Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Around the Pac Ten Blogs

We are headed into the last weeks of the season. Washington, and Washington State are wrapping things up first this weekend with the Apple Cup. The rest of the Pac Ten has moved their classic rivarly games deeper into Novemeber. USC still has three to go with Cal, UCLA, and Notre Dame still left on the schedule. Once again thanks to a tough schedule the Trojans control their own destiny as they try to once again play in the National Championship game.

In Seattle we are about to make the transition into basketball, and football recruiting. Over the next couple of weeks we will be covering the Huskies pre conference basketball schedule, and provide some analysis as recruiting season gains some steam.

Let's take our weekly walk down Pac Ten Alley to see what our West Coast neigbors are up to this week.

Over at that Cow College in Pullman they are thinking threepeat.

"Who do you want at Quarterback, Alex Brink or Carl Bonnell/Johnny D? Obviously, any sane person would take Alex over those two jokes. And so, any one in their right mind would HAVE to install the Cougars as prohibitive favorites in this game. So, its on your shoulders, Alex. Win this one and we will have a leg to stand on for this season and beyond. Lose this one, and you will solidify yourself as the Biggest Bust that this program has witnessed over the last 30 years."

In Duckville they are ready to celebrate homecoming. Once again the dog will come home pregnant, and the garbage cans will be tipped over.

Look for the Ducks to come out of the gate running on all cylinders this week. After each of the first 2 losses, Oregon has come back to Autzen looking for revenge. I see nothing different this week as Oregon will win by 20. The weather looks to be a non-factor on Saturday with a prediction of cloudy skies and temps in the mid 50's with only a 10% chance of rain.

If you are a Beaver Believer you need to go to the Bay Area to watch this weeks game against Stanford.

In case you weren't watching, USC coach Pete Carroll let one slip on Saturday after Mike Bellotti challenged the reversal of the reversal of the original challenge. The Result? Touchdown Oregon. From the replay box, Phil Knight Smiles. (Warning: Language) The link is here.

Over at UCLA the talk is switching to basketball and also the return of Ben Olsen.

Olson, who said he had a talk with Coach Karl Dorrell about getting back on the field, would like to play this week against the Sun Devils but acknowledges that he may have to wait because of his injury. "I try and be chipper every day.... Every player wants to feel like they are supported," Olson said. "It's been tough being hurt. The whole thing is not a fun experience to go through.

When reviewing UCLA's non-conference opponents at the start of the season, many overlooked the BYU Cougars game on the schedule. However, there is an excellent chance this veteran and well-coached BYU team will make the NCAA tournament this year. Considering the experience, size, and depth of the Cougars, this will be a tough first regular-season game match-up for the Bruins.

At USC they know how to win in November.

On a day when three of their competitors for the national title got picked off, the USC Trojans didn't let their giddiness get the best of them. Instead, the joy of noting other teams' nosedives prevented Pete Carroll's team from following a similar course. The demise of Texas, Auburn and Cal is real, reports of the Trojans' demise have been greatly exaggerated.

At California they can finally stop looking ahead to USC, the biggest game of the Pac Ten season lost a bit of it's luster after the Bear's choked last week. Will Tedford ever get them to the Rose bowl?

The season is the playoff. That's the answer given by most purists to every proposed playoff system in college football. Implementing any kind of four, eight or 16-team playoff would, in their eyes, kill off the "Game of the Year" atmosphere that surrounds the sport week in and week out from early September through late November.

In Arizona they aren't postponing the start of basketball after the football team put together two wins in a row, but the basketball team lost against Virginia to send shivers up ther spine.

Against all that, the Cats dropped 90 points. The problem? They gave up 93. Every angle of this loss has already been looked at, every stone uncovered. There's little more to talk about, so we need to look ahead and see what was learned from the game against Virginia.

At Arizona State the blog is still dead, but the East Valley Tribune kicks in with some analysis from the win over WSU.

