Thursday, November 30, 2006
We will be covering recruiting over here a bit, but from more of an analytical point of view once things become public in the newspapers. The current series we are running is basically put together to preview who is coming back, and what we expect the Huskies to go for this second season. There is a lot of good info here, but if you want to be an up to the minute insider subscribe to the ultimate source for Husky information on the internet www.dawgman.com
There is only one true source for Husky recruiting news, and that is www.dawgman.com!
Jason Wells, and Mesphin Forrester will be the starting safeties going into Spring. Ashley Palmer is still in limbo, and it is uncertain if he will get his academics in order to enter school this Winter. Roy Lewis who has all league potential return's as the lone experienced CB. Jordan Murchison, and Matt Mosley who redshirted last season will battle it out for the other CB spot. What you see is what you get, Washington will only be returning five defensive backs and that could spell trouble if Palmer doesn't get in, and Ty is unable to find some JC's, or Frosh ready to play to bolster the defensive backfield. In a perfect world Palmer gets in, Forrester moves over to CB, and UW picks up a couple of JC's.
UW doesn't have a commitment yet from a safety per se, but they do have commitments from Nate Williams, Brandon Yakaboski, and Quinton Richardson who could all end up back there. Dion Bland from the Central Valley is the top guy on the Washington board so far. You can also count Palmer as a potential recruit since he hasn't made it in yet. Since UW showed Hemphill the door, you would think they must be pretty sure about Palmer. Don't be surprised if UW picks up a JC here. Tim Mixon is a JC name that has been thrown around but he would be a very late qualifier which means UW probably isn't interested.
With only one starter with experience coming back, if Forrester ends up at Safety, you would think Washington would be combing the JC ranks for a guy that could play right away. McDowell from Rainier Beach is the lone signee at this point. UW is in on a couple of top California kids and you would think that the prospect of early playing time would appeal to a HS recruit. the Dawg's could really use a JC kid here who can come in and push for starting time and be able to return some kicks. Word is UW is currently in on one and is checking to see if he can get in mid year.
What do they need to do?
If there is one area of the team that needs some JC help it would be corner, and safety. UW needs a couple of guys that can come in and play right away. While Ty won't sign more than a handful of JC's this year expect him to sign a couple here if they can get in mid year. Ashley Palmer getting in would be a huge plus too!
The JC's never came through as Jefferson never qualified, and Mason arrived late after finally qualifying. UW went with the same five guys for 98% of the snaps last year which in hindsight was probably a mistake because these guys while healthy wore down quite a bit in the second half. They also didn't develop much in the way of playing experience for next year. Bulyca, and Berglund were the only other guys to get limited time late last season. The line graduates Daniels, and Walker who were definitely the best lineman on the squad, and Willie Kava who graduates early. Returning starters are Garcia, Ossai, and Macklin. Ossai who started as a redshirt was man handled at times during the year but that was to be expected. Macklin is adequate, and Garcia has all league potential.
In 2007 look for the Dawgs to open with Ossai, and Macklin at tackle, with Bulyca, Rosborough, Tolar, Bush, and Mason battling for the interior spots. Garcia is solid at center. White-Frisbee is a question mark with his recurring foot problems, I hate to say it, but he may never get completely healthy. Berglund will get time at tackle during his senior season as he has proven to be an able backup. Habben, and Sedillo had good redshirt years and should be able to contribute as time goes on. Rosborough can develop into a force as he continues to develop aerobically.
Offensive Line (5-6)
UW desperately needs a big time offensive line class to start building for the future. The Huskies already have two big guys verbaled in Iweka, and Shugert, but after that things are a little up in the air. Taylor Dever would be a big get, and since he is Manu Tuiasosopo's god son we had a big in with him. Unfortunately he visited during the Stanford game and hasn't been high on UW since then. Palelei from Vegas would be a good get but he has a way to go to qualify. After that it looks a little like plan B since the Northwest, and West Coast in particular isn't flush with OL this year. There are still a couple of borderline recruits left in state, but you have to wonder why they weren't in on Kennedy's Freitag who is headed to WSU. UW could use some immediate help on the JC front if they can find someone who can qualify mid year. I think the wait and see if they get in bet is now over after last years dissapointments.
What is going to happen?
With Ty you really never know what is going on because he keeps his cards close to his vest. Simply put though he needs to find three or four more big guys to round out this class or he is going to be in trouble. One thing this staff has going for it is that they are strong evaluators. They are going to have to find some diamonds in the rough to round out this class. Sedillo was one of those guys last year who was offered in the last couple of weeks, and while raw the coaches feel he has a good future. Iweka, and Shugert are both excellent prospects with Shugert perhaps being the one closest to playing. Iweka is still growing and getting used to his size. He is a work in progress unlike a Steve Schilling who was ready to play immediately. Both players will need a year or two like most OL recruits to gain muscle, speed, and technique.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Washington started slow once again as they missed 20 of their first 28 shots, part of the reason Idaho led by three points four times in the first half. The Huskies still haven't jelled on the offensive end and the young team is still experiencing some growing pains as they near the meat of the non conference schedule which includes Gonzaga, LSU, and Pittsburg. UW could just be looking ahead at this point since the level of competition has been weak in the early going.
Wide Receiver (3-4)
The Huskies return Russo, Reece, Daniels, Ellis, and Williams. All five are going to be seniors. The lone underclassmen will be Aaron Goodwin who the coaches have been impressed with during frosh year on the scout team. Reece, Daniels, and Russo look to be the top returning threats, while Williams is still looking to break out. When you look for speed you usually head to California, but the Huskies could be bringing in three talented speedsters from Colorado, Logan, Aguilar, and the highly rated Drew Davis. Alvin Logan, and Devin Aguilar have already verbaled while Davis is very interested in UW since he is friends with the other two, and RB Michael Houston. The Huskies are also in on some kids from California so it will be interesting to see how they round out the class. At first glance it looks to be the best class since ET, and RW signed under Neuheisel. It is still early, and undoubtedly there will be some surprises as new names pop into the picture, but we are off to a good initial start.
Tight End (1)
The Huskies have some potential already on the roster with Kirton, Lewis, Gottleib, Williams, and Winter all returning. The Huskies took care of the position early by bringing in a local guy who is rated among the best in the country, Chris Izbicki. Washington needs a lot more production and blocking out of the position next year which should come through coaching and experience. Injuries hindered the rotation through most of the year but the position was stable enough to weather it.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
RS Jake Locker, and SR Carl Bonnell return next season to fight for the job in the Spring. It is really no contest because Carl can't stay healthy longer than two quarters, and Jake is the probably the second coming if he can get a little protection. With Durocher done the Huskies don't have much depth here.
Ronnie Fouch is already signed and will probably be the only QB signed this offseason. Does this spell trouble to you? It does to me since UW was almost down to Felix Sweetman against WSU. Problem is who wants to sit behind Locker for four years? UW needs to pick up a walk on, and a transfer to hedge against injuries.
What is Ty going to do?
I don't think he ends up with a JC transfer or another frosh QB with a rich in-state class coming up in 2008. I do think he will try to pick up a transfer from another program if available, and a walk-on frosh to groom for the scout team. Picking up walk-ons, and transfers isn't as easy to do as it once was because a kid like that can drop down a couple of levels and play quite a bit for a school like Western, or Central and get a significant amount of aid. The bottomline is Washington cannot enter 2007 with only three QB's on the roster so they need to get creative.
Rankin, Hasty, and Houston return. On paper that looks pretty good but only "dancin" Rankin can be counted on to take the first snap of the Fall. Houston has legal problems but is still on the team, and Hasty who blew a full year of eligibility can't be counted on to be around next Fall. If he screwed up once the odd's just aren't in his favor for him to be a guy they can count on.
Ty initially has nailed a couple in state tweeners in Mt Si's Brandon Yakaboski, and Kennedy's Nate Williams. Both are good athletes whose future may be on defense if Washington can nail some speedy California talent. Williams had an excellent year at Kennedy carrying the rock, but insiders feel he will grow into a LB, or Safety since he lack's breakaway speed. Yakaboski is a football player who is a little slower at this point than Williams coming in with a 4.6 40. He reminds me of Shane Pahukoa who was a dominant safety during his career at Washington.
Look for UW to bring in three more running back types. The quickest way to improve a team is to bring in speedy RB types you can fit in all over the field. They tried to do that last year and finished second on around six guys to round out a less than stellar 2006 recruiting class.
