Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bruins run away from Huskies

The Huskies are taking on #1 UCLA today in Pauley Pavillion trying to salvage a split on their road trip to LA. This will be the 29th time UW has faced a team rated No. 1 in the country. The Huskies are 2-26 in the previous 28 games, beating Stanford in 2004 and UCLA in 1979, both at home. UW is 0-10 on the road against teams ranked No. 1 in the country.

The Huskies came out slow but were at least hanging around until the last two minutes of the first half. UCLA scored nine unanswered points to end the half, including a three-pointer by Arron Afflalo as it ended, to take a 47-33 halftime lead.

UW's offense isn't clicking at all today, Justin Dentmon has three turnovers and is just 1-5 from the field and the Huskies are only 1-5 on three-point range. UW has to figure out a way to slow down Afflalo, who has 20 points. He's been hot against everyone who's covered him, mostly Adrian Oliver, and Phil Nelson.

Shades of Gonzaga when they had no answer for Raivio.

The flood gates opened in the second half as Washington trailed by as much 23 as the Bruins ran away with the game. Arron Afflalo equaled his career high with 27 points and tied a season high with five 3-pointers, and # 1 UCLA used aggressive runs in both halves to beat Washington 96-74.

Washington was led by 21 points from Spencer Hawes. Jon Brockman added 13 points. The Huskies are having major problems on the permiter this season, and committed 22 turnovers that led to 34 points for UCLA.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Huskies have tough time with USC

Washington still hasn't gotten it's road legs, and it showed last night against a less talented but solid USC team. The Huskies had to rally in the tight game to tie it on two Brockman free throws at the end to send the contest into overtime. The Huskies were sloppy in the first half but rallied to take a 36-31 lead at intermission, but the lead evaporated int he second half as USC matched the Huskies and kept their high scoring act under control with stiff defense. In overtime the teams were pretty even till the last minute when USC took a 3 point lead. The Huskies pulled it out again with a last minute three pointer from Spencer Hawes to send the game into a second OT. USC took advantage of a short-handed Washington team in the second overtime as four Huskies fouled out before it was over to pull away for an 86-79 victory.

Other Pac Ten Basketball Action

Oregon had little problem with Portland winning 76-49... . California fell to Arizona 94-85... . Stanford bested Arizona St 71-60... . Top ranked UCLA was taken to the wire by scrappy and improving WSU 55-52. alot of teams are going to have problems with the improving Coug's and their off beat tempo.

Cal Dispatches Texas A&M in Holiday Bowl

Cal was impressive in a 45-10 win over Texas A&M tonight in the Holiday Bowl. The healthy Bear's were able to show the speed they used running up an early 8-0 record in outclassing the Aggie's and giving the Pac Ten a much needed bowl win

Marshawn Lynch ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and the No. 20 Golden Bears' defense played impressively in a 45-10 win over No. 21 Texas A&M on Thursday night. Nate Longshore threw for a touchdown and ran for another, and Lynch's backup, Justin Forsett, ran for 124 yards and one score.

USC on Tap Tonight for Young Dawg's

The Huskies open the Pac Ten Season tonight in Los Angeles against USC in their new shiny home Galen Center on the campus of USC. Galen gives the Trojans something they have never had and that is an on campus arena that wasn't built in the stone age. The old LA Sports Arena was adjacent to campus but the place has been a cavernous dump since the Lakers left for the Fabulous Forum in the sixties.

Rainier Beach's Lodrick Stewart is the go to man for USC averaging over 14 points a game on the year. Stewart seems to have bought into new coach Tim Floyd's system... . This will be the first Husky game not televised back to the Northwest this season.

On paper the Huskies should have little problem with USC even though they are a solid team. For the young Dawg's showing they can win on the road and gain at least a split to start the conference season should be an achievable challenge coming off a big win against LSU last week.

Florida State hammers UCLA in Emerald Bowl

While UCLA hung tight with Florida State for three quarters, the Emerald Bowl seemed just as challenging to Bobby Bowden as any national championship game. The Seminoles' three-decade streak of winning football was in trouble until they blew out the Bruins by channeling a season's worth of frustration into a fantastic fourth quarter. Lorenzo Booker ran for 91 yards, caught five passes for 117 more and scored two touchdowns, leading Florida State to a 44-27 victory Wednesday night to complete Bowden's 30th straight year with a winning team.

For the Pac Ten it was the the tthird straight loss fo the bowl season and it doesn't get any easier with California facing Texas A&M in the holiday Bowl tonight.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pac Ten New Years Bowls

It is that time of year and once again we are headed into the stretch run of the bowl season with the gauntlet of games happening over the weekend with the big ones coming on Monday, followed by the BCS Championship the following weekend. So far the Pac Ten has been less than impressive in losses by Oregon to BYU in a less than expected thumping, and Arizona State's loss to Hawaii with a lame duck coach at the helm.

Oregon simply didn't show up, and the coaching on offense for the Duck's was clueless as they didn't utilize their biggest weapon Jon Stewart enough. Change is coming in Eugene, perhaps not this off season, but soon.

Coming up tonight is Florida State, and UCLA in San Francisco's Emerald Bowl. UCLA finished strong for once beating arch rival USC, and should be labeled as a team on the rise. I have to predict victory for the Bruins since this is probably the worst FSU team Bowden has fielded since he arrived in Tallahassee.

Tomorrow we have the Holiday Bowl which didn't make the weekend lineup. Ok, so it isn't a New Years game, but why can't it at least be played on the weekend especially since it is basically a three day weekend. The Pac Ten needs a stronger presence for it's #2 game. Cal didn't finish strong and is going to have a tough time even with improved health against an A&M team on the rise. I have to go with A&M.

The win over rival-Texas was the perfect ending to a successful 2006 regular season for Dennis Franchione's Aggies. Texas A&M's rushing attack, which ranks seventh in the country, can wear opponents down with a big offensive line paving the way. The Aggies are much improved defensively this year, especially versus the pass. The unit uses a 4-2-5 alignment and gets most of its pass rush pressure from junior DE Chris Harrington. The leader of the defense is 245-pound ILB Justin Warren, who has notched 90 tackles so far as a senior.

This is Cal's fastest team ever and one of the fastest in the country. The Golden Bears however have fizzled down the stretch. After reeling off eight consecutive wins, Cal lost two of its final three games of the 2006 regular season -- and nearly got upset by dismal archrival Stanford in the finale. But make no mistake, Jeff Tedford's team is loaded with talent and should benefit from extra time to regroup. The talented Defensive needs to stop making dumb mistakes for the Bear's to have a chance to win this one.

Oregon State and Missouri square off in the Sun Bowl on Saturday.

This Oregon State squad may be best known for its upset win over USC earlier this year and it appears that the momentum from that victory has carried over, as the Beavers won four of their last five. OSU frequently spreads the field with multiple-receiver sets, but he keeps opposing defenses off-balance by calling a good mix of runs and passes. On the defensive side of the ball, the front seven has been stout against the run and the Beavers have one of the most productive pass-rushes in the country.

Missouri's spread offense has shown great balance and is at its best when it can set up the running game with an efficient passing attack. Keep an eye on MLB Dedrick Harrington when the Tigers' defense takes the field. Harrington is a relentless run defender who makes plays all over the field and can get to the quarterback when asked to blitz.

Next on tap will be a classic in the Rose Bowl between USC, and Michigan. If both teams show up mentally prepared to play, this could be a classic Rose Bowl matchup and the best of all the BCS games. The position matchups are better than in any other BCS game. For example, Chad Henne and John David Booty are about even at the quarterback spot. Michigan's running game has an edge with Mike Hart, but USC has the advantage in the passing game with receivers Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett.

It's remarkable what coach Pete Carroll and his staff have done considering the NFL departures from a year ago, including Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, LenDale White, Winston Justice, Dominique Byrd, Darnell Bing and Frostee Rucker. After sputtering during the first half of the season, the Trojans got hot down the stretch until choking against UCLA. Carroll and first-year defensive coordinator Nick Holt have molded one of the most improved defensive units in the nation from last season. This is a great young team on the rise.

Give Michigan the edge on defense with its eighth-rated total defense, which allows only 14.6 points per game. For this reason, give Michigan the edge in the game if the Wolverines get over the disappointment of not playing in the BCS Championship Game.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Washington Rolls by Weber 80-51

The Huskies started slow falling behind 21-10 midway through the first half. UW pulled away with a 14-0 run to take a 38-30 advantage at half.

Brockman, and Hawes highlighted the otherwise ugly second half, in which Washington outscored Weber State Mildcats 42-21.

Center Spencer Hawes scored 23 points to tie his season high from two nights earlier and Jon Brockman had 18 points and 12 rebounds as UW overcame a slow start to beat Weber State 80-51 on Friday night.

Brockman threw down a thunderous dunk off a lob pass from Adrian Oliver behind Weber State's zone defense 3 1/2 minutes into the second half. The sophomore then led a fastbreak off a turnover, spun and got fouled while scoring in the lane. His free throw put Washington up 52-40. It was all downhill from there for the undermanned Wildcats.

UW wanted to avoid the slow start, but it was predictable after the emotional and taxing big game only two days earlier This team is beginning to solidify it's signature, and that is getting the ball inside to one of the best 1-2 punches at the power positions in the nation.