"There were some naysayers who felt that Washington State was going to come down and whip up on us," Catanese said. "It's nice when you can say that's not going to happen, and then come out and prove it."

Down on the Farm at Stanford consecutive wins aren't exactly a given.

"Now that it no longer has to hear questions about being winless, Stanford returned to practice Tuesday hopeful it can keep the momentum going. Of course, sending Washington to a sixth consecutive loss is one thing. Defeating Oregon State is another."

Sour Apples

Michael Braunstein and Chris Hemphill have started their own website to protest being let go a year early. Are these two guys complete idiots, or what? If you want to come back do it through the team, not on a website which only proves that Ty Willingham made the right decision regarding these two yo yo's.

Hemphill and Braunstein have made it clear they would like to return. Tuesday, on, a Web site popular among college students, Hemphill and Braunstein stated their case on a web page they helped organize. The page carried the title "I support Braunstein and Hemphill." On the page, which lists each of the two players as an administrator, the move by Willingham is called "absolutely ridiculous" and says "two players who are doing their jobs on the field should never be removed from a team. This not only disrupts team chemistry, but also creates a precedent that no recruit's future at Washington is certain. After that loss to Stanford on Nov. 11, 2006, the coaching staff might want to think about cutting themselves."

I think chances are pretty good that neither of these guys hit the field against WSU after Ty see this. Talk about disrupting team chemistry. Braunstein has to be the biggest idiot who wasn't a criminal to ever attend Washington. Hemphill, well he has to be an idiot too for listening to Braunstein.

National Notes

At Florida State Bobby Bowden's son has resigned as offensive coordinator. Will that be enough to save Bobby's job, or is it just a prelude to him stepping down? Bowden will be turning 78.

It's gotten bad enough at Florida State that the Kentucky coach Rich Brooks coach is talking trash about the Seminoles. According to Louisville Courier-Journal writer Brett Dawson, Rich Brooks, perhaps feeling chesty about clinching his first .500 record as a head coach since 1994, Monday praised offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins, formerly of Florida State. "It's nice to be able to get coaches that get let go at other places for whatever reason," Brooks said. "How's Florida State's offense doing this year? I just thought I'd throw that out there."

Joe Paterno on the other hand is secure in his job and may retake the field next week in their finale. you have to like this 80 year old guy who looks like he is going to outlast Bobby Bowden and go out the all time win leader.

To put all this Octogenarian stuff in perspective Jim Owens over in retirement in Kalispell is 79 years old. Can you imagine if he was still in the game at this point? Both Bowden and Paterno need to head off to the Sunset.

North Carolina picked up Butch Davis as their new head coach squelching the Willingham to UNC rumors. Darn it!

If you don't know who the Dead Schembechlers are by now, you're not paying enough attention. Even the real, septuagenarian Bo acknowledged their existence earlier this month, asking Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch, "Have you ever heard of the Dead Schembechlers? What the hell is that?" Here's what the hell it is: a quartet of Ohio State crazies who dress like Woody Hayes (4) and sing tender ballads such as "Bomb Ann Arbor Now" and "Wolverine Destroyer."

Watch out for Wake Forest, which has an opportunity to finish 11-1 by beating No. 19 Virginia Tech and No. 21 Maryland the next two weeks. If the Demon Deacons can close by beating Boston College, Florida State, the Hokies and the Terrapins, they will hit a BCS bowl.


prrbrr said...

I have never truly criticized a UW player before, but MBs antics now lead me to support TW strongly. I now fully understand and support Coach Willingham unequivocably for his jerking MBs scholly. What an a$$. Do not let the door hit you on your way out, you might damage the valuable door. Feel sorry in a way for C Hemphill, who probably didn't think through his participation in this sorry mess.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I have no problem at all with Braunstein leaving. Hope he enjoys paying for the first year of grad school if he can't catch a ride elsewhere.