Curtis Shaw from Stockton is the type of big play speed back the Huskies crave. Brandon Johnson from compton is the other speed guy they are in on. The staff is all over these two guys and realistically needs to land one of them to have a solid class. Willie Griffin from Skyline in Oakland, and Corey White from Las Vegas are a notch below speed wise. Both are very high on the Huskies at this point. the Dawg's are also looking at a couple of JC's who will be able to enroll this Winter. Richard Murrell from Riverside is a huge 240 lb back that could give the Huskies some muscle in short yardage situations.
UW really needs to hit some HR's here because the position is so full of question marks. This team needs speed, and the quickest way to boost team speed is to bring in fast guys that have the potential to play on both sides of the ball. UW will take five or more TB types and move them around if they don't stick at RB.
Mark Palaita graduates after starting the past two season as a walkon. The heir apparent is Paul Homer who will be a sophmore next year after having a good true frosh year on special teams. He will be backed up by Kravitz who has failed to emerge fromt he depth due to injury. Both are talented FB's who are ready to play. I doubt Washington takes another one this year since the need for FB has really diminished with the reliance on West Coast type offenses. Johnnie Kirton can always be moved over for a few plays if depth is a problem, same with a LB type.
As you know Dirk Koetter has lost his job at ASU and the Devil's are set to announce a replacement as soon as today. Seems like they are looking toward an NFL assistant with Arizona roots.
Bill Moos is stepping down at Oregon which is a surprise to most outside the program but not to those within. The rift between him and Phil Knight has grown over the past few years so Oregon needed to head in a new direction if they were going to continue tapping Uncle Phil's wallet. How that affects Bellotti is uncertain but if an NFL job comes up, or another plum college job he might be looking for some new scenery too.
We were able to watch the USC/Notre Dame game via ABC in Jamaica and the Irish were unable to play up to the same standard as many Pac Ten teams did against USC this year. Notre Dame under Weis is a mirage coupled with a weak schedule. Weis still hasn't beaten anyone he wasn't supposed to since he has been in South Bend.
Mike Shula was fired at Alabama which is pretty strange. Seemed to me he was doing a good job with a team that was struggling through some serious sanctions in the SEC. Changing coaches was not what Alabama needed, what they needed was continuity to rebuild through the garbage of past years. Look for Bama to go hard after Steve Spurrier, but I think Spurrier stays at the other USC.
Larry Coeker of course as expected was fired by Miami which was no suprise to anyone since they had to name a scapegoat after all the on, and off field problems staking that program. Could the Hurricane's turn to Rick Neuheisel? That would shake things up in South Florida.
Michigan State hired Mark Dantonio from Cincinnatti which was a pretty smooth move. He had the Bearcats playing pretty tough this past season. Dantonio becomes the ninth Michigan State coach since Duffy Daugherty left after the 1972 season. Michigan State is barely above .500 since and has won eight or more games in consecutive seasons just once, with one Rose Bowl appearance. See what lack of continuity can do to a once proud program?
Oregon St finished the season 8-4 after beating Oregon 30-28 in the Civil War. OSU still has a tough game coming up to finish what will be a 13 game regular season with a visit to Hawaii this week. For Mike Riley who was on the ropes before the Washington game it was a very fine way to finish the season. For Oregon it was a disspaointing end to a football season that saw a lot of high's and low's. This could be the year that Bellotti moves on if the right gig opens up.
Texas A&M beat Texas in a calssic game that announced the return of the Aggie's back to the national picture. The Aggie defense just stifled the Horn's....Rutgers finished a strong 11-1 and just missed out on going undefeated after hiccupping against the Bearcats the previous week. Schiano is a candidate for about every job that opens on the Eastern seaboard this offseason. Rutgers has the money to keep him if he wants to stay....Rich Brooks took Kentucky to a 7-5 record this season....nice way to rebuild a dead program in the nations toughest conference. Ste Spurrier did the same at the other USC, and the season ending win over Clemson could signal the end of Bowdens in the ACC....Oklahoma finished the year 10-2 and goes away realizing that the Oregon travesty is the one thing that kept them out of a potential national championship game.
BCS Bowl Predictions
Wisconsin is the odd man out in the BCS this year. The Badgers fell victim to a BCS rule that only allows two teams from the same conference to participate in BCS Bowl games. the object of the BCS is to create a a true #1 vs #2 than divvy up the rest of the cash as evenly as possible rather than have the best teams in the country square off. I for one am in favor of a modified playoff.
BCS Championship....Ohio State vs USC
Fiesta Bowl....Oklahoma vs Boise State
Rose Bowl.... Michigan vs LSU
Orange Bowl....Georgia Tech vs Louisvile
Sugar Bowl....Florida vs Notre Dame
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The young Huskies had a tough time with Sacramento State on Sunday. Young is the key as turnovers have pluged the Huskies in the early going so far this season. Romar has another six weeks to put it together for a strong conference run. It will be interesting to watch the team mature during some tough non conference games between now and then. The muscle of Hawes, and Brockman matched with the fluid quickness of Pondexter fed by the rapidly improving Dentmon should yield a high finish in the tournament. The Gonzaga game should be a pretty good guage of exactly where the team is development wise.
The second season has now begun for the football program and recruits will be streaming from all over the West between now and Christmas. Washington already has cleaned up in state getting committments from anyone they wanted. They also have pulled in a couple ofrom Colorado, with a couple more possibly on the way. UW has never recruited much in that area and it is interesting to me to see the early success from the Bob Simmons pipeline in that area. When I get back we will take a closer look at need and keep a scorecard on how the Huskies are doing.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Apple Cups there was plenty of emotion on both sides and the team that won converted the most big play. For Willingham it is a serious springboard to recruiting this year. Finishing with a win and a total of five for the season shows that he can at least say without smiling he has things pointed in the right direction.
(Reports this week will be on a come and go basis since the weather down here is less than ideal and it tends to knock the electricity and internet out every couple of hours.)
Willingham has some serious work to do with Willingham over the off season. He blew it losing to Stanford, and it is tough to forgive him for that even with a win over WSU. 5-7 is still a disgrace even though it is better than 2-9. Coach Ty should have won a couple more, and if he was more prepared on the field and a better leader off of it he had a good shot. the program made some progress this year, but not enough to convince most fans that Willingham is the right guy, including yours truly. No reason to go 5-7 and miss a bowl when you start off at 4-1. Last weeks off field miscue's show that he needs some help, and he needs to take it over he won't be here very long. I like Ty, I really do, but football is about winning and putting fans in the seats, and until he does exactly that he is on the hot seat. If he had gone to a bowl he would have gotten an extension, now all he gets is a shorter leash.
Ohio State and Michigan may have been one of the best games in the last fifty years of college football. #1 and #2 from the same conference squaring off for the right to play in the NAtional Championship game. I was rooting for Michigan, and of course the spirit of Schembechler, but even though it was a close on Ohio State was the best team yesterday.
Everyone says that Jeff Tedford is a genius, but I am reserving judgement till he gets to a Rose or BCS bowl game. Cal had their chances but Pete Carroll certainly has his program firing on all cylinders again in Novemeber. Look for the Trojans to win out and face Ohio State for all the marbles. Cal on the other hand blew it's chance fpr the consolation of a BCS game by choking against Arizona last weekend.
Talking about Arizona, how do they walk into Autzen and blow out the Duck's? A team left for dead earlier in the season is on a roll under Stoops. It really is about time because he has brought some talent into the program over the past few years. For Oregon it is a bitter pill to swallow with the Beavers coming up next. Despite the Plasma's and the gameboys it isn't a happy camp in the Oregon locker room. Oregon State didn't have much problem with Stanford, but you can tell the Tree is improving every week which is the mark of a good coach. Walt Harris will make them resprctable again. UCLA pounded Arizona State which should knock the Devil's out of a potential bowl. Nice win for the Bruins.
Rutgers was vanquished by Cincinnatti. The Bearcats are a program on the rise that have played every opponent tough this year. So Cinderella slips off her pedestal and out of the BCS.
In the ACC Virginia Tech knocked Wake Forest for a loop, and BC blew up Maryland as that conference continues to feast on it's own.
Johnny Durocher's career as a Husky QB is apparently over after the discovery of a benign brain tumor before the WSU game last week. Johnny will have surgery after Thanksgiving and is expected to be able to play baseball this Spring for the Dawg's. Everyone say a prayer for Johnny!
