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?


hairofthedawg said...

It's certainly been interesting watching the shifting attitudes on the boards and especially nice to see all the traffic on the recruiting one. John's very correct in recommending them if you want recruiting info.

I wasn't expecting such good new until next weekend, but it's always welcome. Like a lot of others, my current concern is the big guys, but with this momentum, I'm looking forward to what's to come.

I don't know if I agree completely agree with you about the luster being taken off the UW/Gonzaga matchup except in the national scheme of things. I think both teams are now even more focused on the game and it should be even better than anticipated.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Last night was fast, and furious in the Dawgman chatroom. I haven't seen it like that in some time pre signing day. The fans are very hungry for good news, and we all got some very good news last night with more coming in the immediate future. Expect at least one nother commit this evening.

Why is this happening?

Spots are drying up at Washington right now. They have 15 known commitments, and 4-5 others who are ready to pop. That would leave only 9-10 spots left for the entire class. Kid's are scrambling to get those spots.

Another interesting development is that Washington is in on around four linemen on both sides of the ball that are highly rated, and are unknown to the public. We should be finding out if they can get visits out of those guys in the next few days.

We have two big weekends left, this coming, and the one right after New Years. At this point we are looking good but need to finish stronger than we have started. Last nights verbals were a step in that direction.

The UW/Gonzaga game will be big of course because you have two top 25 teams from the same region playing a Saturday game. I think if both were undefeated it would add a bit more to it. I was surprised the Zags lost to WSU, but WSU is improving, and the Zag's were due an off night after some big victories.

hairofthedawg said...

Sorry, I meant although I didn't specify it for anyone new to john's blog. If you are new, I recommend visiting this site often as well. It's not competition for dawgman, but a different perspective, which is always welcome.

I was bummed that I had to work late today and missed chat, but I had plenty to read on the boards, and you're right, there were a lot of happy and surprised fans.

I agree with your reasoning on why it's happening but also feel that kids know that playing time is available as we're thin in a lot of areas. Thanks for the tease on the lineman. :) Do you think Aldrich ends up at OT?

I'm hoping we learn from the tapes of the WSU victory and wonder if the son's a better coach than the father...not that dad was bad. From what I read it will hinge on turnovers and that could do us in.

Health Insurance Expert said...

Aldrich has a frame that can support a lot of weight so he could end up on either side of the ball. That being said I think he ends up being an impact DE.

Another commit that was expected was confirmed on Dawgman tonight. Huskies ended up going 6-6 last weekend.

New Scout ratings are out and Washington is currently rated #34 in the country, 4th in the Pac behind USC,UCLA, and Oregon. This is where we ended up last year, but we have a bigger upside this year and I am predicting a finsish inside the top 20.