Next up is USC next Thursday, followed by #1 UCLA on New Years Eve at Pauley Pavillion. It doesn't get any easier after that as the next series features a visit from #9 Arizona. It would seem that we will know type of team this is going to be after the first couple weeks of the conference schedule. That being said, it is going to be a long bruising schedule through the 18 game gauntlet with an extra matinee for good measure against Pittsburgh.
The Pac Ten should be very battle tested by tournament time.

Weber State on tap tonight

Forgotten among all the hoopla of the LSU win on Wednesday is the fact we have another game this evening with Weber State. The game is the final tuneup before the opening of the Pac Ten season in Los Angeles next weekend.

The two teams have one common opponent in Southern Utah who beat the Wildcats by 12 earlier this month. The Huskies on the other hand had no problem with Southern Utah. This one could be over very early if Washington shows up with the same intensity, and game plan it had against LSU. Things are clicking for Washington who are finally utilizing their big men on offense.

Randy Rahe takes over as the new head coach of the Wildcats. Rahe accepted the position last March. Rahe comes to WSU from the University of Utah where he was an assistant for the past two seasons under Coach Ray Giacoletti.

The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1989-90/1990-91. ... WSU was 10-17 last season and 4-10 in Big Sky Conference play. The ‘Cats tied for 7th in the league standings with Idaho State. They failed to make the Big Sky Conference Post-Season Tournament for the first time since 1980-81 and for only the second time in the 30-year history of the event.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hawes led Huskies Rout LSU

Spencer Hawes had a coming out party tonight at Hec Ed. He was just unstoppable on both ends of the court and outplayed the gassed "Big Baby" in a national meeting of touted big men. To be fair it was John Brockman who drew the job of pounding on Davis. Brockman had one of his all time great games. Washington came out hot, and stayed hot, the Tigers were never in this game. It was quite a turnaround from the Gonzaga game of last week where the Huskies were on the losing end of the hammer.

The Huskies led by as many as 19 points during a frenetic first half, which ended with Washington up 50-36. Hawes scored 14 points, almost all over Davis on his array of beyond-his-years post moves.

Washington scored on seven of its first nine possessions of the second half to maintain its lead. When Hawes swished a fadeaway from 18 feet over Davis, Davis smiled at Hawes and Hawes returned the grin. Hawes then made consecutive jumpers with Magnum Rolle's hand in his face at the top of the key. They put Washington ahead 57-43.

Spencer Hawes, Washington's heralded freshman center dominated preseason All-American Glen Davis with 23 points and 12 rebounds, both season highs, and led the 17th-ranked Huskies to an 88-72 runaway victory over #12 LSU. Hawes was 10-for-16 from the field, shooting fadeaways, hook shots, jumpers and spinners, most against the bewildered Davis. Jon Brockman added 19 points and 14 rebounds for Washington (9-1), which won its 26th consecutive nonconference home game while hosting an SEC team for the first time since 1985.

"Big Baby" Davis scored eight points on 3-for-11 shooting, ending a streak of 48 consecutive games of scoring in double figures. He and Brockman traded elbows and jersey grabs for much of Davis' lowest-scoring game since he had eight points at Mississippi as a freshman two seasons ago. Last season's SEC player of the year went 21:24 between his first field goal, and a putback with 7:56 left that cut Washington's lead to 77-56. Tasmin Mitchell scored 20 points for LSU which dropped to 1-2 against ranked teams this season.

Washington showed tonight that they learn, and mature quickly under the guidance of Coach Romar. It seemed like it was a completely different team out on the floor from only a week ago. UW has one more non conference game against Weber State before they jump from the frying pan into the fire against USC, and #1 UCLA on the road in Los Angeles. Looks like Coach Romar has them ready.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Around the Pac Ten Blogs

Washington vs LSU

The 17th-ranked (AP) Washington Huskies (8-1) host a rare game against a Southeastern Conference foe when No. 12 LSU (6-2) invades Bank of America Arena, Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m. LSU, which advanced to the 2006 Final Four, is the second of three ranked opponents for the Huskies during their current six-game stretch. UW visits top-ranked UCLA on Dec. 31. The Tigers make their first Seattle appearance since defeating the Huskies 70-61 in their last meeting on Nov. 27, 1985. That was the last time an SEC member played at Washington. The Huskies opened the season with eight consecutive home victories, beginning with a three-game sweep en route to the championship of the Basketball Travelers Classic. The LSU contest is the second of three straight home games for the Huskies who then begin Pac-10 play in Los Angeles. The Huskies entertain Weber State on Friday, Dec. 22 in their final non-conference home game.

The Star for LSU is 6'9 290 lb Glen Davis whose nickname is "Big Baby". "Big Baby" is a charismatic force in the middle for the Tigers and will provide a big test for Washington's equally talented front court of Hawes, and Brockman. He averaged 18.6 points and 9.7 rebounds last season, and he was named an All-American and SEC Player of the Year. He helped lead the Tigers to the Final Four as a sophomore and has even better numbers this season after shedding about 50 pounds, allowing him to stay on the court longer. He's averaging 20.1 points and 10.3 rebounds through eight games. "Big Baby" also is a very good guy and it should be fun for the Northwest fans to watch this Charles Barkley like clone. He may play somewhat like Barkley, but he has a sweet, but competitive temperment that just charms the crowd.

The Tigers like the Huskies have been hit hard by graduation, and are a little raw out along the perimeter. Oregon State played them, and narrowly lost to them in Corvallis on Sunday. According to the Oregonian the Beavers played a zone to isolate Big Baby but still couldn't overcome them in the end. UW isn't a zone team so it will be interesting to see what Coach Romar decides to throw at the Tigers.


The Huskies picked up another big time recruit from California to bolster the Defensive Line. Go over to Dawgman to check it out.

Idaho hires Akey

The University of Idaho conducted a nationwide search that included former coach John L. Smith, and Montana St Coach Mike Kramer, but ended up with WSU Def Coordinator Rob Akey who was about eight miles away. Former Idaho, and Michigan State coach John L. Smith and Montana State coach and former Idaho player Mike Kramer withdrew their names from consideration last week.

I expected the Vandal's to end up with Smith who like Erikson would vault to the next Pac Ten opening, but Akey is a great pick because he is only 40 and is the recipient of either a dead end to his career, or a a good position to vault into a Pac ten job if he can produce some wins.

Pac Ten Alley

Now it's time to take a walk down the coast and see what the neighbors are up to in the Pac Nine this week.

USC's basketball program is on the upswing with Tim Floyd at the helm. The football team prepares for Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

USC tailback Chauncey Washington revealed Monday that his sprained knee was actually a tear of the medial collateral ligament, which explains why his recovery was so slow. Washington suffered the injury against Oregon on Nov.11 and is still not 100 percent, although he said he hopes all the swelling in his knee goes down by the end of the week.

In California they are still battling over the plans to renovate Memorial Stadium as they prepare for yet another Holiday Bowl. Looks like Lynch is headed to the draft.

Jeff Tedford said Monday he hasn't yet had his summit sitdown with Marshawn Lynch about the star tailback's plans for next year. Maybe that's because the coach already knows what he's going to hear, even though he publicly professes that he doesn't. That would be that the Dec.28 Holiday Bowl against Texas A&M will be Lynch's last game as a collegian at Cal, because the lure of the NFL is simply too strong to pass up for the junior from Oakland.

Is Oregon a basketball school again? The Duck's are also reeling in the best football recruiting class in their history.

Oregon senior defensive end Darius Sanders, who led the Ducks in sacks in the regular season, did not travel with the team Monday morning to Las Vegas. The Ducks practiced in cold, breezy conditions at the Lied Athletic Complex on the campus of UNLV as they continued preparing for Thursday’s Las Vegas Bowl matchup with BYU.

At Oregon St they have a little basketball resurgence going on and the football team is preparing for Gary Pinkel and his Missouri Tigers. Still they digress back to the good old days when DE was at the helm.

I mean, come on. Here's a guy that's won two National Championships with Miami, turned our Oregon State team around after 20-some consecutive losing seasons, and you don't expect him to get offers in the off-season.

At UCLA they have the #1 basketball team in the country, and the football team is preparing for the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco to play Florida State. The UCLA blog is one of the very best out there. This guy is funny, he is brutal, and if anything mysterious ever happens to Karl Dorrell you know he was involved.

Once again the Bruins pulled out a ho-hum, methodical win by comfortable margin over a pretty good mid-major team in a game that was close at the outset, and once again the beat writers are whining and bitching for no reason. In a night when many of the top-ranked teams were locked in close battles for most of their games, before putting the game out of reach in second half, the Bruins followed the pattern by starting the game in a sluggish manner, however eventually finding their defensive intensity, and wore down yet another team.

In Arizona basketball season is now in full swing and the long suffering Wildcat fans now have something to root for until March.

Perhaps the most universally accepted way to judge whether or not a college football program had a good year is if that team plays in a bowl game. Some bowl games obviously mean more than others, but to be invited to one signifies that your team made it to the postseason while many others did not. From the number of wins a team has to the potential revenue a team's fan base might produce, there are multiple factors which go into deciding which teams are deserving of a bowl. It is the idea of who deserves to go to the postseason and the process used to make that determination that I wish to address in this blog. The purpose of a bowl is to reward a team for a good regular season. Well, at least that is what we are led to believe.

Arizona St has officially announced that Eric Yarber has accepted a position on Dennis Erickson's staff. Word on the street is Eric will be the new recruiting coordinator.