Pac Ten Power Ratings
1. USC.....Two more to go and back to the championship game (BCS)
2. California.....Tedford loses another big one....hello San Diego (Holiday)
3. Oregon St....These guys were dead, now they are thinking bowl. (Sun)
4. Oregon....The Civil War actually means something this year (Las Vegas)
5. Arizona....A win against next week equals the programs first bowl in some time. (Emerald)
6. Arizona St....6-6 might not get you a bowl, UA is a must win.
6. UCLA....A win over USC would for give a lot of sins. (Hawaii)
6. WSU....6-6 means the Cougars are most likely not traveling to Hawaii
9. UW....A win over WSU was nice, but an uninspired loss to Stanford is unforgiveable.
10. Stanford...One win isn't enough to exit the cellar
Sunday, November 19, 2006
We had trouble getting the game last night on XM since we are at the end of their coverage area surrounded by the tall coastal mountains surroundinf Montego Bay, but the internet reception was ok in the bar as we watched the other two thrillers Michigan/Ohio State, and California/ USC. As I advertised eallier in the week a different Husky team showed up against the Cougars on Saturday as the underdog always seems to do in the Apple Cup. Washington did something they hadn't done in awhile, they blocked people, scored on big plays, and had the best special teams day during Willinghams tenure. These were all the key ingredients that we identified earlier in the week that were neccesary for victory, not to mention a healthier Carl Bonnell.
Carl Bonnell passed to Cody Ellis down the middle for a 64-yard TD in the second quarter as UW tied the score 7-7. Carl also hit Marcel Reece for a 69-yard TD in the third quarter as UW took a 21-14 lead. Louis Rankin rushed for a 77-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for a 35-25 lead, UW's longest run since the 2003 season. On special teams Marlon Wood in possibly his last game returned a kickoff 87 yards to set up a score before the half, and Chris Stevens blocked a punt in the thrid quarter and recovered it in the endzone for a TD late in the 3rd quarter putting UW ahead 28-17. Five big plays that won the game, five big plays that put an end to the suffering at Montlake. What this does is send the coaches out without a positive message to bring potential recruits in the upcoming crucial 2007 class.
For WSU, they fought till the bitter end only losing by three, but the big plays on offense coupled by the great special teams play were just too tough to overcome. Well it is back to the beach....Go Huskies!
Friday, November 17, 2006
The seven-time Big Ten coach of the year compiled a 194-48-5 record at Michigan from 1969-89. Schembechler's record in 26 years of coaching was 234-64-8.
Schembechler's Wolverines were 11-9-1 against the Buckeyes. But fans in both states generally agree the rivalry's prime years were 1969-78, when Schembechler opposed his friend and coaching guru, Woody Hayes. Ohio State prevailed in those meetings, going 5-4-1.
Don James of Washington had a series of great Rose Bowl games against the legendary coach. Washington's first Rose Bowl under DJ was an upset win over Michigan led by Warren Moon in the 1978 Rose Bowl.
Coach Schembechler will be missed, he was an original just like his friend, and mentor the great Woody Hayes.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I am watching Pittsburg and West Virginia on my new 50" Plasma in HD. Have to say it looks pretty good above the fireplace, and I really wish I could watch the Apple Cup live that way. Pittsburg can beat these guys, and Wannstedt has done a good job getting them back on track to compete. The death of the Big East was very exaggerated, this the third straight fantastic Thursday night Big East game in a row! It is the Super Conferences who seem to be at a disadvantage. Pittsburgh ked 27-24 late at the half but WVU held them scoreless in the second half and won 45-27.
The Pac Ten will have some Thursday night games on ESPN in the future. It will be interesting to see how it goes, but the Est Coast start times don't work well for the East Coast. If you move the start time up on a weekday it hurts the fans.
I am leaving for Jamaica on early Saturday morning (brother in laws wedding, but I will be listening to the game via XM radio or the internet while I am gone. Most of the Green Bay, Wisconsin family won't be making it because it is right in the middle of Deer Hunting season which is something Cheeseheads treat as a religion. They can miss a football game, or Holiday, but not Deer Season which runs from the November 18th to the 26th.
I won't however be tuning into the UW/Sacramento State yawner on Sunday, but you guys enjoy. Even though the season will be over for UW I will keep the predictions going all the way through the bowl season.
The Pac Ten
Washington at Washington
You can throw the record books out anytime these two teams play. It doesn't matter what their records are, it has always been a good game. That being said, this game looks like a real stinker on paper. WSU has the edge at QB with a healthy Brink. Washington on the other hand could be going early with walkon Felix Brinkman if Carl Bonnell is unable to go and Johnny Durocher is unable to recover from last weeks concussion. Felix has gotten a lot of snaps this week. Despite having Brink the Coug's offensive line depth is very questionable because of injury coupled with the absence of their two top WR's. Washington defense has played well all year without taking a game off. They will have the opportunity for turnovers, and they better get them because the Washington offense has been horrendous.
WSU is going to come out with eight in the box to take away the Huskies anemic run game and force them to throw from the get go. UW needs to get a run game going, if they don't it could be a long day because they just haven't been the same since the mobility was taken away from the QB position. UW receivers need to stop dropping the ball this week, and they need to start blocking down field. For UW to win they need to win on defense, and special teams.
I am going out on a limb at picking Washington. I think the 26 seniors have a lot to prove in their last game, and they want to wipe the stench from their mouth from last weeks loss to Stanford.... Washington 17-14
California at Southern California
The Bear's have been waiting anxiously for this game all year and it finally caught up to them last week when they lost to lowly Arizona. Pete Carroll has the inside track for another BCS championship game, all he has to do is beat Cal, UCLA, and Notre Dame in November. Like Don James, Carroll owns November. ....USC 31-30
Arizona at Oregon
Arizona has won to in a row, has the program finally arrived under Mike Stoops? They have a lot of young talent, and maybe they are starting to gel. Oregon has to be hopping mad after not playing very well in the Coliseum. The Duck's still have a shot at the Holiday Bowl and won't allow the upset at home. ....Oregon 34-17
UCLA at Arizona State
The Bruins finally won a game last week, and Arizona State is coming off obliterating Washington State. Ben Olsen is back this week, but no word if he will play this week, Cowan will start. I think the Devil's have enough in the tank, especially at TB to beat the Bruin's. ....Arizona State 27-25
Oregon State at Stanford
Miracles do happen, and Stanford's 20-3 win over Washington was a miracle. It isn't going to happen two times in a row with the Angry Beaver's invading the farm. ....Oregon State 45-3
Michigan at Ohio State
This is the game of the year between the top two teams in the nation. After these two the rest of the country drops off quite a bit. The loser in fact will be deserving of a rematch if the game is close enough. That won't happen of course if USC, Florida, Arkansas, Notre Dame, and even Rutgers does not fall before the end of the season. Truth be told, it could happen. The smart money of course is on Ohio State. The Buckeyes are playing at home and haven't shown a lot of weaknesses this year even though they are a grade below the last couple of national champions. Michigan on the other hand has had more close games, but they did take apart Notre Dame earlier this year with little problem. .....Ohio State 21-20
South Florida at Louisville
South Florida isn't ranked, but don't overlook them. They are a solid team that is only going to get better with all that Florida talent at their disposal. The fall of Miami, and Florida State would help that growth as SFU has joined the Big East. Louisville will prevail at home. ....Louisville 38-24
Virginia Tech at Wake Forest
Usually this would be an end of the season cakewalk for the Hokies, but the Deamon Deacon play great football and have a shifty innovative offense. They are on a roll. .... Wake Forest 31-24
Maryland at Boston College
BC is out of the title chase, but they can still hit a decent bowl if they knock out the Terrapins. Once again it is heresy in my home to pick anyone who is playing BC, and this week my heart agrees. .... Boston College 26-24
No word on the status of Michael Braunstein and if Ty will let him and Hemphill play this Saturday after the stunt the pulled with the website. The Go To Guy thinks that Braunstein may be auditioning for a job with the Cougars.
Michael Houston is still suspended from practice, but he is still in school and involved in all team functions other than actually practicing. Chances are he will be back for Spring practice.
UW picked up another verbal last night. Three star 6'2 190 4.50 WR Alvin Logan from Aurora Colorado. That is the second WR we have received a verbal from in Colorado this year. Drew Davis a four star from Denver also has Washington at the top of his list along with Georgia Tech.
This one came in way under the radar. On a side note we won't be announcing verbals until the information hits the regular newspapers after being confirmed a day in advance by Dawgman.com.
The local writers however have not left us wanting this week as they try to find an angle on what looks to be a pretty boring game come Saturday.
Jerry Brewer is a new columnist for the Seattle Times, and while he is not from the area he has done a pretty good job assimilating in his first month or so working in a new city. I think he already has surpassed Steve Kelley who still thinks he is in Philadelphia after 25 years in Seattle. Of course I live in Chicago and still think I live in Seattle. Jerry took the angle of talking to Sonny Sixkiller, and Jack Thompson to get a feel for the game, and what the two schools think about each other. Jerry delivers a very good read, and you can tell he is talented and works hard at it.
