Tuesday, July 18, 2006

UW According to Athlon

I was reading through the Athlon preview on the plane back from Oregon this past weekend and found it interesting that they rated almost every Husky position near the lowest rank in the Pac Ten going into this year. They also listed Washington as a program in decline, and Willingham as less than a success after his first year at UW. Dick Tomey who arrives here with his San Jose St program on September 2nd and is coming off a 3-8 season was viewed in the complete reverse. Program on the rise, coach on the rise...etc... .

Dan Raley of the PI wrote an article about Ty being a mystery man. so the machine is starting to spin against Ty, and he needs a few more wins to start inspiring some media confidence.

I never take national publications seriously, even when they use a blend of local writers, way too much ground to cover to be that accurate. What does this mean, and is it a fair appraisal? Let's take a closer look and see if we agree.

Athlon UW Unit Rankings

QB 7
RB 6
OL 10
DL 10
LB 8
DB 10

John B's UW Unit Ratings

QB 3 ....just being conservative here because IS is one of only three returning QB's in the conference along with Brink at WSU, and Moore at OSU. I think IS is better than any of them. I think whoever starts at SC and Cal will have the edge because of returning talent, so I will give IS a 3 with an upside of a 1. You can't underestimate the importance of a SR QB with two years of experience who has the tools of IS. His mobility will help a green offensive line.

RB 6....They have us at 6 at Athlon too. I like all three of our backs, but they need to stay healthy because there is no depth behind them. Last year we went through more than three backs. If all stay healthy, and the offensive line surprises you have an upside of 4.

WR/TE 4....I think they are way off the mark here with an 8. Losing Chambers doesn't hurt much. With the new guys coming in it is addition by subtraction. I think we are more solid at TE then we have been since Lambo was here. The WR corps has had a year and a half of real coaching, and it will show this fall. I pick 4 because IS is going to get these guys the ball, and I also think after watching the last part of the year, and Spring that we can develop some deep threats.

OL 10....Athlon gives us a 10, and who can blame them on paper, we don't have a lot of experienced depth, and the senior starters while experienced are not all world. I had to go with the ten to start out too with. I can go with a very optimistic upside of a 6. We need to at least be a 6 to see a bowl, or get close to .500.

DL 4.....Athlon gives us another 10 for what may be the strongest part of the entire team. We have size depth, and experience, so I would I would place us near the top with an upside of #1. Gunheim, Mateaki, Afoa, JWF all match up with anyone in the conference. I wonder what they were drinking when they gave us a 10.

LB 5....Athlon tosses in an eight which is mostly due to graduation, but I think the guys replacing last years seniors have a way better upside. I think with better, and deeper DB's behind them, and veteran hosses in front, this unit should do well, at least the middle of the Pac Ten. What the new starters bring to the table is more sideline, to sideline speed. Speed was something that has been lacking.

DB 5....Athlon nails us with a 10 which is a good bet on paper since we haven't had a decent defensive backfield since CW went down. I strongly disagree, I saw a huge amount of improvement last year in the defensive backfield, and I think we will be much stronger this year. The biggest problem we had last year was simply depth, and we did a credible job in the off season picking up some bodies that can plug some holes. The addition of coach Williams, a man who played in four Super Bowls, and is known as one the brightest assistants on the West Coast has to be a plus. I picked a five with an upside of 3.

In conclusion really think that our defense will end up being one of the top 4 in the league when it is all said and done.


hairofthedawg said...

Those magazines are another thing I miss by not beint in the states. I know, I could subscribe, but the previews are the only ones I'd read so it would be a waste. Do you have a favorite or one you find more accurate?

On to the ratings...I agree with yours more than Athlon's with a couple of exceptions.

QB(3-5)While I agree that Isaiah has a great set of tools, and should Jupiter align with Mars, you're right, he could be a 1. Too much depends on the OL's ability to both protect him and establish a running game. If he's scrambling and/or throwing out of desperation, closer to 5, but, if he's able to throw when he wants and scramble when he doesn't absolutely have to, the farther up he climbs.

RB-good call I'd really, really love to see KJ have a great year. I don't know the kid at all, but his coach seems like such a great guy that some of that had to have rubbed off. Like you said, health. Keeping Rankin healthy as a change of pace or even the starter is a must and Hasty a wild card.

I don't know that much about the WR's other than a lot of people seem impressed with Williams' off season.

OL-no clue

DL-a fair rating, although a risky one. How important is Frisbee's health to your rating? I could go with a 3 if he's really ready and we find quality guys to rotate.

LB-Damn, I'm getting old. There were some youngsters I was impressed with last year but their names escape me. Howell, Stevens? I like their chances to exceed your rating if they learned as much as I think they did.

DB-3.5 I love the new coach and we've some skill there. If Sampson takes to his new position quickly, it could be even better.

Are you truly objective when writing these? It sounds like it, but I find it very difficult. It reminds me of the time a friend asked me to take up reffing rugby. I told him, no way, I'd end up just watching the game and miss all the calls.



prrbrr said...

For me also, the first years in a long time I haven't gotten any pubs. But mine is due to fact stores haven't stocked any where i live. I agree with your analysis JB that we are much better in many areas than athlon rates us. My biggest concern is like all, OL. IS will be better but the OL needs to step it up, so the Miller article was disheartening except for Bulyca and Walker. Where are Garcia, Ossai, Daniels (a sr), Flowers, et al? Defense is going to have to carry us and keep us in games.

hairofthedawg said...

True prrbrr...I've wanted to see Garcia's mean streak become infectious for awhile now. That's a tough injury to come back from and if he has indeed done so, he's got some grit!

Health Insurance Expert said...

The season really will hinge on the performance of the offensive line. If they don't perform the whole team goes down the poop shoot.

I think the line has a fair nucleus of starters, and I think Ossai, Flowers developemnt will be important. Keep an eye on Bulyca, Bush, Mason, Berglud, and Kava. If those four can contribute at a high level we have a chance. We need quality depth for the rotation, those big guys get tired. Garcia needs to stay healthy, we have zero depth at center. If Garcia gets hurt Walker would have to slide over from guard.

One of the great things about college football is every season is so different because of graduation and influx, you can never tell who is going to do well till the teams actually start playing. Until that happens it is all an educated guess.

As far as the magazines go I have always liked Athlon, Street and Smith...goes back to years ago when I was in grade school. I remember a magazine that used to have power ratings which was pretty cool. What I have found over the years is that they favor the teams with the most returning starters who were hot at the end of the year.

As far as my ratings, sure they are on the optimistic side, but this time of year is for optimism, we have plenty of time for negativity at a later date, why blow the euphoria now?

I really think Stanback is going to impress people this year, he is too good of an athlete not to do that.