Craig Bray, a former Erickson aide who is an assistant at Minnesota, has been speculated to fill the defensive coordinator position. The confirmed assistants are Rich Olson offensive coordinator, Gregg Smith offensive line, Dan Cozzetto tight ends, Eric Yarber receivers, Grady Stretz defensive line, Al Simmons cornerbacks, and Jamie Christian, role to be determined."It's a staff I like and know I can rely on," Erickson said. "I'm happy with how it's come together. We haven't been turned down by anyone we offered a job to."

Is Washington St turning into a basketball school after beating the Zag's at home? They also mourn the loss of Coach Robb Akey to Idaho. Nice thing about taking that job, you don't have to box everything up and move.

I'll miss his post-game comments on the radio broadcast, where he was so hoarse he couldn't speak. The guy brought the enthusiasm, no question, and he could coach defense pretty well. Remains to be seen how things unfold going forward. What assistants will he try and take with him? Will any of them want to go work for Akey 8 miles down the road, or will they want to stay and coach in the Pac-10? Who will be the new defensive coordinator?

At Stanford they are welcoming Jim Harbaugh as the next coach of the Tree. Harbaugh is a curious choice because he doesn't have a lot head coaching experience. He comes from U of San Diego which has a non scholarship football program. I would have opted for Stanford Alum, and ex Husky LB coach Tom Williams.

Jim Harbaugh blasted through the door at Stanford, merrily shook Bill Walsh's hand, cracked a nuclear-powered smile and stood at the podium like he was trying to sell me something. Yes sir, Harbaugh's an attention-getter all right, a mega-pixel personality arriving at Stanford's neediest, darkest football moment. Will Harbaugh fix the Cardinal? Impossible to know until we see him on the field, chattering to his players and, well, actually coaching football.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The University Steps up to the Plate

The future 520, and Sound Transit projects are going to have a major impact on Univesity of Washington Athletics, the Medical School, and the entire Montlake corridor. The University has decided to step up to the plate by asking for a considerable sum of money to mitigate those impacts.

Before construction starts, the state Department of Transportation should build two parking garages with a total of 730 stalls, for $34 million, according to a list the UW furnished to The Seattle Times. The UW is asking for $60 million more to make up for what university officials say would be higher costs for a proposed stadium remodel, if highway work is happening at the same time.

The UW wants something even bigger from the state: a one-mile landscaped lid over Montlake Boulevard in the event the state widens it to six lanes, and an additional 2,000-stall garage. I have always liked the idea of a pedestrian plaza outside of the stadium with the highway running underneath. It is a nice way to tie the upper, lower, and athletic campuses together.

The wish list also includes $3 million for years of lost ticket sales in football and basketball — presuming some fans would stay home - plus $25 million to the medical center, if some patients avoid it while nearby streets are torn up.

When you are looking for ways to fund what basically will be a new stadium and athletic complex there is no better way to get the ball rolling than by asking for some type of public funding. The state should pay at least that much to mitigate the damages to the area during, and after consruction.

They haven't gone public with what they plan to do with Sound Transit, but you can bet they will also want to be compensated for mitigation of impact on that project also. One thing you all saw in the remodel drawing was an impressive garage complex attached to the stadium, well I guess this is what will fund that. The garage would help mitigate the impact of lost parking paces during construction.

The stadium model will cost in the 200 million dollar range and it looks like UW is moving ahead with a stipend from the state, and possibly Sound Transit to get it all going. We are talking a lot of money here, and that is what it is going to have to happen to kick start this thing during the construction periods of 520, and the Light Rail Tunnel.

The Monday Morning Wash

Let' start with a little good news. Washington senior punter Sean Douglas, who completed his career as the Huskies' career punting average leader, was earned honorable mention on the Pro Football Weekly All-American team, announced on Friday. Douglas should have a good future in the pro's if he can work with someone to speed him up a bit.

Now for the not as good news. First the Husky volleyball team was eliminated Stanford in the Final Four. Secondly, WR Coach Eric Yarber has accepted a position on the Arizona State Sun Devils staff under his old friend, and mentor Dennis Erickson. On the boards fans are cutting their wrists over this, but to me it was expected, and in the long term will have little impact. In other words I'm not too worried, even though you hate to lose a recruiter like Yarber.

How does this affect recruiting?

Coach Yarber is unquestionably one of the best recruiters on the coast because he has great ties in the Southern California area, particularly in inner city area's such as Compton which is always a hotbed for talent. As a position coach he has the respect of his players who of course are impressed by the players he helped guide into the NFL especially while he was at Oregon State. Add to the fact that he has a couple of stints actually coaching in the NFL under Erickson, and you have the exact guy you need to coach WR's, and of course recruit skill players.

It might sway a player or two in the fold to have some second thoughts even though they should be picking the school rather than an assistant coach. Husky fans should feel fortunate that Bob Simmons is currently on the staff. Simmons has done an excellent job since he has been here as a recruiter. Washington should have little problem picking up the slack.

Why did Yarber leave now?

This is annually the time where you might lose an assistant to a new regime program like ASU. Just like when Ty came to Washington, Dennis has to put together a staff at ASU and he is going to call on his closest friends and colleagues to help him put it together. This is also a fair time for coaches to make a change. Recruiting is pretty much over for the next three weeks as we move into the biggest dead period of the year. Things of course start all over after that, and a program like ASU only has a month to put together a solid class.

Who will replace Yarber?

UW could fill the position internally by moving over Trent Miles who has more experience as a WR coach than he does with RB's. This would allow UW to bring in someone dynamic to coach the RB's. Jerry Rice is a name that has been floated on a couple of websites, even though he knows Ty, it is pretty unlikely. If Rice wants to coach there is always the NFL which pays more. Whoever it is count on Washington to hire someone that excites us, and can recruit.

Should we be upset?

No, this stuff happens every year in every program. Assistant coaches move around and have little job security. JD Williams coming to UW from Cal last year was a major coup. So you win some, and you lose some. Yarber served the University well, and the move has more to do with his prior relationship with Dennis Erickson than anything else. Washington will fill the opening with someone who will be just as impressive. We will all miss Yarber, but you have to love the way Ty has built his staff since he has been here.

Will ASU try to pry away UW's verbals?

No, generally there is always a gentlemens agreement when changes like this are made mid year. The assistant coach leaves alone the players he was recruiting at the previous school. UW could lose a player, or two because of this, but it shouldn't be because ASU recruited them away. Erickson will not be the last coach Yarber ever works for, so leaving without burning bridges is always smart.

Weekend Recruiting News

The Huskies lost out on OL Taylor Dever, OL Fred Koloto, and WR Drew Davis on Friday as they chose Notre Dame, San Jose St, and Oregon respectively. Davis choosing Oregon is a surprise to me since he wants to be an engineer and Oregon lacks an engineering school. I didn't think Davis was UW bound despite what Brand X had to say, and I doubt Yarber leaving had any impact on that decision. Oregon's facilities won that battle in the end. Just another reminder that facility upgrades at UW will be critical in staying competitive. Dever has been a Notre Dame lock ever since Weis came to visit him at his High School. Koloto's decision is just strange, he was just more comfortable staying home than leaving the area to go to a more prestigious school like UW. Might be the first time a kid turned down UW, and Nebraska to go to San Jose St.

The coaches were out on the road this weekend as the Holiday dead period approaches. There are no visits scheduled due to the fact school is now out till the new year begins.

Jim Mora Jr.

Jim Mora Jr. The head coach of the Atlanta Falcons let it be known that if the University of Washington head coaching job ever becomes available he would be first in line with his resume even if his team was in the playoffs. He went on to say he was supportive of Ty Willingham, and felt he had the program headed in the right direction. The interview done on the Softy show of course got back to Atlanta, and then if got some national airplay which was critical of Mora. Mora's comeback was that he was just joking in his hometown on the radio with his college room mate. To me I think it is great that Mora is ready, and no I don't think he was joking, or very smart to be talking about it anyway. The UW coaching position won't be open for at least two years, and he is currently in a very precarious position in Atlanta. That slip of the lip could cost him his job at the end of the season. It also wasn't very fair to Willingham, but that's life, and now Jim Jr. Has a lot of explaining to do.

UW Men clobber Portland St 105-73

Justin Dentmon scored 18 points and had a career-high nine rebounds, Spencer Hawes had 16 points and five blocked shots and No. 17 Washington dominated Portland State throughout in a 105-73 victory Saturday night. Hawes' fellow freshman, Quincy Pondexter, added 16 points, his team leading scoring average coming in, and Ryan Appleby had 14. LSU comes to Hec Ed on Wednesday night. It will be interesting to see how the Huskies respond against a solid Tiger team, look at it as a true barometer going into conference play.

Husky Women Upset Florida State

Led by 18 points apiece from senior guard Cameo Hicks and junior center Andrea Plouffe, Washington women's basketball won its fourth-straight game with an 84-65 upset over No. 23 Florida State at Bank of America Arena, Sunday. The Huskies improved their overall record to 7-4 and handed the Seminoles (10-2) just their second loss of the season. Hicks led the way for Washington (7-4) with team-highs of nine rebounds, six assists and four steals to go along with her 18-point scoring performance. Also joining Hicks and Plouffe in double-figures was senior guard Cheri Craddock who tallied a season-high 15 points off the bench.