Jim Moore from the PI of course shines brightest at this time of the year. The crusty Cougar has already bet his double wide in Port Orchard on the game. He is still infatuated with Braunstein and asks the question what if Braunstein transfers to WSU for his final year of eligibility?
Molly Yanity also from the PI asked Ty about several Huskies joining a Facebook.com group titled "I support Braunstein and Hemphill," Washington football coach Tyrone Willingham responded by saying, "Don't go there." Way to dig deep Molly! She also goes further to give us a clue of why WSU has declined so much over the past few weeks, and the answer is a lot of injuries on the offensive line, and at WR. The Coug's top two receiveres will probably miss the game.
Bob Condotta of the Times asked some questions regarding Michael Houston's status with the team to Ty Willingham this week. Tyrone Willingham said today that there is nothing new on his status with the team. However, he said that Houston is "still very in school and doing everything except really practicing actively with the football team.'' Bob's blog has been excellent this year and he is probably the best of a strong bunch who cover the Huskies on a regular basis.
Don Ruiz of the the Tribune focuses on what memebers of this senior class will remember. "Members of this Washington Huskies senior class have come to accept that they won’t be remembered well, so they are taking consolation in their own memories. Now their hopes are more modest: one more win, one last chance to spare next year’s team the burden of an ongoing seven-game losing streak, the small consolation of not being the first class to lose three straight games to the Cougars."
Mike Allende at the Herald asks what if Stanback hadn't been hurt? "Me not being able to play anymore shouldn't be the reason we're losing," Stanback said. "There are other things, just like if I was playing and we lost. We have to take care of business on the field, and we haven't done that lately."
Howie Stalwick from the King County Journal focuses on what it is like to be a Cougar from Western Washington? "Growing up in the Seattle area can be rough on a Cougar, but Redmond's Sean O'Connor says he was born and bred to hold his nose in the presence of Huskies. "When I grew up, my family were Ducks (Oregon fans)," said O'Connor, Washington State's senior offensive guard out of Redmond High. "The one thing that's easy about changing from a Duck to a Cougar is you both hate the Huskies."It wasn't a tough transition for me at all."
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
In Seattle we are about to make the transition into basketball, and football recruiting. Over the next couple of weeks we will be covering the Huskies pre conference basketball schedule, and provide some analysis as recruiting season gains some steam.
Let's take our weekly walk down Pac Ten Alley to see what our West Coast neigbors are up to this week.
Over at that Cow College in Pullman they are thinking threepeat.
"Who do you want at Quarterback, Alex Brink or Carl Bonnell/Johnny D? Obviously, any sane person would take Alex over those two jokes. And so, any one in their right mind would HAVE to install the Cougars as prohibitive favorites in this game. So, its on your shoulders, Alex. Win this one and we will have a leg to stand on for this season and beyond. Lose this one, and you will solidify yourself as the Biggest Bust that this program has witnessed over the last 30 years."
In Duckville they are ready to celebrate homecoming. Once again the dog will come home pregnant, and the garbage cans will be tipped over.
Look for the Ducks to come out of the gate running on all cylinders this week. After each of the first 2 losses, Oregon has come back to Autzen looking for revenge. I see nothing different this week as Oregon will win by 20. The weather looks to be a non-factor on Saturday with a prediction of cloudy skies and temps in the mid 50's with only a 10% chance of rain.
If you are a Beaver Believer you need to go to the Bay Area to watch this weeks game against Stanford.
In case you weren't watching, USC coach Pete Carroll let one slip on Saturday after Mike Bellotti challenged the reversal of the reversal of the original challenge. The Result? Touchdown Oregon. From the replay box, Phil Knight Smiles. (Warning: Language) The link is here.
Over at UCLA the talk is switching to basketball and also the return of Ben Olsen.
Olson, who said he had a talk with Coach Karl Dorrell about getting back on the field, would like to play this week against the Sun Devils but acknowledges that he may have to wait because of his injury. "I try and be chipper every day.... Every player wants to feel like they are supported," Olson said. "It's been tough being hurt. The whole thing is not a fun experience to go through.
When reviewing UCLA's non-conference opponents at the start of the season, many overlooked the BYU Cougars game on the schedule. However, there is an excellent chance this veteran and well-coached BYU team will make the NCAA tournament this year. Considering the experience, size, and depth of the Cougars, this will be a tough first regular-season game match-up for the Bruins.
At USC they know how to win in November.
On a day when three of their competitors for the national title got picked off, the USC Trojans didn't let their giddiness get the best of them. Instead, the joy of noting other teams' nosedives prevented Pete Carroll's team from following a similar course. The demise of Texas, Auburn and Cal is real, reports of the Trojans' demise have been greatly exaggerated.
At California they can finally stop looking ahead to USC, the biggest game of the Pac Ten season lost a bit of it's luster after the Bear's choked last week. Will Tedford ever get them to the Rose bowl?
The season is the playoff. That's the answer given by most purists to every proposed playoff system in college football. Implementing any kind of four, eight or 16-team playoff would, in their eyes, kill off the "Game of the Year" atmosphere that surrounds the sport week in and week out from early September through late November.
In Arizona they aren't postponing the start of basketball after the football team put together two wins in a row, but the basketball team lost against Virginia to send shivers up ther spine.
Against all that, the Cats dropped 90 points. The problem? They gave up 93. Every angle of this loss has already been looked at, every stone uncovered. There's little more to talk about, so we need to look ahead and see what was learned from the game against Virginia.
At Arizona State the blog is still dead, but the East Valley Tribune kicks in with some analysis from the win over WSU.
"There were some naysayers who felt that Washington State was going to come down and whip up on us," Catanese said. "It's nice when you can say that's not going to happen, and then come out and prove it."
Down on the Farm at Stanford consecutive wins aren't exactly a given.
"Now that it no longer has to hear questions about being winless, Stanford returned to practice Tuesday hopeful it can keep the momentum going. Of course, sending Washington to a sixth consecutive loss is one thing. Defeating Oregon State is another."
Michael Braunstein and Chris Hemphill have started their own website to protest being let go a year early. Are these two guys complete idiots, or what? If you want to come back do it through the team, not on a website which only proves that Ty Willingham made the right decision regarding these two yo yo's.
Hemphill and Braunstein have made it clear they would like to return. Tuesday, on Facebook.com, a Web site popular among college students, Hemphill and Braunstein stated their case on a web page they helped organize. The page carried the title "I support Braunstein and Hemphill." On the page, which lists each of the two players as an administrator, the move by Willingham is called "absolutely ridiculous" and says "two players who are doing their jobs on the field should never be removed from a team. This not only disrupts team chemistry, but also creates a precedent that no recruit's future at Washington is certain. After that loss to Stanford on Nov. 11, 2006, the coaching staff might want to think about cutting themselves."
I think chances are pretty good that neither of these guys hit the field against WSU after Ty see this. Talk about disrupting team chemistry. Braunstein has to be the biggest idiot who wasn't a criminal to ever attend Washington. Hemphill, well he has to be an idiot too for listening to Braunstein.
At Florida State Bobby Bowden's son has resigned as offensive coordinator. Will that be enough to save Bobby's job, or is it just a prelude to him stepping down? Bowden will be turning 78.
It's gotten bad enough at Florida State that the Kentucky coach Rich Brooks coach is talking trash about the Seminoles. According to Louisville Courier-Journal writer Brett Dawson, Rich Brooks, perhaps feeling chesty about clinching his first .500 record as a head coach since 1994, Monday praised offensive line coach Jimmy Heggins, formerly of Florida State. "It's nice to be able to get coaches that get let go at other places for whatever reason," Brooks said. "How's Florida State's offense doing this year? I just thought I'd throw that out there."
Joe Paterno on the other hand is secure in his job and may retake the field next week in their finale. you have to like this 80 year old guy who looks like he is going to outlast Bobby Bowden and go out the all time win leader.
To put all this Octogenarian stuff in perspective Jim Owens over in retirement in Kalispell is 79 years old. Can you imagine if he was still in the game at this point? Both Bowden and Paterno need to head off to the Sunset.
North Carolina picked up Butch Davis as their new head coach squelching the Willingham to UNC rumors. Darn it!
If you don't know who the Dead Schembechlers are by now, you're not paying enough attention. Even the real, septuagenarian Bo acknowledged their existence earlier this month, asking Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch, "Have you ever heard of the Dead Schembechlers? What the hell is that?" Here's what the hell it is: a quartet of Ohio State crazies who dress like Woody Hayes (4) and sing tender ballads such as "Bomb Ann Arbor Now" and "Wolverine Destroyer."