I don't know what Hemphill was thinking, he had a chance till he joined forces with Mini Me.

hairofthedawg said...

I can't agree with you more, but I also wonder how much this is a result of the internet age. Would any of us even know this had it happened 15 years ago? John might, but I doubt I would have had any idea at all.

I'm not sure if that's good or bad yet. I lean toward good, but just like when I first heard about the situation, my thoughts are conflicted. The coach went public and the players followed suit. It's the coach's decision, that's for sure, and my initial reaction is that the players should just suck it up and accept the results of their behavior.

Although a football team isn't the military, I've always felt that when I was part of a team that the culture was sort of the same. Yeah, you bitch and moan behind closed doors, but the public part of your persona is that of a loyal member of the team. Your commander may have reason to attempt to improve/alter your behavior in a public manner. It happens. You deal with it and learn, or get your butt kicked out with a less than honorable. That's the best analogy I can come up with and the more I think of it, the more I like what it says about the future of the team. More guys I'd like in a foxhole with me and fewer whiny bitches.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I used to be connected back in the age of Owens, James, and Lambo, hed the opportunity when Neu took over but never really made the effort. With Ty nobody has an idea of whats going on, so I guess everyone is back to even ground.

I had some tough Woody Hayes type coaches that I loved and respected. I also had a few new age guys that were good too.

Ty is similar to Lambo, and James. In some ways he is a lot more understanding than thoise two were, but it is a different age.

I know one thing for sure, win, or lose the kids are being treated well, and are being led in the correct manner by the current coaching staff.

Ty's decision last week was a hindsight mistake that was made with the best of intentions. He tried to treat these guys upfront and with respect, and they were found wanting. The problem of course were the shock waves that went through the team.

hairofthedawg said...

The trouble with that John is the shock waves that go through the fans. Or, at least that's a lot of what I read about...big donor types. I'll personally always be a fan and am definitely not big money. I know it shouldn't matter, but it obviously does to some who are most influential in funding program improvements. I sometimes wonder whether they're the cause or the effect.

My favorite memories in life are those that were instilled by those that were tough on me and pushed me to excel. It sucked, and I complained, but inwardly. It made me who I am. I'm glad to be here that way. I just heard from a ballabro that he has a whole new perspective on life and while it sucks how he had to acquire it, I'm certain he's glad he did, or at least will be.

No, I don't really have a point. More venting than anything and I appreciate you allowing me to do so.

I guess, if anything, adversity isn't always a bad thing.

prrbrr said...

Hair, couldn't agree with you more. There is a time to discuss tactics and a time to suck it up and follow the orders of flight lead. MB would last about 1 month in a flying squadron. One last thought, if for some reason, Sweetman has to go in, I hope someone talks to him and tells him not to be a hero. Concentrate on getting that first snap from Garcia firmly in his grasp, then handoff to KJ. Lappano needs to build a Casey Paus Oregon type game plan for Sweetman if it happens. Rudy is a nice movie, but hopefully Sweetman will be well grounded and focused on getting the snap and handoffs without fumbling and throw safe short passes to keep the blood thirsty cougs off his neck. I would love however to see Sweetman lead the Dawgs on a TD drive, but since no one else was able to do that last weekend, may be a stretch. Emotion is still the answer to winning this game.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I want to see Sweetman go in, and I am sure the coaches want to see him play at least a series even if Carl is knocked out again, and Durocher can't go.

From what I understand Hemphill's name was put there as an administrator without his knowledge, it has since been removed. I can tell you this though, Ty wasn't impressed.

Braunstein is an ass,I hope they use Douglas for kick offs, and a walkon for extra points, and field goals. that will be a tough decison for Ty to make if it ends up costing him the ball game.

As far as damage to the program, losing to Stanford caused the damage. Cutting lose the seniors won't be remembered next month, and the subsequent behavior and attitude of Braunstein should mitigate any damage to potential recruits.

I would love to see us beat the Coug's and knock them out of a bowl.