Huskies Land Four on All American Volleyball Team

Four University of Washington volleyball players have received All-America honors, it was announced today by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Senior setter Courtney Thompson and junior outside hitter Christal Morrison were first team picks, while junior middle blocker Alesha Deesing was a second team honoree and sophomore middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick was a third team selection. Washington and Nebraska were the only teams to have four players earn All-America honors. The Huskies, who have earned 19 All-America awards, have won 11 in the last three seasons and 13 since head coach Jim McLaughlin took over the program in 2001. Eleven of Washington's honorees have been first team selections.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Recruiting Summary

Washington has 13 visits set up so far for the week after Christmas with the cream of California mixed in with 4 current verbals to help the cause along. That means at least nine who haven't verbaled will be visiting Montlake with a few more surprises to be invited.

The Huskies currently have 21 commitments, three of them counting for 2006. They will take up to thirty if they can make room. To take 30 they need two more early enrollee's. Drew Davis falls in that category. JC's count toward 2006 too, but it remains to be seen if Washington will be able to get Dawson, or Thompson in on time. Right now it looks like they have 28 spots open.

On Offense Washington needs two more committments on the line. Koloto could pop by the end of the week, and Paleilei is working on his SAT's. Both are good bets to commit to UW. Dever, and Weems are more longshots, but I can't see the Dawg's passing up on either if they want to come. In addition to that they would take a WR/DB like Drew Davis, or Reggie Dunn to round out the class. The addition of either of these guys would be the icing on the cake. Davis is going to make a decision between CAL, UCLA, Oregon, and UW by the end of the week. I think it will come down to UW, and UCLA.

On Defensive the Huskies would like to take two more on the line. Nick Wood is about to make a decision, and the Huskies are probably going to be it. Matt Masifilo from Hawaii recently put UW in his final three, but he is leaning toward Stanford. I think we may be filled up at LB.

The Huskies have lots of potential suitors to fill out the defensive backfield. The Huskies could take as many as four more DB's. At CB Eddie Wide who visited last week could pop before the New Year. CB David Ross is a soft commit to Nebraska who will still visit along with WR/CB Reggie Dunn.

On the JC front Hilton, and Thompson have fallen off the board, and Davenport is headed to WSU. The Huskies still are trying to find a couple of kids who can get in early and contribute next year. Omar Bolden, and Shane Horton are the top two HS safeties left on the board. Both are highly rated, have high interest, and have offers. Horton is intriuging to the Huskies because he can also play QB if needed. He might make a good insurance policy for next year when only three QB's will be on the roster. Long term though he is a DB.

Offense (11-14)

QB Ron Fouch (Verbal-Red) California (Counts toward 2006)

TB Willie Griffin (Verbal-Blue) California

TB Curtis Shaw (Verbal-Blue) California

TB Brandon Johnson California (Verbal-Blue)

WR Drew Davis (Good Interest -Blue) Colorado (Counts toward 2006)

WR Anthony Boyles (Verbal-Blue) California

WR Devin Aguilar (Verbal-Blue) Colorado

WR Alvin Logan (Verbal-Red) Colorado
TE Chris Izbicki (Verbal-Blue) Washington

OL Imeka Iweka (Verbal-Red) Washington

OL Scott Schugert (Verbal-Red) Oregon

OL Pou Paleilei (High Interest-Blue) Nevada

OL Fred Koloto (High Interest - Red)) California (Visits this weekend)

OL Skyler Fancher (Verbal-Red) California

OL Taylor Dever California (Blue), Darrion Weems California (Blue)

Defense (8-14)

DT Nick Wood (High Interest-Red) California

DT Tyrone Duncan California (White) Matt Masifilo Blue Hawaii

DE Billy Winn-Red Nevada, Ernest Owusu-Red New Jersey

DE Kelani Aldrich (Verbal-Red) Hawaii

MLB Austin Sylvester (Verbal-White) New Jersey (Counts toward 2006)

WLB Mason Foster (Verbal-White) California

SLB Howard Bowens California (High Interest - Red), Chike Amajoyi California (High Interest - Red)

CB Jared Campbell (Verbal-Red) Colorado

CB Vonzell Mc Dowell (Verbal-Blue) Washington

CB David Ross California - Blue, Eddie Wide - Red Nevada, Reggie Dunn California Blue, James Davis California Blue

Omar Bolden California (High Interest - Red) Shane Horton California (High Interest - Red)

S Brandon Yakaboski (Verbal - White) Washington

S Quinton Richardson (Verbal - Red) Washington

S Nate Williams (Verbal - Red) Washington

Specialties (2-2)

K Kevin Folk (Verbal - Red) California

P Jared Ballman (Verbal - Red) California JC (Counts toward 2006)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Around the Pac Ten Blogs

This is one of the deadest weeks in the year with finals going on, the football team not in a bowl, and no announced recruits coming in so far for the weekend. Still the Volleyball team will open up the defense of it's National Championship in Omaha this evening, and the football team is trying to find a couple more early qualifiers.

Speaking of recruiting the Huskies have 7 more spots to fill with HS players. They have two more to fill with early qualifiers. One nice thing going on is they have more highly rated players still interested than spots available. The class is currently ranked at 25 nationally, and in the top 3-4 in the league which is about right. With some star power at the end the Huskies realistically could finish inside the top twenty which was the goal, and neccesity this year.

Johnny Durocher is toying with playing college football again. You have to love the spirit, and question the wisdom.

Check out the Volleyball game tonight. there will be 17,000 fans in the stands for it. People question since there are 3 Pac Ten teams in the Finals why hold the event in the Midwest? I have 17,000 answers for you. Of the 25 NCAA titles awarded, 13 have been won by Pac-10 teams: Stanford (six), USC (three), UCLA (three) and Washington (one). Five times Pac-10 teams have met in the final. Only in softball, where Pac-10 teams have won 19 of 25 NCAA titles, is the conference so dominant in a sport. Washington is just the 13th school in 26 years of NCAA women's tournaments to string together three consecutive Final Four appearances.

Nothing new to report on the basketball front. Hope Romar is making some progress with defense, and ball handling. The team wasn't scheduled to practice on Wednesday allowing players some time to finish up academic work and also allow some of the coaches to hit the road recruiting for a day or so.

A number of notable recruits are going to make their choices at the end of the week so stay tuned to Dawgman for the latest in recruiting information.

Let's take a walk down Pac Ten Alley, and see what the neighbors on the coast are up to.

At USC they are saying they won't lose as many players to the NFL as they did last season. Looks like Sedrick Ellis is not coming out.

Scott Wolf is reporting that Sedrick Ellis has decided to stay in the Cardinal & Gold for his senior season. He states that Lawrence Jackson's decision to stay weighed heavily on his decision. "He's my boy," Ellis said. "That put the laminate sealing on it."

At California they wonder what it will take to get to a Rose Bowl.

This has been a very frustrating football season for Cal followers. This team had great talent, but it didn't play that way often enough. Now the Golden Bears are going back to the Holiday Bowl, which should be renamed the Consolation Bowl. What can the Bears do to get to the Rose Bowl -- or another BCS bowl?

At Oregon State the Beaver's are excited about new construction at Reser, and are breathing a sigh of relief that Mike Riley didn't head to ASU.

"Had we known that we were going to end up in this situation we would never have gone down that road. We made a commitment and we thought we had a commitment from the other end, but I wish Dennis Erickson the best."

At Oregon the game of what is it continues, and the basketball team is ranked for the first time in a few years.

Off to its best start in 11 seasons and ranked for the first time in nearly four years, Oregon (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP) wasn't about to let a slow start keep it down.

At UCLA they revel in having the number one basketball team in the nation, and they take a look at the matchup of the mediocre coming up at the Emerald Bowl.

Earlier in the week we started looking into the offensive and defensive statistical matchups between UCLA and Florida State. As some of the commenters pointed out in that post UCLA jus cannot afford to take FSU lightly like it may have overlooked Fresno State and Wyoming in Dorrell's first two bowl games. FSU is coming into this game with a very mediocre 6-6 record (as oppose to UCLA's mediocre 7-5).

Over at WSU they are excited about basketball and take some shots at Dennis Erickson.

You can almost picture the billboard: "Coming to Sun Devil Stadium, it's Dennis Erickson! Tickets Going Fast, HURRY! Limited Time Engagement! He'll be gone before you know it!"

In Arizona they are putting there wish list together for 2007.

I've been good this year. Maybe the best I've ever been. I cleaned the house while watching college football. I listened to my wife even when sports were on T.V. . I paid my dues. So I expect to be handsomely rewarded this Christmas morn' So I compiled a wish list... .

At Stanford they are into the Volleyball Final Four, and are still looking for a new head football coach. Tom Williams is a good young choice with deep Stanford roots.

San Jose State co-defensive coordinator Tom Williams has met with Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby, according to a source close to Stanford, and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Greg Knapp also has been contacted by the school to gauge his interest in the position, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Finally at Arizona State the news is what else, Dennis Erickson.

Arizona State hired Dennis Erickson this week in a process that was different than the hiring of basketball coach Herb Sendek in April, said ASU Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love, who hired both coaches.The difference is in tradition. ASU football has some, which gave Love something to sell.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Monday Morning Wash

Tough weekend if you were a Seattle sports fan who wasn't into Womens Volleyball. The Seahawks fumbled away a win against Arizona, and the Husky basketball team was flattened by Gonzaga. the sun of course will rise again, and all will be well as the season progresses for both teams. The Womens Volleyball team however qualified for it's third straight trip to the final four, and the Womens Basketball team beat Texas A&M, and Nevada.