Watch out for Wake Forest, which has an opportunity to finish 11-1 by beating No. 19 Virginia Tech and No. 21 Maryland the next two weeks. If the Demon Deacons can close by beating Boston College, Florida State, the Hokies and the Terrapins, they will hit a BCS bowl.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Five minutes to go in the half and Washington isn't shooting the ball very well tonight. Huskies trail 25-17. Spencer is playing a high post on defense and is getting beat pretty good tonight on defense. On offense he is throwing up bricks from close range. Brockman has drawn three fouls in the first half which is too bad because he is all over the floor. He will sit the rest of the half. Pretty physical game with lots of fouls being called.
Appleby came in off the bench and hit a couple of three, and a two to draw the Huskies closer and change the momentum a bit. Gasser is getting some time tonight and playing good defensively. Hawes puts together a powerful dunk followed by a block on the next play which results in four points and draws the Dawgs withing three. It's halftime and Northern Iowa takes
a 31-28 lead to the locker room. UW only shot 38% in the first half. Huskies are led by Dentmon, and Appleby with 8 each. UW needs to settle down in the second half and work for better shots to win this one. NIU has a lot of experience in the low post and it shows. The Dawgs are only 1-7 from three point land.
UW starts off the second half as Dentmon ties the game with a three. UW picks up the tempo on defense as LoRo has made some adjustments to open the half. Hawes is lower in the poist on defense and it is making a difference. Brockman picks up a 4th foul as he is whistled on offense. Not a good call, and he heads to the bench with 17:21 left. Hawes is heating up and hits one inside.
6:25 left and we still have a pretty tight game with UNI leading 52-50. Hawes has had a good second half offensively he leads the 12 points 2 blocks, and five rebounds. 52-52 with 5:17 left and Washington is dialing up the pressure in defense again forcing turnovers. Brockman goes to the line for 2 with 4:09 left and hits one, and Huskies are up by one. Huskies aren't shooting well but are out rebounding the Panthers.
Appleby its a three and the Huskies are up by 4 with three minutes to go. UNI goes to the line and hits 2 to pull back within two. Brockman hits from outside for 2, and UNI scores again in transition. Hawes heads to the line for two and hits them with 2:25 left. Hawes blocks his third shot of the night, and Dentmon takes it coast to coast to go up by 6 with under two minutes left.
Crunch time now for the Dawgs and keeping focus to close is the key to victory. UNI hits for two. Coleman who has been a force tonight fouls out of the game and Brockman heads to the line. Jon hits both, Huskies by 6. UNI answers on the offensive boards. Appleby draws a foul setting a screen and keeps UNI in the game. 46 seconds left and UW takes 30 seconds to talk it over. Spencer has 16 for the night, great second half. UNI turns it over on an offensive foul.
UNI goes into fouling mode and Dentmon heads to the line, and hits two to put us up again by six with 30 left. Brockman fouls out and sends UNI to the line with 26 left, dumb foul. UNI misses, Dentmon is fouled again, heads to the line, and hits 2 to ice it. Appleby draws a charge defensively to put the final stake in UNI's heart.
Washington wins 70-61 after trailing by eight in the first half. Good test with Brockman on the bench for most of the night. Hawes had his best game as a Husky.
WSU has one big thing in favor this week, they are playing in Pullman. The weather is going to suck in Pullman as usual, and not a lot of Dawgs are going to feel it is worth making the snowy trip over the pass to watch another stinker. Another thing is Brink definitely has a definite edge over the current UW QB situation. I expect Bonnell, and Durocher to be able to play, but they are really just one hit away from taking the bench to make way for Felix Sweetman. Another thing in favor for the Coug's is that Washington is coming off a humiliating loss at home to Stanford. The odds are that Washington isn't going to be able to recover mentally, or even physically enough to play in the cold of Pullman.
On the Washington side if you are half full glass man you have to convince yourself that UW cannot possibly play as bad as last week even though they are playing a better team. WSU has been in just as big a freefall as UW, and the Huskies always show up for this game. You have to think the seniors want to wipe the bad taste out of their mouths and go out with a win. You know that history dictates that the Cougars are capable of losing to anyone, anytime, and especially when they are favored. You realize the coaches will pull out all the stops to get the team prepared to move the ball, and you know the defense will show up. What if Ranking or James is able to break loose to loosen things up? If Stanford can beat Washington, UW can upset the tiring Cougars on a given day.
If you are a glass half empty type of guy the big question this Saturday is the terrible Washington offense that has lost the ability to run, pass, block, or pass. Last weekends performance was statistically one of the worst in the history of the program. What exactly do you think they can come up with to help two immobile, beat up QB's who are going to be facing eight in the box again? WSU is going to make them to throw, and Lappano of course will try to throw over it to loosen things up. The missing intangible is the speed of the healthy Bonnell, and injured Stanback, when Washington had that going for them it masked a lot of the teams problems.
WSU under Doba hasn't reached the heights they did under Price, but playing a little over .500 and going to a bowl three out of five years is enough to keep your job in the Palouse. Hopefully that won't be the case in Seattle, but we aren't exactly even at that level. Beating the Huskies for a third consecutive time also goes along way in ensuring that you retire rather than resign. The Cougars simply have more weapons, and potential attitude than UW has going into this one. The Cougars are playing for a bowl, and Washington is playing for next year.
I am pretty sure it is going to be stinker on both sides of the ball. I think the team that makes the least mistakes wins the game. The only hope for Washington is to get a running game going, and score some points with defense, and special teams. The receivers need to help their QB this week, UW has to stop dropping balls, and block better downfield. The biggest key will be if Bonnell can recover, stay loose, and stay healthy.
In the end only an insane person would bet on Washington this week even with 10 1/2 point spread. The Cougars may need only a touchdown and a couple of field goals to cover. Willingham needs to create some magic Saturday, he is in an uncomfortable corner.
I think legendary UW Head Coach Don James said it best:
"I've always felt that being a Cougar prepares you for life. You learn not to expect too much."
Why is a tornado and a Cougar divorce similiar?
You know someone is going to lose a house trailer!
What does a Cougar say to a Husky at MacDonald's?
"Do you want to Supersize that?"
A WSU student walked into a bar in Seattle and ordered two beers. After he paid for the beers he drank one and poured the other one all over his right hand. The bartender was curious to what he was doing so he asked him, and the WSU student replied "I'm trying to get my date drunk."
One day at the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter was greeting new comers. The first man was a brilliant engineer from Boston College, so he and St. Peter talked about the great structures and buildings of the world. Next was a mathmatician from Harvard, so they talked about the most complex mathmatical problems in the history of civilization. The third guy had an IQ of 78 and a six pack in his right hand and St. Peter says, "How 'bout them Cougs!"
What's crimson & gray and goes 100 mph?
A Cougar in a blender.
Why wasn't Jesus born in Pullman?
God couldn't find three wise men or a virgin.
How do you make a WSU graduate leave your house?
Pay him for the pizza.
What's black and blue and goes tha-dump, tha-dump, tha-dump?
A Cougar in a dryer.
Why don't they raise chickens in Pullman?
They plant the eggs too deep.
How do you keep a Cougar out of your front yard?
Put up some goalposts.
Why do WSU graduates put their diploma on the car dashboard?
So they can park in the handicap spots.
Why did WSU decide to put Fieldturf in Martin Stadium?
To keep the cheerleaders from grazing.
What do you get when you breed a WSU Cougar and a Groundhog?
Six more weeks of bad football.
What does a WSU woman tell her lover when she's done with sex?
"Get off me, Dad, you're crushing my smokes!"
Monday, November 13, 2006
Tonight's game is another tuneup against a less worthy opponent, Nicholls should offer little resistance as the Huskies gain their sea legs. It is halftime now and the Huskies are up 56-22. A 34 point lead at the half is a pretty dominating statement no matter who you are playing. The Dawgs are distributing the scoring pretty evenly led by By Dentmon's 14, and Pondexter's 10. Brockman who had a career high last night hasn't scored yet and has only taken one shot so far. UW has been bombing from long range hitting twelve 3 pointers in the first half. The Huskies are shooting 58% from the field.
Brockman is heating up in the second half as the Huskies really begin to stretch this one out. He has 10 since intermission. Oliver is getting a lot of time running the point this evening as Romar is trying to break him in and see what he can do. Oliver is pretty explosive and can obviously handle the 3 spot, but the point takes a different set of skills and takes time to develop. UW has stretched its lead to 40 points leading 78-38 with around ten minutes left.
The Huskies again start showing their youth by letting Nicholls go on a bit of a run reducing the lead 78-49 and getting a little sloppy in transition. You can tell Romar is visible hacked with his young team. Even with a large lead he is continuing to teach and try to get the point across that it is important to finish strong and keep the underdog down. Lessons like these will pay off come as the schedule tightens. Phil Nelson has been fun to watch tonight, he is pretty smooth inside, and out.
