. Bleak, right?

A couple of days ago, I had a chance to speak with two of Wazzu's bright spots -- sophomore QB Jeff Tuel and senior safety Chima Nwachukwu -- to go over the reasons why Cougar fans should have some hope in 2010.

Asked how far Wazzu football is from being respectable, Tuel replied, "I don't think far at all. I've seen some leaps and bounds made in this offseason."

The sophomore QB said a big reason is because of the mindset of the younger players in the program.

"The new guys have taken ownership," he said. "We're not dealing with the crap and the laziness and the excuses. We're holding each other accountable."