Womens basketball at Washington actually outdrew the mens team for awhile back in the days of Chris Gobrecht, but have fallen on hard times at the gate under June Daugherty. This will probably be the last year for June as Turner has hinted he wants more wins, and attendance from the program. The program has failed to attract the best in state talent for quite some time so change may be in order. I found myself enjoying the womens game when Gorbrecht was here, but for some reason the team hasn't really clicked, or created local excitement since she left after having problems with her players. Womens basketball is capable of drawing 4-5 thousand per night under the right circumstances, and Turner is up to the challenge of making the supposed non revenue sports more self supporting. What that means of course is more money for football which is the engine that drives the program.

Football Recruiting

Washington had the biggest recruiting weekend so far this year, and picked up commitments from four recruits, RB Shaw, OL Fancher, P Ballman, and WR Boyles. You have to label Boyles commit as soft since he may continue to take visits. OL Koloto, and CB Wide enjoyed their trips but will continue to visit other schools.

Where does that put Washington? There is still lots of work to do with 21 in the bag, and as many as nine more to still to take. JC S Hilton Dawson will be in sometime this week, and if we are in on any more JC's they will also be in sometime this week to visit. After that we will have the Christmas quiet period followed by one more big weekend full of top California recruits before the scramble to fill the last holes begin.

How is Washington doing? If you follow recruiting services such as Scout, and Rivals the Huskies rank 4th in the Pac Ten behind USC, Oregon, and UCLA, and just ahead of California. Cal had a great weekend so UW should fall into the 5th slot once everything is tallied later in the week. Nationally the Huskies are in the low 30's, the Bruins at 25, Ducks at 16, and USC at 7. UW needs to close strong in January when they have as many as 11 visits with California studs scheduled the week after New Years.

DE/LB DJ Holt verbaled to Cal this weekend and it is unclear if he will trip UW. Drew Davis had a great visit at Cal but hasn't verbaled. UW may have fallen behind Cal, and UCLA for his services. As with every recruiting season there are surprises and dissapointments as the last two months are played out.

Washington has a solid class so far, and need at the skill positions has been answered in spades, but unless they can get some big uglies in over the next couple of weeks the class will fail to meet expectations. The key over the next couple weeks will be the lineman. As we said before Washington can't afford any mistakes here.

Stay tuned to Dawgman for the latest in recruiting news. The chat room was full mid morning till late last night so stay close to the source since there should be more commits during the week. Class is over at UW for the quarter so if kids visit it could be midweek.

Updated Recruiting Rankings Released

Just after I published I noticed that the new recruiting ranking were out this morning by Scout, and Rivals. The Huskies moved up to #25 in Scout, good for 4th in the conference, only one slot behind UCLA. They are #28 with Rivals, and 3rd in the conference, with UCLA, and Cal behind them. The Ducks are rated inside the Top Twenty which means they are having one of their best all time classes on paper up to this point. The Huskies can rise into the Top Twenty too if they close on some linemen, and pick up a couple more highly rated kids that are very interested in them. UW still has some big time studs on the board. USC is still rated 7th, and with 7 more schollies to give out should rise like a bullet. The Trojans only sign 4's, and 5's. Having only 17 to give out, and recruiting nationally has helped the other conference teams. Boyles who we listed as a soft verbal is one of those kids that USC doesn't have room for this year.

A large, and balanced top twenty class is what Washington needs to start regaining it's position on the grid iron. A class of thirty with as many as ten playing right away will fill a lot of holes. Let's hope they finish strong on the line's.

Bob Condotta of the Times says, "This stuff is all incredibly speculative --- we all know stories of the one-star recruit who turned into a star (Steve Emtman) or the five-star recruit who turned into a bust --- but it's worth nothing that while the Huskies are fourth in terms of overall points in this ranking, they are ninth in terms of average rating per recruit. Still, the Huskies desperately need numbers right now, and they appear to be getting that, which may be the most important thing of all for this class."

The Huskies have a number of one stars, and in-state recruits like Yakaboski, Richardson, and Williams only were given two. That impacts the overall rating, but that is where you lean toward the evaluation talents of the coaches rather than the recruiting services. UW has seen these kids up close, and they have had them in to camp, they know what they can do. I don;t see much risk here.

Mason, Sylvester, Fancher, and Campbell are the one stars who haven't been evaluated. I saw Mason's film, and he was a player, just all over the field, and he was the QB on offense. This kid has a lot of speed, and should do well. In Sylvester's film he just knocked everyone back in their tracks. He is a 5th year HS guy, so exactly how that translates I don't know. Fancher, and Campbell are locks to be three stars once evaluated. Rivals already has Campbell as a three.

Willingham has garnered some nuggets from this category so far. Guy's that fit this description would be MLB Butler, FB Homer, LS Morovick, DE Jones, WLB Stevens, OL Rosbourough, DT Kosub, WR Goodwin, OL Sedillo, WLB Houston, and S Wells. Looks like at least five starters for next year in that group. TE Williams, and JC CB Murchison haven't really hit the field so we will see how that goes. With Williams it is a matter of four guys currently being better than him, and for Murchison it was a troubling knee injury that forced him to redshirt last year. Murchison will compete with Mosley for the other starting job along side Ray Lewis.

My point is not many misses in the one, and two star category in his last two classes. Evaluation is key.

Whats up this week

The Volleyball team heads to Omaha for the Final four with the first match on Thursday against Nebraska in front of 15,000 screaming people wearing red. Should be some must see TV. I am not really into Volleyball, but I do follow this team when they get to the Final Four. Washington has won so few NCAA championships outside of Crew in it's overall history you have to be there to support it when it happens, same with when the Softball team makes a run.

The Basketball team has a soft landing this Saturday with Portland State coming to town. The game will be on FSN. Weber State, and LSU are on tap at home before the conference schedule starts at improving USC, and #1 UCLA the week after Christmas. LSU will be a goThe LA road trip should give us a good idea where this young team is headed. Defensively the Huskies need to improve to get where they want to go this post season. The soft pre season schedule does rack up wins that help you get to the post season, but it really hasn't prepared this young team for what will be a very competitive conference slate. I remember the year we went up to Alaska for the pre season shootout and it really sharpened our team. I don't think the current team was sharpened much by the pre season tourney's competition at Hec Ed this year. It's hard to bring competition in because the elite like to stay at home, but you have to like the Gonzaga schedule in the early season where they take on all comers including the Huskies. They of course have to do that to make up for a weak conference schedule, but they are finely honed by that competiton.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Gonzaga Stomps Huskies 97-77

Mark Few commented if we lost seven of the last eight games, I'd probably look to get rid of that team. Gonzaga made it eight out of the last nine outclassing Washington at home in probably the last UW appearance at the Kennel in Spokane. Tonight's outcome was the result of a battle hardened, experienced team playing at home against a talented, but inexperienced team that had played a bunch of nobodies up to this point. Washington as expected despite the higher ranking wasn't ready for what Gonzaga had to throw at them this evening. Gonzaga commanded from the tip, and kept at least a double digit cushion throughout the game. The teams traded baskets for much of the second half until the Zag's pulled away for good during the last ten minutes.

There weren't many highlights for Washington tonight, they were simply outplayed, and outcoached from the get go. Did the outcome surprise me? Actually it didn't at all, playing a progression of cupcakes wasn't going to get UW ready for this one, and in the scheme of things all this loss does is help the huskies down the road. For the Zag's it seems that they are going to be extremely good once Micah Downs rejoins the team later in the month. Imagine these guys with Downs, we got off easy.

The Bulldogs were led by Derek Raivio who scored 17 of his 25 points in the first half, and Matt Bouldin who chipped in 21 in his first start. Spencer Hawes added 20 for the Dawgs. Juston Dentmon was eaten up and down the court tonight turning in his worst effort as a Dawg. He didn't start tonight as the Dawgs went with three forwards, and he came in to only shoot 2-14. The Washington bench which had done so well this season only chipped in 12 points tonight. The Dawg's only shot 43% overall. Washington did ok in the front court, but it was the ball handling of Gonzaga, and the lackluster play by our guards that did us in.

Erickson moves on to ASU

Dennis Erickson accepted the head coaching job at ASU this evening. It is a big hire for the Sun Devils who finally will get a coach who knows how to use the talent they have on their roster. Erickson can also recruit pretty well. You can be sure that Yarber, and Lappano will get phone calls soliciting interest in following Dennis to the desert. While Idaho is disappointed, they shouldn't be surprised if they actually thought Erickson would pass on another Pac Ten job. It is back to the drawing board in Moscow. Erickson will do well in Tempe.

Volleyball team heads back to the Final Four

Washington won it's 31st consecutive home match beating favored Penn State 3-1. The streak dates back to 2004, the Huskies (29-4) advance to their third consecutive NCAA Final Four next Thursday in Omaha, Nebraska. The Huskies will square off Stanford, Nebraska, and the winner of the UCLA/Hawaii game later tonight.

Football Recruiting Reports

Pop by the Dawgman chatroom early tomorrow evening to find out who verbaled over the weekend. It will be interesting to see how Washington closes this weekend. I would like to see at least 4-5 new ones this week. Keep your fingers crossed!

Northwest Hoops.Com

There is an interesting site on Northwest College Basketball Recruiting I wanted to share with you. We all of course are into football first, but with the resurgence of Northwest basketball, and with all the premier talent emerging from the area it is fun to keep busy during the Winter following basketball when the football season is over.