Spencer Hawes has been quiet tonight with 16 minutes, 4 points, and 2 rebounds. Brockman finished with 12 , and nine rebounds. Brandon Burmeister had a career high of 17 points. Phile Nelson chipped in 10. Justin Dentmon had a great game hitting for 16 with 6 assists. Pondexter added 14 in a second straight strong game. Artem Wallace pulled down 8 rebounds and had 9 points. The Dawg's finish with a 102-74 win
The Huskies finish the tournament tomorrow against a strong Northern Iowa team which should challenge Washington quite a bit. Northern has been in the Big dance the past two years and returns with a veteran squad.
My opinion is that I like Willingham, I think he is a fine man, but he has dug himself a serious hole by ignoring and being difficult with the media. He has also made some very questionable decisions over the past week which really have put himself and the program in a very precarious position. This blog has publicly supported Coach Willingham even though we wished he was more PR savvy. I also have felt that if he didn't win early enough he was going to be put under extreme fire. If UW had won yesterday, even by the most narrow of margins everyone would have been happy because we all know they are running out of players. That being said there was no reason to lose to a terrible Stanford team, and you have to place the blame firmly on the current coaching staff.
Saturday was a huge out of state recruiting day for UW with many prospects coming in from the Islands, and California this weekend to visit. What type of impression did they leave with after reading all the negative notes in the papers this week followed by the worst performance by a Husky team in the last 50 years? No doubt about it, this past Saturday set the program back in such a hole that Willingham may not be able to survive beyond next season.
Enough about the Huskies, let's talk about what happened in the Pac Ten this past weekend. It was wild, and wooly out there this past weekend.
First of all USC is back in the national championship picture after humbling Oregon at home 35-10. This was a big statement making victory for the Trojans who climbed back to #3 in the polls and are once again in the drivers seat after the all the upsets this weekend. One thing about Pete Carroll, he knows how to win in November, and once again the Trojans control their own destiny. If they win out against Cal, UCLA, and Notre Dame they will play the winner of Michigan/Ohio State for all the marbles. Oregon played probably it's best game of the season last week, but they followed it up with a pathetic performance this week.
California on the other hand blew the opportunity to play for it's first BCS bowl, and national championship by losing to Arizona 24-20. How exactly do you lose to the Mildcats? Well the same way you almost lose to Washington in overtime. The Bears have been looking ahead to next weeks game against USC all year, and it finally caught up with them. As far as Arizona goes it was a milestone victory for Stoops who has been stockpiling talent since his arrived in the Pac Ten. It was always a matter of time till he got that team to mature.
UCLA rose from the dead to shock Oregon State 25-7. It was a big win for Coach Dorrell and his reeling program. For Oregon State it has to be a tremendous disappointment. How exactly do you play that bad against a team that was on the ropes? Ask Ty Willingham who lived the same nightmare against Stanford.
What exactly is wrong with the Cougars? Just a couple of weeks ago we figured they were a shoo-in for the Holiday Bowl, now they aren't even guaranteed a trip to Hawaii after being smacked around by Arizona State 47-14. ASU at 6-4 now has an eight win season in it's sights which seemed so unlikely only a couple of weeks ago. If Koetter can coax 7-8 wins out of a team that was given up for dead he will stay another year at ASU. Funny how quickly things can change.
Nationally it was a week of upsets that stood the BCS on it's collective ear. The mayhem started on Thursday with Rutgers beating Louisville and kicking them out of the national championship game.
Texas was knocked off by Kansas State 45-42 which was preordained when Kirk Herbstreit picked them to be the likely survivor to play the Big Ten winner. I haven't been impressed with the Horns defense this year, and it finally caught up with them.
Florida slipped by South Carolina by one, and is still in there with USC for the final spot. I predicted an upset and fell only one point short. Keep an eye on the other USC, it is just a matter of time with Spurrier at the helm.
Georgia finally showed up and salvaged their season by knocking the snot out of Auburn 37-15 at home.
Notre Dame got by Air Force with little problem and is in the picture if they can beat USC in their season finale.
Boise State barely held off San Jose to clinch the WAC title. Dick Tomey has done a masterful job rebuilding the Spartans which were on the verge of giving up the sport.
Wake Forest shut out Florida State 30-0 and Bobby Bowdens reign is about over after this one. Not much but loyalty can save him, is anyone loyal to anything in Florida? The race between him and Paterno for the all time win record has been reduced to a limp, no pun intended Joe Pa.
Nebraska held off Texas A&M by one, and Maryland had similar result against Miami who decided to show up for the first time in weeks.
The BCS Picture
1. Ohio State....It all comes down to one game for the Buckeyes.
2. Michigan....The Wolverines control their own destiny.
3. USC....Strength of schedule puts the Trojans in the title game if they can win out.
4. Florida....The Gators are still in it if SC stumbles, but could be leapfrogged by the Irish.
5. Notre Dame....The cupcakes are paying off.
6. Rutgers....Finally these guys have a chance for all the marbles if they get by WVU.
7. Arkansas....An SEC championship game win over Florida may not be enough.
8. West Virginia....The loss to Louisville will keep them out.
9. Wisconsin....Not playing Ohio State kills any chance for these guys.
10. Louisville....A last season loss to Rutgers will keep them out.
I think the road to the championship is pretty exciting and unpredictable as we go into the last few weeks. Could two Big Ten teams pay for title in a rematch? USC obviously deserves the nod if they can win out, but I am rooting for Rutgers because I just love the underdog. You go undefeated you should be able to play for all the marbles, but would a win over WVU be enough to vault them past the one loss teams?
If you can believe Michael Braunstein's father Ty Willingham lied to the media last week regarding the perennial Lou Groza candidates future plans. Not a good move by Ty who had to know that the midget wouldn't go down without swinging.
Chris Hemphill had another good game at Safety, and he told the press he would love to come back next year but doubted Ty would take him. You really have to wonder if Ty has a clue about what he is doing and how bad this mess will make him look nationally. It could have been handled a lot better. One thing a poster brought up on the Dawgman board was whether walking with the seniors was an honor, or a public humiliation. You be the judge.
Husky players were PC after the game, but the feeling is that the early graduations did have a serious effect on the team this weekend.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
The one thing about Washington basketball is that everyone understands their roles and plays team defense. This is a real young team that is blowing Pepperdine out early in the first half 16-2. These kids are very, very, good.
One impression is Brockman half a step faster this year. He is still a force in progress, but is really showing improvement in all phases of his game. He will average round 15 points a game this year and ten rebounds if he can stay out of foul trouble. John had his best game as a Husky tonight
Appleby is noticeably improved, the kid is dong a nice job handling the ball. We are all going to love Oliver, the kid is definitely Mr Excitement when ever he hits the floor. Dentmon is morphing into an excellent point guard, you can really tell he has improved his decision making this season.
The Huskies are still showing their youth as they were on the verge of blowing out the Waves early only to let Pepperdine draw close enough to make it interesting. Whenver the Waves close in UW goes on a 7-8 point run to stretch it out.
Is Hawes ready for the NBA?
Sure, if someone wants him to sit at the end of the bench making a few million per year. He needs time and polish like all young big men. He would be smart to stay a couple of years under Romar to develop rather than make the plunge. The question for a kid like him is how good does he want to be? Early entry really stunts the potential growth of these kids. He isn't a force yet on offense, but he had some nice blocks. Give him a couple of weeks.
Defensively this is a classic Romar team with kids pressuring the entire time and kids flying all over the court for loose balls. It is still early but these guys could gel enough to go all the way if they get hot in March.
The Dawgs are up by 20 with 5 minutes to go and are cruisng to a nice opening win. The Dawgs have two games left in this opening tournament which should be an good jump start for a tougher non conference schedule this year.
Losing 20-3 to a terrible Stanford team in the last home game for 26 seniors just boggles the mind. It was clear that our kids were playing to lose yesterday and didn't care about the outcome of the game. Willingham's odd decision to not honor a 5th year for a number of seniors is not unusual. To announce it before a must win game isn't exactly smart since it seems the class gave him the figurative finger yesterday and tanked the game. The Huskies who have had problems getting up for games all year never rebounded from the flattest start of the season and responded with the worst performance we have seen in Husky Stadium in over 50 years. Yes, this was worse than anything Gilby ever manufactured, this was a complete embarrasment for the University, the fans, alumni, boosters, and students.
