Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Return of the Tree

Stanford is the worst team in the Pac Ten right now. Everything has gone wrong for the Tree this year as the team has been decimated by injuries since day one. Husky fans ask if things can get any worse, and yes they can, we could be Stanford...Oops oh ya we were worse than Stanford in Gilby's last season. Walt Harris is an excellent coach, and he will get things in order on the farm over time, but this year the depth and the injuries have been simply crippling.

After a full paragraph stating Stanford is the worst team in the Pac Ten, and perhaps the worst Pac Ten team of this decade (next to Gilby's Huskies) the Tree are going to come into Husky Stadium thinking Washington is very beatable. Yes, the Huskies don't scare the Tree, and they feel if they have a chance to win a Pac Ten game this year, this is the one. Washington despite being favored by more than twenty points is very ripe for upset going into this game. The five defeats in a row have taken a toll on UW. They have to bounce back and bring their A game this week or Stanford is going to beat them.

Washington State did us a huge favor by Couging it last week in Pullman against Arizona. They left the door open for the Huskies to go bowling if they win the next two. Ty is trying to hammer that fact home to his team this week. He knows that the possibility of a bowl is the only thing keeping this team from jumping off a cliff. The loss at Oregon really hurt this team. It was the first time all year you could say they were not competitive with an opponent.

What Stanford brings to the table first of all is a lack of offense which in this day of age is crippling. The Cardinal pop the champagne corks when they go over 200 yards in total offense. TC Ostrander the Card QB threw for 178 yards against the Trojans doubling his numbers from the previous week, but the Tree, like the Huskies are unable to get anything on the ground at this point of the season. Defensively the Cards aren't as bad as they appear because they are usually on the field all day long because the offense can't move the ball, or score.

The problem at Stanford isn't the current coaching staff even though they are under fire from Bay Area sports writers. The problem at Stanford is they simply don't have enough depth and talent left over from the previous Teevens regime. Harris surprised last season winning more than he should have with a little more talent and luck. That proved out of the box he is a pretty good coach, and what this year proves is that you can't turn wine into water unless you are a deity.

Stanford recruits nationally because of academics. The kind of kid who wants to go to Stanford ignores the record and realizes his chances for being a pro are just as good there than anywhere else. The plus is if he doesn't make it that far a Stanford degree will open any door he wants in the future. That being said if they give Harris time to sort the mess out the Tree will be back. Stanford will always be able to get their type of kid. Stanford will never be a traditional power, but they can play at the level of a WSU if they can develop some continuity and allow Harris the time to rebuild.

What Washington needs to do this week is take the Tree out of the game from the onset. Knock them out in the first quarter like USC did last week. Don't even let them think they can play with you. UW tends, except for last week to play at the level of their opponents. A flaw in this Ty Willingham team is that they don't seem to show enough emotion when they hit the field against an average opponent.

Pac Ten Power Ratings

1. California...Bears are pointing toward the showdown with USC.

2. USC...A victory over the Tree was just what the doctor ordered.

3. Oregon...The Duck's have what it takes to beat USC and end their home winning streak.

4. Oregon St...The Beavers have been one of the best teams in the league during the second half of this season.

5. WSU...The Cougars were all geared up for El Paso and then they Couged it against the Mildcats.

6. ASU...Did the OT win at UW take something out of these guys? They never showed up against OSU. Say goodbye Dirk.

7. Washington...A bowl is still a possibility if they can win out.

8. UCLA...This team plays everyone tough then loses. A very tough season for Coach Dorrell who is headed for the hot seat.

9. Arizona...Last year it was UCLA, this year it was WSU. The UA defense puts them in a position to win if they can score points.

10. Stanford...What does a Dawg do when he see's a Tree? He lifts his leg and pee's on it.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to say it, but the dawgs are likely out no matter what. At least all the articles this week basically say it. There will be no bowl for UW or even WSU if either team finishes 6-6, per the new rules in regards to a 12-game schedule. Every D-1 team with a winning record will get a bowl bid, period, and only after all winning record teams have been placed, then a 6-6 team will even be considered.

hairofthedawg said...

I have to agree anon, but it's probably theoretically possible. Objectively I don't think they deserve one, but the fan side of me would love to see it, more for what the players have done this year than making fans happy.

I understand that happy fans are contributing fans and I'm sure they do a lot behind the scenes that I'm not aware of, but, it certainly wasn't the fans that got me excited at times this year.

Color me purple, but I've enjoyed the progress. What does concern me a bit was something I've read in a few places. That's honoring more seniors than are listed as such. We're already thin and can only take so many and that leads me to think next year could end up like this one has. When we needed some depth it wasn't there. I've read that there are some ways around this but I don't know the legalities.

prrbrr said...

Last in offense, defense, etc means this should be a cakewalk, but who really knows when they meet on a field of battle. TW and his coaches must have them ready with an above average game plan for both O and D. If we should somehow manage to coog this game, it will totally negate any gains the team has made this year. We cannot play this game with a not to lose mentality, but come out looking for a convincing win. That is also something that this team needs to do to get to the next level. Last year was an improvement in discipline, this year so far proved this team can win games and be competitive with anybody (UO was a setback). Now this team needs to know they can destroy somebody who they should and also get a much needed win. I know a bowl is a very difficult reach, but win out and at least we have a chance. What a reward a bowl would be for this truly overachieving group of young men.

prrbrr said...

Sorry, but I forgot to put my $.02 on honoring 24 seniors. I guess my ? will be answered shortly as to who are not asked back, but (choke choke) I have to agree with a certain Gomer Domer that it may not make sense with the # of schollies available, our lack of depth anyway, and the message it sends to a kid you are RSing in his 1st year. I guess I will have to trust TW knows what he is doing on total #s and early (against last years quota) offers. Palmer for one could count for last year.

hairofthedawg said...

I know what you mean about the Domer, but, whether faulty or not, he has reasons behind his thoughts. I don't mind him as much as others do. I used to, but I quit when I read that he and DAVIDDAWG were actually civil with one another. Typing is one thing...that's what I like about this place...we "generally" agree, but even if we don't it doesn't turn into something I won't bother to read. I learn things here other than smart-ass comebacks. It's kind of funny in a way because in my fantasy football league I was accused of making guys think too much to reply to my smack talk. Turns out they preferred the F-you and "your mother does goats" variety.

I haven't seen that many games, but even against the Ducks, which I did see...no, now that I think about it, maybe we were playing not to lose against them. I'm glad you brought that up because I didn't think about it that way until now.

I don't see it happening on their final game in HS...playing not to lose, that is.

I'm always happy with an Apple Cup, although not ecstatic compared to a bowl. I prefer the extra practices along with everyone else.

Even though I can't control a damn thing that happens with the team, I'll remain a positive fan regardless. Maybe it's a virus becuase I've rarely set foot on the campus, but every love affair and/or illness has it ups and downs. Go Huskies!

Health Insurance Expert said...

PrrBrr- It makes a lot of sense, I don't want to name names, but there are kids that just simply are not going to come back for a 5th year because of injury. There are also some kids that will never climb the depth chart enought to play anyway, so replace them with kids that have a shot to contribute.

Unlike this year, many of the frosh we bring in next year will play right away which will significantly augment the depth. It doesn't make a lot of sense to keep dead weight around.