If you want to know what's going on concerning HS Basketball in the Northwest this is the site for you!

The man who runs the site is Phil Barnhart. He is the son of a school teacher and basketball coach. With access to the school gym and a place to go after school, he spent countless hours honing his skills in the gym as well as practicing at all hours of the day in the park in front of his house. From his own own experience, playing high school basketball for Washington Hall of Fame coach Bill Kelly at Cashmere, the dreams of winning State Championships and having the opportunity to continue to play basketball at a competitive level after high school can certainly be achieved.

Coming from a small high school in Eastern Washington, exposure to "big time" recruiters and high profile high school basketball camps and tournaments were not anything like they are today. He was fortunate to have been offered an athletic scholarship and the opportunity to play "small college" basketball at NAIA George Fox.

Most of his time over the last several years has been devoted to coaching and developing youth. He was the founder and director of the Cashmere Valley AAU Youth Basketball League, coached the Wenatchee Valley select basketball team and recently the Northwest Hoops-Oregon teams. The teams that he has coached have qualified or competed in the AAU National Championships eight times.

Having experienced the thrill of receiving attention from several Division I programs as a high school player, he understands what a majority of today's high school athletes will experience with the recruiting process. He felt compelled to provide a website whose primary purpose is to expose the high school basketball players in the Northwest, primarily Oregon and Washington, to a National audience.

Northwest Hoops has become one of the premier recruiting resourced in the Northwest! College coaches say that "they are on the site" all of the time, and that they appreciate the work that goes into it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Washington At Gonzaga Preview

One of the pinacle games of the early season has been Washington vs Gonzaga. The little school that could who became a national program against all odd's against the big State University from the rainy and populous side of the state. Gonzaga has dominated the series since Bob Bender started it as a favor to Don Monson during his tenure. Washington however picked up the W last year, is undefeated, and more highly ranked than the Zag's. This is the last game of the series for awhile. Washington publically says that they want to play more national competition. Gonzaga hints the Dawg's are ducking the Zag's, and insiders feel that it is simply Washington getting back at the BullDogs for turning them in for a recruiting violation at the start of Romar's tenure. Whatever the reason, this is going to be the last one for awhile.

Washington is led by So PG Dentmon, FR SF Pondexter, FR C Hawes, and the muscle of John Brockman underneath the basket. Backing them up is a variety of talent in a ten man rotation.
Gonzaga counters well with Washington and has more experience. The Zag's are led by SG Raivio, PG Pargo, and C Heytvelt. The 8-2 Bulldogs have beaten such teams as North Carolina and Texas, while losing to Butler in the final round of the NIT, and more recently at WSU this week. Gonzaga arrives much more battle hardy than Washington who has been coasting over a series of non names at home since the season began.

For Washington to win they need to start eliminating the turnovers. The Huskies are giving up more than 20 a game at this point and as the competition steps up they need to control the ball better. Brockman has been a rebound machine, and Pondexter has emerged as an early most evening offensive impact player. Hawes is rounding into the roll, and is starting to click offensively, but his rebound totals so far show he is far from putting together a complete game. Appleby has been a potent source of fire off the bench, while Adrian Oliver has struggled a bit since being named a starter. Washington is a young team trying to develop it's identity in the early going. The Huskies always play tough defense, but limiting Raivio, and Heytvelt are keys for victory in this one. Raivio is one of those guys like Morrison who can just go off, and beat you.
The atmosphere at the Kennel on the Gonzaga campus is electric for big games. The Zag's haven't lost at home for 44 games. Washington is the right team at the right time to end that streak. The Huskies have more overall talent than the Bulldogs, but maturity will be an evening factor. This one will go down to the wire.

Big Game Notes

The Zag's load up in the pre season and that is why they are an ESPN favorite because they load up on big games to bolster seeding going into the perceived weaker WCC Schedule.... . Seattle University along with University ofDenver, both WesternJesuit, Catholic instititutions are involved in preliminary discussions to join the league. For Denver it would solve some serious travel problems. For Seattle it would be a return to the big time at the exact moment the Sonics are leaving town. Key Arena a potentially empty 17,100 seat arena would welcome them as a tenant, sounds like Back to the Future. For Gonzaga it would be the beginning of Western Washington being closed to them as a viable market... . Romar says that they will look at scheduling Gonzaga again in the future, look for Washington to demand that both games be played in Seattle, one at the neutral Coliseum, and one at Hec Ed... . Few responded playfully "if we lost seven of the last eight games, I'd probably look to get rid of that team." Few went on to say diplomatically, "Scheduling is really the hardest part of the business right now, even tougher than recruiting, and there are a lot of different ways to do it," he said. "Washington's way has certainly worked terrifically the last couple of years." Few is open to playing UW in the future, "Yeah, whatever, it's not that big of a deal," Few said. "If they want to play, there's probably a place for them"... . Only seven players saw double-digit minutes for Gonzaga against WSU. The Bulldogs are waiting for a few players to return from injuries, notably former Juanita High star Micah Downs. Downs, who transferred from Kansas, wouldn't have been eligible until Dec. 16 due to NCAA transfer rules, but is also sidelined with a broken foot. Few said Downs hopes to be ready for a game against Nevada on Dec. 30 at KeyArena.

Gonzaga Facts

Crooner Bing Crosby, and Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad are prominent Gonzaga alumni, Bing may be deceased but his estate still contributes... . Gonzaga is one of 28 Jesuit, Catholic universities in the United States; others include Boston College, Georgetown and Marquette, and of course Seattle U... . Athletic tradition at Gonzaga University is almost as old as the University itself, ranging from the football hey days at the early part of the century to the Bulldogs latest foray into the NCAA Elite Eight. As the University has grown from a single building along the banks of the Spokane River in 1887 into a major urban campus, so to has the Gonzaga athletic program grown. Gonzaga now competes in 14 varsity sports at the NCAA Division I level and is a proud member of the West Coast Conference... .In the early part of the century, football was the game at Gonzaga as future NFL Hall-of-Famers Ray Flaherty and Tony Canadeo joined with numerous others to put Bulldog athletics on the map. Gonzaga which had its own on campus stadium in Spokane suspended football during the second World War and did not resume it afterward because of escalating costs, and low enrollment after the War.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Putting together a Top 15 class of 30 PSA's

What a difference five victories, some impressive close losses, and winning your final game against your rival can do for a program. It allows coaches to go out on the road, and tell a much better story of what to expect in the future. The coaches can talk about future bowls, show drawings of new facilities, and most importantly talk about early playing time. The best want to get on the field right away, and Washington has that type of opportunity in the skill positions.

A lot of people complained when Willingham blew off a 13th game with Hawaii, but that game would have been last Sunday, and it would have complicated recruiting. Staying home another year rather than going to a minor bowl has it's benefits when you have as many as 30 openings to fill on your roster.

This weekend marks the biggest recruiting week of the season for the Huskies. A few more visitors will trickle in next weekend, and they will have the traditional big one's in from California after the first of the year, but this is the weekend that will define this years class at the University of Washington.

Last weekend the Huskies went 6-6, and they apparently went 6-6 because they brought in two signee's, and four guys who had high interest who were ready to make a decision immediately, or at least after they went home to talk to their parents. The first week is always a high success week. It gets the momentum building.

Typically the meat of the class is signed this weekend, the week after bring in any remaining JC's that can qualify to enter Winter Quarter. Winter JC's have to commit early so they can get into school after New Years.

Hilton Dawson is the only JC visitor so far scheduled the week before Christmas, but you could also see Tim Mixon, and Byron Davenport here also. The Huskies have a good shot at Mixon, but it is going to be gamble similar to Ashlee Palmer last year. He has an offer, and I am sure they are pouring over his transcripts. Putting Mixon in your defensive backfield is like adding Corey Dillon to your offense. The Huskies need to weigh that risk. Dawson, and Davenport are qualified and ready to go.

The week after New Years is when the biggest guns still out there arrive. This year UW will bring in at least four 4-star recruits from California that weekend. There could even be some 5-Star guys coming too. These are your Steve Schilling's, and Taylor May's type recruits.....The difference makers on paper, the icing on the cake. You hope Washington is the last visit they are going to make before making a decision.

UW is working very hard this year, and there will be some more big names popping up for that weekend that will surprise some people. One thing for sure, Washington will not have to scramble in January to fill holes like they did the last two recruiting years.

The Huskies have as many as 30 spots open this year for recruits which means they can build for the future, and still fill immediate holes for next season. UW can sign as many as five extra players if they can get in by Spring and be backdated to the 2006 class. There still may be some attrition on the current squad so those numbers could actually go up. One thing losing to Stanford did to this staff was create a real sense of immediate urgency. Suddenly the honeymoon was over, and the clock began ticking on Ty's tenure at Washington. Ty realizes he has to win next year, or he won't be around after year four.

We can only sign 25 frosh in any year, but you can already count LB Austin Sylvester, QB Ron Fouch toward the 2006 class since they both can get in early. Same with WR/DB Drew Davis if we can get him out of the clutches of UCLA, and Georgia Tech. Look for us to try to sign a couple JC DB's. UW may also oversign at OL because of potential qualification problems.

Ashlee Palmer is a real concern since he may not be able to get in and Washington may have to another route. No real word on him except he left Seattle to finish his last class in California. Who, and how many the Huskies sign at Safety will give us a real clue on Palmer's academic progress.