Accountability starts with the coaching staff who have failed to motivate this team during the last quarter of the season. That accountabilty firmly places Willingham in a position where he likely won't make it past a third season at Washington unless there is a dramatic turn around next season which is very unlikely since Washington will be extremely young next year. "Paint Dry Ty" hasn't made many fan's in the media during his stay at Washington, the drum roll for his ouster has already begun.
I have tried to be positive, and objective with this blog this year. I like Willingham a lot, but yesterday performance deserves an extreme amount of criticism. This loss isn't simply a step back, it is a program, and momentum killing loss. It is a loss that will reverberate up, and down the west coast among potential recruits this season. Ty has given every opposing coach a laundry list over the past week why they shouldn't attend the University of Washington and play for Willingham.
I actually had to wait a good amount of time to write this because I did not want my emotions to get in the way, but the next morning little has changed for me. I feel the program suddely is moving in the wrong direction, and this current staff has lost control of the team. No way do you lose to a lousy team like Stanford that you should be able to beat by 30 points.
As far as the players involved go, don't let the screen door hit you on the way out of Montlake. These guys tanked it, no other explanation, they just didn't care. Yesterday's performance was a figurative single finger pointed at every student, fan, alumni, and booster. We all deserve a lot better than this.
It is time for some accountability, it is time for the major supporters to light a fire under Turner, and Emmert to make the neccesary changes to turn this program around. Whether it is with Willingham, or without Willingham change has to happen, and it has to happen quickly. Yesterday's game guarantee's a much smaller renewal of season tickets and overall attendance next season. Football is the horse that drives the engine at Washington, without a solid program the whole infrastructure required to support 21 teams begins to fail. Forget about a modern Husky Stadium, forget about a completed Baseball stadium, say hello to a freeway through the South deck of the stadium.
UW football hit a historic low yesterday, drastic measures are needed to reverse it, or this could become the norm.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The Huskies do open the second quarter with a Braunstein field goal to take the lead 3-0. The Huskies gained around 50 yards in the first quarter limiting the Tree to only 15. UW needs to make sure they don't keep these guys in the game much longer. The Husky defense seems to being playing well, and the soon to be departing Chris Hemphill is playing his butt off at the safety position. I still think he will take care of business and be back next year.
Durocher hasn't been able to move the team either despite great field position. A good example was Washington starting on the Stanford 23 after a nice return by Marlon Wood. UW came away with zero points and actually were pushed back far enough that they had to punt. Douglas of course put it into the endzone for a touch back resulting in a net gain for that possesion of only 3 yards. Washington is absolutely flat and just mailing it in offensively. I would say that this is the most pathetic half of perhaps the decade so far, and we have had some bad halves.
Late in the second quarter Stanford comes up with a 41 yard reception which gives them some confidence. This is exactly what Washington didn't need to do, let the underdog stay in the game and get some confidence. UW is pretty balanced so far...38 passing, and 39 rushing. Stanford has minus 13 rushing. Stanford hits another long one and is now inside the Husky 5. Washington does get a sack to back them up to the 15. Stanford is forced to kick a field and ties the game at half.
You have to think that the Husky coaches need to kick some major ass at halftime and go Pinella. This performance is just inexcusable. Stanford is absolutely terrible, and Washington offensively is just embarrasing. The Huskies simply are not executing. Bonnell should be back to start the second half which is good news. 77 yards in total offense for Washington, and 74 for the Cardinal which came on two long passes.
Friday, November 10, 2006
In a foot note the Pac Ten will start playing a couple of Thursday night games on ESPN next season which should help with some national visibility. the Big East has always benefitted from it's relation with ESPN, and this season is no exception as the conference that was left for dead will finish strong this year with possibly two teams in BCS bowls.
We still have another week before the big rivarlies start, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions out there. the question I have is how high undefeated Rutgers will go in the rankings by the end of the year if they win out? Another question would be how long Craig Schiavio will continue to live in New Jersey with all the opening that are going to be avaialble on the Eastern seaboord this year?
Stanford at Washington
The Huskies are not going to have any problem with the Cardinal, and the game should be out of reach midway through the 2nd quarter. Washington while banged up has way too many weapons for the Cards who are the worst team in Division One. It will be the last game for 26 seniors at Washington which signals the beginning of a major culture change in the program. Next year will be the final year of the Neuhesel touch remaining in the program. Look for the Huskies to play a lot of players tommorow to reward seniors, save players for WSU, and of course let some kids get experience for next year. The Huskies still have a shot to go to Hawaii if they win the next two. ...Washington 45-3
California at Arizona
The Bears better be on their guard and bring ther A game to Tucson. The Mildcats are coming off an upset over WSU that knocked them out of a sure bowl bid. Can the Mildcats put together two upsets in a row? No, while Cal is still looking ahead to USC, Arizona does not have the horses on offense to keep up with the Berkeley Boys. The UA defense will keep it closer than expected. ...California 31-17
Oregon at USC
The Duck's played at a high level against Washington last week and have a team that should be able to end the Trojans Coliseum winning streak. Pete Carroll on the other hand isn't going to like going 0-2 against rodents and waterfowl. USC's anemic running game better pick up if they expect to win. The key to Oregon is preventing mistakes. Mistakes took them out of the game early against Cal, and it kept Washington in the game far too long last week. ....Oregon 27-25
Washington St at Arizona St
Just who are the Cougars anyway? The team that beat up Oregon, and Oregon State, or the team that struggled early in the season then blew an easy one against Arizona at home? For the Cougars this is a must win to clinch a bowl bid, and a seventh victory. It is a must win for Arizona State who mailed it in against OSU last weekend. If ASU loses expect the anouncement of Koetter's firing to be made before the UA game. ...WSU 33-21
Oregon State at UCLA
The Beavers have been the best team of the Pac Ten's second half, while the Bruins as usual have been the worst. I don't expect a let down for the Black Bandits of Benton County. the drum beats will get louder for Dorrell's ouster in Westwood. ...OSU 35 UCLA 17
South Carolina at Florida
I would love to see USC pull an upset in Steve Spurrier's return to the Swamp. The odds are against it, but SC has played everyone tough this year. Florida is in the drivers seat to play the winner of Michigan/Ohio St. I would love to see them get knocked out of it. ...South Carolina 21-20
Georgia at Auburn
The Bulldogs have dissapointed all season, even losing to woeful Vanderbilt. Auburn on the other hand has a chance to play for all the marbles. You of course know that auburn should cream these guys, but I hope for an upset to really muddy up the BCS. ...Auburn 32-13
Notre Dame at Air Force
The Irish continue on with their twinkie a week schedule. this week it is declining Air Force which has lost it's edge under Fisher Deberry. the Falcons usually give these guys a game, not this year. ...Notre Dame 38-7
Tennessee at Arkansas
the Razorback's have been this years surprise team in the SEC, while Tennessee coming off a loss last week can't afford another one if Phil Fulmer is going to stay off the hot seat. Tennessee 27-26
Boise State at San Jose St
San Jose was about ready to give up football than in walked Dick Tomey who is one of the most underated veteran coaches in the country. The 6-2 Spartans are bowl eligible. This test against Boise which has it's eyes on a BCS bid is going to be a great game. ...Boise St 30-27
Alabama at LSU
Mike Shula is doing a nice rebuilding job and the Tide is getting close to returning to the power they once were before probation. this game will be close but the Tigers get the nod at home. ...LSU 24-31
Wake Forest at Florida St
Usually this one is pretty easy to predict, and actually it still is as Wake Forest has all the weapons needed to put another nail in Bobby Bowden's coffin. ...Wake Forest 24-7
Nebraska at Texas A&M
The Huskers can clinch the North title with a win, but they won't because the Aggies are pretty darn good. ...Texas A&M 26-21
West Virginia at Cincinnati
Usually this would be a game not worth mentioning because the Bearcats usually stink. this year is really no exception, but they did play Louisville to the wire earlier in the year so this one will be closer than expected. ...West Virginia 28-24
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Braunstein is a guy that three coaches have tried to run off, but he has had a pretty solid year, in fact he has been one of the most consistent kickers in the Pac Ten this year. Washington received a verbal from a HS kicker Erik Folk from Sherman Oaks, California earlier today. UW is also in on a couple of punters.
Chris Hemphill is even more confusing since the Huskies don't have a lot of depth at Safety. CJ Wallace, and Matt Fountaine will exhaust their eligibility after this season. Hemphill is coming off a career game where he was credited with 14 tackles. For some reason his departure doesn't add up.
Marlon Wood has been a consistent big play threat, and he too has a year remaining after entering UW as Sophmore. Seems funny you would show the door to your only return threat.
Strangely enough Darren Harris a safety who is out with a serious back injury that could end his career is not listed. Kyle Trew looks like he escaped the chopping block too.
