In his season-ending press conference Mike Leach said there's always an element of 'expect the unexpected' going into each season. That rang true until the very end of the Cougars' 2012 campaign.
Despite a healthy dose of optimism and expectations heading into the year, it was clear from their opener at BYU that there would be some struggles in Pullman. Washington state finished 3-9, losing their first eight Pac-12 games before breaking through in the Apple Cup.
Leach mentioned a team-wide lack of confidence as one of their stumbling blocks, along with youth. Washington State entered their season finale having played 17 freshmen, and nine true freshmen. Of their 13 seniors only four were full-time starters by season's end.
Leach said building a program is a rewarding process. He also said he plans on seeing it through, despite reports that he spoke with N.C. State about their current opening.
The focus in Pullman now is on recruiting, while developing the players that will return in 2013. Leach wants his team to get bigger, stronger, and more competitive. He also said he wouldn't be surprised if there are more departures between now and next fall.