The Huskies will have 15 or more PSA's visiting this coming weekend making it the biggest recruiting weekend of the year. So far 13 are known to be coming.

This Husky coaching staff has shown that they are adept at indentifying talent, but this is the year they also need to excel at bringing in some blue chippers the USC's, Cal's, UCLA's, Notre Dame's or Oregon's are going after. Do that, and Willingham will have his first top twenty class at Washington.

The following is a list of players currently verbaled, visiting, or on the current Husky radar. Don't be surprised to see some big time late additions. We will update this list after this weekend, and again after New Years as we zero in on who the Huskies are going to end up with.

Offense (15)

QB Ron Fouch (Verbal-Red) California (Visits this weekend) (Counts toward 2006)
TB Willie Griffin (Verbal-Blue) California
TB Brandon Yakaboski (Verbal-White) Washington (Could play DB, or LB)
TB Curtis Shaw (Very High Interest-Blue) California (Visits this weekend)
TB Brandon Johnson California (Verbal-Blue) Washington
TB*Chike Amajoyi -Blue California, James Davis - Blue California, or Corey White - Red (High Interest) Nevada
WR Devin Aguilar (Verbal-Blue) Colorado (Visits this weekend)
WR Alvin Logan (Verbal-Red) Colorado (Could play DB)
WR Drew Davis (Good Interest -Blue) Colorado (Could play DB) (Counts toward 2006)
WR Anthony Boyles (**Projected Verbal-Blue) California (Visits this weekend)
TE Chris Izbicki (Verbal-Blue) Washington (Visits this weekend)
OL Imeka Iweka (Verbal-Red****) Washington (Potential Grade Problems?)
OL Scott Schugert (Verbal-Red) Oregon (Visits this weekend)
OL Pou Paleilei (High Interest-Blue****) Nevada (Potential Grade Problems?)
OL Fred Koloto (High Interest -Red)) California (Visits this weekend)
OL Skyler Fancher (**Projected Verbal-Red) California (Visits this weekend)
OL Taylor Dever California (UW or Notre Dame?-Blue)

Defense (13)

DT Nick Wood (Good Interest-Red) California
DT ***Tyrone Duncan (No offer yet-White) California
DE ***Billy Winn-Red Nevada, Lucas Barbosa - White California (Visits this weekend)
DE Kelani Aldrich (Verbal-Red) Hawaii
MLB Austin Sylvester (Verbal-White) New Jersey (Counts toward 2006)
WLB Mason Foster (Verbal-White) California (Visits this weekend)
SLB DJ Holt California - Blue, Howard Bowens - Red California (Visits this weekend)
CB Jared Campbell (Verbal-Red) Colorado
CB Vonzell Mc Dowell (Verbal-Blue) Washington
CB Byron Davenport Calfornia JC, (Counts toward 2006)
CB David Ross California - Blue, Eddie Wide - Red Nevada (Visits this Weekend)
S Hilton Dawson California JC (Red) (Count toward 2006) Omar Bolden California (High Interest - Red) Dion Bland (Med Interest - Red) California
S Quinton Richardson (Verbal - Red) Washington (Could play S, or LB)
S Nate Williams (Verbal - Red) Washington (Could play S, LB, or RB)

Specialties (2)

K Kevin Folk (Verbal - Red) California
P Jared Ballman (High Interest - Red) California JC
(Counts toward 2006) (Visits this Weekend)


* Chike Amajoyi is a kid that could end up at LB, or S. He has good size, speed and has a brother who plays at Cal. He has Stanford in the lead but the coaching change may affect that. Once again another example of recruiting RB's and moving them around the team to increase speed.
** We have two projected verbals listed. They are listed as projected since one site reports them as verbals, and Dawgman has them on the verge of verbaling. These guys are all pretty close to being Huskies and should be wrapped up by the weekend.

*** Tyrone Duncan is a name that has been bandied about, no word on when he will visit, and he doesn't have an offer yet. There are a couple of surprises they are recruiting away from other schools at this point but they haven't been made public yet. The Northwest, and West Coast isn't deep on the defensive line so it will be interesting to see how things develop. We originally had the Huskies picking up 4 DL, but I am thinking now they go with 3 so they can add depth elsewhere. The Northwest will have a very good class of linemen on either side of the ball for 2008.
**** Two kids that could be cornerstones on the offensive line are having grade/test problems currently. Washington could oversign to compensate here. Nothing concrete yet on Palelei, and Iweka. Iweka was an early signee, and Palelei is a former Washington resident who has been very high on the Huskies along with his teammate RB Corey White. UW cannot afford to make any mistakes with offensive linemen. Expect them to be fairly conservative and creative with these two guys. Once again some big name surprises are expected to emerge into consideration. Taylor Dever is still out there but Notre Dame has emerged as the leader for his services. He had a good visit at his HS with Weis, and a good on campus visit could sew it up for him.

Blue Chips, Red Chips, and White Chips

What would a recruiting preview be without ratings? We are including some just for fun. Since I have seen very few of these guys on film, and if I did just a few clips, it is tough to be objective, so we will just guess for fun based on the info that is out there.

If you have read my posts I don't think star ratings are all that important for Northwest schools. WSU won over ten games three years in a row with typically the 9th, or 10th best class in the years previous to that in the Pac Ten. Oregon while off to a good start this year always has classes that run in the lower echelon of the Pac Ten. Boise St is in a BCS bowl with a team recruited of guys Washington wouldn't sniff at. What does that mean? It means that there is more talent out there than you think, and that it is almost impossible to project what a HS athlete is going to mature into over the next five years in college.

By definition in this blog a Blue Chip would be a kid who is usually a four or five star recruit. We could slip in a three if we fail a player is underated. These players are your supposedly "Can't Miss" type of difference makers according to those in the know. These kids have the talent to play right away on paper if needed. For Washington this year they need the immediate help these guys can bring. In this class of 30 you need 10 guys that can come in and plug some holes. Your JC guys of course are expected to do just that, but with our blue's for the most part we are picking guys that can play right away.

A Red Chip is usually the three star players who make up the bulk of most rosters outside USC, Texas, Florida...etc. Have you seen the class that USC is putting together? Mostly five star guys. Not a lot of three stars get a chance with these schools. Washington lives on three stars, we get our four's and occasional five's, but the bulk of our roster is made up of three's.

A White Chip is usually a sleeper who hasn't been evaluated, or a kid who is being recruited mainly by the WAC, or Mountain West. Parity, and the 85 scholarship limit however have made this more of a thin line. UW always has a few of these guys each year. They are usually listed as 1-2 star guys by the recruiting services. Most schools will take a shot on a local kid they know well, and has been to their camp etc... . Evaluation, and familiarity is key.

Willingham has found a few white chip nuggets here the last two years. Homer, and Butler the only two frosh to play last year were in this category. It's nice for those type of kids to do well, but since they were the only frosh to earn playing time the Huskies didn't get over the .500 hump last year. Last years class lacked the Schilling, Montgomery, Mays, or Felder who could step right in and give you a lift. Locker of course was in this category, but UW wisely chose to preserve his eligibility. If you look at the the last two Willingham classes, the immediate contributors have been few, that needs to change in 2007.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Around the Pac Ten Blogs (Updated)

Quick Overnight Updates

UW picked up two very important commitiments last night. Head over to Dawgman to check out the news. We will have a recruiting summary published late tonight you can use as a guide going into the big weekend coming up at Montlake. Recruiting has really gained momentum, in fact I haven't seen it this hot since Neuheisel's second class which had ET, and Reggie Williams. UW is in on some big time athletes this year which is exactly what the program needs to turn around.

Friday we will have a preview of the upcoming UW Gonzaga Basketball game. A little luster was taken off the matchup last night as Washington State beat the Bulldogs in Pullman handing them their first loss of the season. The Zag's were caught looking ahead to UW.

Husky recruits Ronnie Fouch, and Austin Sylvester have informed Dawgman that they will be enrolling early so they can attend Spring Practice.

The Dennis Erickson to ASU rumors are cooling down after Dennis, and his Idaho AD said he had not been contacted. Denying rumors is standard practice for Erickson who will turn 60 this year and may not have another shot at a job like ASU. Question is if he and his wife want to move again? A job he may want even more may open up next season within driving distance of his home in Moscow.

Pac Ten Alley

Once again we take our weekly trip around the Pac Ten to see what our neighbors are up to. Lots of good stuff this week as all the rivarly games are finished and we head off into bowl season. USC, California, Oregon State, UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona State will be representing the Pac Ten in bowls this season. .

Now let's take a walk down Pac Ten Alley....

At USC they reflect on a season with two losses and the return to mortality and the Rose Bowl.

The usual bustle in Heritage Hall was absent Monday as USC football players began final exams and the athletic department continued to come to grips with the Trojans' first loss to UCLA since 1998."You definitely think about what you could have done different," junior nose tackle Sedrick Ellis said. "You go through the 'shoulda-woulda-coulda,' but when it comes down to it, they played a good game and won."USC coaches had the day off, but they will return today to meet with players for the first time since Saturday's 13-9 defeat at the Rose Bowl. The Trojans lost an opportunity to play in the Bowl Championship Series title game and will instead play Michigan in the Rose Bowl game on New Year's Day.

At California the Big Game was a blast of Bad Air, hopefully the Bears can heal before they get spanked in the Holiday Bowl.