The information was posted at the GoHuskies website and I have a feeling that the info may not be accurate because Wood, and Hemphill are to guys I would welcome back. I won't comment on Braunstein.
Anyway I have been holding off on this all day, but now that it has been posted on the official site there are still a lot of questions to be answered. The key to the future of course are the kids we are going to recruit the next two years, and room has to be made for the program to improve. however getting rid of a couple seniors who are capable of starting next year is quite odd if it is true.
Whatever the story is we should have a good idea what is going on later this evening, or in the morning.
According to Bob Condotta over at the Seattle Times there are no mistakes, or typo's, Braunstein, and Hemphill currently are not going to be invited back for a 5th year. Both have an interest in finishing their football careers next Fall and under new NCAA rules are eligible to transfer wherever they want to finish, even in conference. Wouldn't that be strange indeed to watch Braunstein kick a winning field goal against Washington while playing for Arizona, or Chris Hemphill come up with 14 tackles for the Duck's against Washington next year?
According to Willingham the door is open a crack for them to return, but it is very doubtful at this point, so they are walking with the Seniors since they will be able to earn their degree's this year. I think Willingham is going to get a lot of media criticism for the way he is handling this even though he needs to make room for his next two classes.
When a new regime takes over there is always a lot of attrition, and a lot of it is forced. Take Joey Thomas who is now in the NFL. He was an original Neuheisel recruit who was chased off by Neuhesiel because they didn't think he was good enough. Joey went over to Montana and became an All American, and a high NFL draft choice. Just another case of what a lousy evaluator Rick was. In comparison asking a kid to move on after his 4th year is tame in comparison.
None of us are inside the team, not even the media, so nobody really understands the inner workings of this team, and who contributes in a positive way that helps the team. Hemphill is a kid with seemingly enormous physical talents, and it has surprised me how little he has played this year. He got a chance last week and came up with 14 tackles. This week he is on the short list of players asked not to return. Perhaps they are just motivating Hemphill in a way that worked so well with Scott White in the pre season. I guess we will find out what happens to Chris over the Winter. As for Braunstein he is 100% gone. I liked his performance this year, and it would usually merit a 5th year, but he isn't exactly the most popular kid on the squad.
Attitude seems to be the common denominator that Willingham is looking for. We all realize that changing a culture is not easy, and that certain people always have to go to achieve it.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
At Oregon the Duck's are getting thinner as they get ready for USC in the Coliseum. Michael also has something pretty slimey and disgusting to identify in his "What is This" section.
"Seniors James Finley, and Dan Kause are considered questionable to be ready to play Saturday when Oregon meets seventh-ranked USC in the Los Angeles Coliseum."
The USC Blog has some parting shots at Stanford, and some photos of a Trojan group trip to Italy.
"Hey Stanford. (Sniff). You Stink": In doing the Stanford team preview early last week, I was afforded a look into the futility of the 2006 Stanford Cardinal football team. I learned they had scored just nine touchdowns through the first eight games. They were dead last in the country in run defense and had suffered more key injuries than the rest of college football combined."
The Oregon State Blog is thinking Holiday Bowl when just a few weeks ago were considering the toilet.
"Like I've said in the last few posts, If the Beavers beat UCLA and Stanford, then top their conference schedule with a win against the Ducks, they can find themselves in the Holiday Bowl if the planets align with the rest of the Pac-10. If they do that, then they can go try and make some waves on the islands of Hawaii, and take a stab at a 10-3 season."
Over at WSU they think ASU is as beat up as the Coug's. You can't blame being beat up for losing to Arizona. That was a choke that needed the Heimlich maneuver to correct.
"Getting up early is going to go a long way towards beating them down in the desert. With the struggling confidence of Rudy Carpenter, and now their 800-yard tailback is probably out with a sprained ankle? And a couple of starting o-lineman and their #2 WR are also out, as well as another 3-yr letterman at WR!?!? Hmmm. Meanwhile Ropati is coming back this week and will hopefully play in the D-tackle rotation as we see more 4-3 against their running game? Double-Hmmm."
At UCLA they still hate Karl Dorrell. Make way for Rick Neuheisel.
"The puff piece which is basically a rewrite of Plaschke's idiotic M&M article from last season, does nothing to address the concern of overwhelming majority of UCLA alums, students, and season ticket holders, who are sick and tired of Dorrell leading like a clueless head coach on Saturdays, with his idiotic clock management, mind-boggling conservative game management with no signs of in game adjustments, and embarrassing and disgraceful losses to opponents with inferior talent, who we have no business losing to."
At California they have a couple of kids who shared Pac Ten player of the week honors.
"Quarterback Nate Longshore and punt returner DeSean Jackson, both of California, and cornerback Antoine Cason of Arizona have been named U.S. Bank Pac-10 Football Players of the Week. "
At Stanford they are focussing on womens basketball. They will eventually write something about the football team this week too. Things have never been this down on the farm.
"Stanford women's basketball star Candice Wiggins could miss the season opener Thursday night because of a bruised left heel. Wiggins, the two-time Pacific-10 Conference player of the year, was injured last Thursday in an exhibition game against Chico State and sat out Saturday's exhibition against Love and Basketball."
At Arizona they are celebrating the win over WSU and postponing basketball coverage for another week. That was a big late season wil for an underachieving program.
"Be honest, with basketball season right around the corner you'd basically given up on Arizona football. I had. After the loss to Oregon State, I'd come to accept another three-win season. I was out of things to blog about when it came to football. I started earnestly doing my homework on Lute's boys. For me, following this team for the remainder of the season was more about having nothing to do on Saturday then it was actually being interested in the results. Good thing the players don't take their cues from the fans. Saturday's 27-17 victory over a ranked Washington State team proves that Arizona hasn't given up on this season yet. Therefore, the fans shouldn't either."
At Arizona State they have written anything since the bye week so after the whipping they took last week at the hands of OSU you can say the season is now over for the Devils. I did get this from the local paper. One thing for sure, Washington picked the wrong week to play ASU. The Devils are now officially beat up and should be fodder for the Coug's.
"Tailbacks Ryan Torain and Keegan Herring sat out practice Tuesday to ensure their availability against Washington State on Saturday. Torain suffered an ankle injury when hit hard on a screen pass early in the second quarter at Oregon State last week and did not return. Herring played through the game but took a pounding. Shaun DeWitty, Dimitri Nance and Preston Jones took the workload during practice."For those guys to get hit in a Tuesday practice at this time of year just doesn't make sense," coach Dirk Koetter said of Torain and Herring. "It gives us a great chance to get DeWitty and Nance some reps. That's just precautionary. Both those guys are going to be good to go on Saturday."
The Washington Stanford rivarly is one of the oldest on the West Coast. The two scools have been competing against each other since around the turn of the century. Stanford's old stadium was one of the oldest in the country and the new stadium built within it's footprint while much smaller is one of the most modern in the country. Stanford will be able to recruit with a centerpiece like that. Walt Harris will be able to rebuild the program if given some time, he is an excellent coach.
Kenny James will be available this week, but expect the bulk of the carries to still go to Louis Rankin once UW puts it away. Keeping Kenny healthy is a key to beating WSU the following week.
Expect Johnny Durocher to get some playing time against the Tree this week, but Carl Bonnell is still listed to start at this point. The position is actually in competition this week so more word on that Thursday night.
This Saturday is the official start of recruting season for Washington. Expect 6-10 recruits from out of state at the game on Saturday. Washington likes to have most of theur recruits visit in December when they can focus on the recruits themselves, and the city of Seattle. This week there will be some top guys from Hawaii visiting who by the way were in Eugene last weekend. Time for Ty to steal some kids from Oregon.
Honoring 24 seniors? You are going to see attrition as they make room for two consecutive 24-25 man classes to rebuild the football team. I have a good idea who the 4 year guys are that won't be invited back for a 5th year, but we will save that for after the Stanford game when it is announced. Always a few surprises.
There will be no TV for the game this weekend, so if you can't attend listen in via KJR radio, XM Radio which will have the KJR feed, or on the internet at gohuskies.com. The televised replay will be available as usual Tuesday night via the internet at gohuskies.com.
Stanford is preparing for rain this weekend, this is an article Bob Condotta found in the SF newspaper.
"In an attempt to minimize fumbled snaps, Stanford will drench balls used in the center-quarterback exchange during practice this week. The Cardinal will not have quarterbacks throw those balls, Harris said, because those heavy, water-logged balls could hurt the quarterback's arm. "
I will be taking in the Apple Cup from Jamaica next Saturday. My brother in law (couples shower) is getting married over Thanksgiving down there so the whole family is making the trek to the ancestral home of Bob Marley.