IT WAS a surreal scene for sure at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Oh, the band is out on the field! Yes, the Leland Stanford Junior University marching band actually ventured once again onto the turf when it shouldn't have, but this time it was much different. Members of the Stanford band were playing a touch-football game - instead of interrupting a real one - and, as they did this, Christmas carols were being played over the public address system. Looks and sounds like a sequel to Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas." In reality, it was Saturday, three hours before the first Big Game ever contested in December, and, in one respect, it was the Biggest Big Game ever. Never before has the Axe been so coveted - to be used to cut wood to build a fire. It was bone-chilling, flag-snapping windy, cold enough to turn Tightwad Hill into Tight-knit Sweater Hill.

At Oregon State they are getting ready to play Gary Pinkel, and Missouri in El Intercepted Paso.

This year, I think the BCS got it right, but in the coming years, I think a playoff would be nice. After all, what would you rather have: a month of Polls, speculation, bickering, etc, or a few games leading up to a much more anticipated National Championship game.

At UCLA they are happy about ruining Pete Caroll's Holiday plans and attending the emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

Full credit goes to Erik McDouchebag over at for his whiny little rant about how the Big Bad Bruin fans bruised his ego on Saturday.

"I guess congratulations are in order for the Bruin football team as well as their fans. However, before the Bruin backers pack up and head off to San Francisco for the Emerald Bowl, I really hope they swing by my place and pick up their official, "Worst Fans in Organized Sports Award."

Of course lost in the translation here is that for Bruin fans to pick up this mythical award of his is the logical conclusion that it resides somewhere in trOJan land to begin with. And that would surely be par for the course, I mean, as someone who witnessed their indefensible behavior at the Mausoleum last year, they've earned that award and then some, so we're going to let them keep it.

At Oregon the Wines Family blog has switched it's emphasis to basketball, and rightly so after the bowl bound Duck's finished the season flat. The Duck BB team looks to be a tourney contender. The duck''s next game is against BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Oregon upset the 18th-ranked Hoyas last night 57-50 in Washington.Aaron Brooks scored 15 points, and Bryce Taylor scored nine of his 14 points in the second half for the Ducks, who are 6-0 for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

At Arizona State they hash over the firing of Dirk Koetter who will be missing the free week in Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. I have to say that I was surprised he got the axe, not really surprised, but he did get his team to rebound nicely.

I'm surprised that I'm going to say this, but...the State Press nails it. It was the lack of fan, and booster support that killed Koetter's tenure. It was probably at or near an unsalvagible position, and Lisa Love may not have had much of a choice anymore. Koetter was moving us forward, albeit a bit slower than we wanted. But it was progress, and-as the article mentions-we could count on him to be a Sun Devil.

Watch out because the Sun Devils are talking to Dennis Erickson who swore he would stay at least three years at Idaho. At 62 can you really make a promise like that?

In Arizona they still have momentum despite the ASU loss.

Heading into the Duel in the Desert, Arizona had all the momentum in the world. The Cats had won three straight games and by so doing had became bowl eligible for the first time in eight years. Not only that, but the Cats had beaten #25 Washington State on the road, #8 Cal, and ended Oregon's 11 game home winning streak when they dominated the Ducks in Eugene, 37-10. Arizona was rolling and the fans were anticipating a win verses the hated Sun Devils which would solidify a bowl berth. ASU was going in the opposite direction. Sitting at 6-5 overall and 3-5 in Pac-10, which included a trio of old fashion beat downs courtesy of Cal, Oregon, and Oregon St.

Over at Washington State they are discussing a lot of things, one topic is not going to a bowl because they lost to the Huskies. Brinkhater has been retired, whatever that means. I wonder if anyone over there cares about the basketball team.

Maybe in the big-picture kind of way, I really wonder if we're staring straight into the abyss, and there's now no way to stop it. I wonder, if as I heard about 1000 times walking out of the stadium yesterday, that if Doba is really our "Keith Gilbertson" as a head coach. You know, a really good assistant in his own right, but as a head coach, he just doesn't cut it.

At Stanford they are looking for a new head coach to replace Walt Harris. someone that can recruit, sell some tickets, and maybe give the people who bought those tickets a reason to show up?

Previous head-coaching experience is preferred, Stanford AD Bob Bowlen said, adding that he wants a tireless recruiter who has "impeccable integrity" and "understands and embraces what Stanford stands for."

I guess that would rule out Rick Neuheisel if you want to be picky.

"The last game, against Oregon State, we probably had 12,000 people in the stands. Fortunately we had sold 34,000 or 35,000 tickets. That's the good side from the financial standpoint. But one has to wonder if those people who had $45 tickets and didn't care to come will buy them again next year."

Only 12,000 show up after you beat Washington on the road?

"We are going about the process of identifying candidates,'' Bowlsby said. "Obviously, every athletic director keeps a short list in their back pocket, and I have mine. It's not one I am prepared to share at this point, but we are going about the process."

Could Norm Chow be on that short list?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Puppy Chow

Football Recruiting

Head over to Dawgman there is an announcement that Washington has signed an unexpected blue chipper tonight. There should be lots of action this week so if you don't subscribe you should really consider it.

Husky BB notes

Husky PG Justin Dentmon is fine after suffering cramps late in the second half of last nights game with Southern Utah.

The plan was for a new videoboard capable of showing replays to be in place for the LSU game on Dec. 20. Also, a new message board will be put in place underneath the current scoreboard sometime this month. That board will be used primarily to display messages and sponsor-related items.

Guard Harvey Perry, who decided over the weekend to transfer to another school in search of more playing time, attended the game and sat on the Husky bench wearing the team's regulation black warmups. Before the game, he shagged rebounds for his former teammates. "It's like a divorce where the husband and wife get along real well,'' Romar said. "He made a decision but we told our team we are not disowning Harvey and he is not disowning us. He is still a part of our family, if not our immediate family."

Bob Condotta is doing a predictably excellent job with his basketball blog, it is a must read every day like his football blog is.

Successful coaches staying home

Word on the street say West Virginia's Rodriguez is still talking with Alabama as they continue to open up the checkbook to what could be a record contract.

Sources told's Joe Schad that Alabama officials were meeting with Rodriguez. The Birmingham News reported Tuesday that Alabama officials would meet Rodriguez at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. The paper reported its sources said a job offer is unlikely on Tuesday

My opinion is that Rodriguez would be crazy to leave the Big East where he has all the tools to be in the Top Ten every year.

Greg Schiano won't be leaving Rutgers for Miami which is a minore surprise when you compare the football histories of the two schools.

Amid talk he might return to Miami to take over the troubled program, Schiano told Hurricanes athletic director Paul Dee on Monday to take his name off a list of coaching candidates.

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe sounds like he's staying put. For the second consecutive week, Grobe made it known that he has no interest in other jobs. It's been speculated that Grobe could be a candidate for several openings, including the one at Alabama.

"I'm a Wake Forest guy," he said Tuesday

Erickson talking to Arizona State

Dennis Erickson has never met a stepping stone he didn't like. After having a succesful first season with a moribund Idaho program he is thinking about jumping ship and heading to Arizona State. Not a bad deal since their is plenty of talent in the desert that needs to be molded by an artisan like Erickson. Question is will Lappano, or Yarber be tempted to join Erickson in Tempe if he is hired? This rumor is coming from Canzano at the Oregonian.

"If we're being authentic here, the combination of ASU and Erickson would be frightening for the rest of the Pacific-10 Conference. One slumping, but potentially cool, college football program with unbelievable upside hooks up with two-time national champion coach? Yeah. So maybe the Mikes -- Bellotti and Riley -- should catch a shuttle to Moscow to light a candle themselves."

Boise State vs Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl

This is a very big deal for the state of Idaho because it represents the first big bowl invitiation in the history of a state that has been playing football since the beginning of the century, and I was talking 20th century. I didn't think the Bronco's could rise high enough in the standings to get an invitation, but Oregon State finishing strong really helped them out. Getting to play the Sooner's, and beating the Sooner's are two different things, and we finally get to see if one of those mid major undefeated's really deserve to be invited to the big dance. For Boise it could be a springboard to bigger, and better things like it has for Gonzaga in basketball. I wouldn't be surprised to see 60,000 seats in Boise before there is a remodel of Husky Stadium. This is a big game for the WAC, Boise, and Idaho. The much more established Mountain West, and CUSA still have not put a team in the BCS.

All Chris Peterson has done in his first year is take Boise State to its first BCS game. As usual, offense is the key to the Broncos. QB Jared Zabransky just makes plays. The senior has 20 TD passes in 2006. RB Ian Johnson has the jets to hit the home run and brings outstanding balance to the offense. Left tackle Ryan Clady anchors a good offensive line.

Conflict of Interest

Just another reason coaches should be taken out of the BCS equation.

If this were a court of law, Tressel recusing himself from voting in the coaches poll on Sunday would be admirable. But the BCS isn't a murder trial. All Tressel was asked to do--what he had promised to do--was submit a ballot in the final poll. You know by now that Tressel abstained from voting in the final poll that is used in the BCS standings, calling it a "conflict of interest. I didn't think it was appropriate for us to put a ballot out for who we would play," Tressel said. "I didn't think it was the right thing to do."

Callahan apologizes to Nebraska fans

"I was disappointed in everything I did," Callahan told reporters on a conference call. "I could have done a better job. I just didn't do enough. As I go through the week, I'm taking inventory of where we've got to get better, what changes we have to make. If we have to change some things, I'm going to change them. I'm looking at it really hard."