Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

Most of the coaches are taking a break and going on vacation till the high school camps open in late June. Chances are you will find Ty out on the golf course sharpening his game. I just finished building a couple large decks in the backyard, and we are enjoying the outdoors again which is a real treat now that Summer has begun in Chicago.

Talking about Chicago, the Mariners are at Wrigley for the first time, and I am going to hit the game on Thursday. Wrigley is a special place even though Safeco is probably close. The thing with Wrigley is the history, you get a real tingle when you walk in there similar to when the Huskies run out of the tunnel at Montlake. It almost brings tears to your eyes.

The NBA draft is coming up and it looks like it is a foregone conclusion that Spencer Hawes is going to enter the draft despite not exactly showing well at the pre draft camps. Everyone knows Spencer is a player, and everyone knows Spencer has a lot of work to do to even get off the bench next season because of the lack of upper body strength which is so crucial when playing in that league. Hopefully he comes to his senses and stays another year at UW to mature. Stay another year and chances are that he would be a top 5 pick, right now his stock is falling. One good thing about your stock falling is you don't get stuck on a crummy team.

The University of Washington athletic department will honor its proud and successful heritage this fall with a weekend full of special activities surrounding the Sept. 29 home football game against the University of Southern California. A number of events will be held in conjunction with the Huskies' critical Pacific-10 Conference game against the nationally-ranked Trojans, which will be televised live nationally by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 beginning at 5 p.m. The department will honor the 1960 squad that convincingly defeated top-ranked Minnesota by a score of 17-7 in the Rose Bowl and was listed as the nation's top team in the final Helms Foundation poll following the conclusion of the bowl games that season.

Pac Ten Alley

Once again it is time to take a walk down the coast and see what our Pac Ten neighbors are up to.

We start off at USC. The recruiting machine at USC is amazing because the coaching staff doesn't rest on it's reputation. They are out there recruiting each year like their jobs are on the line.

Only the very top football programs in the country can do it - dominate recruiting on their home turf, and at the same time go out to the far corners of the country and recruit the very best high school football players. That delicate balance can be hard to achieve, but few would argue that USC has done it. And its track record of success on the field has garnered attention from high school and junior college athletes from all over the country again this year.

Former Golden Bear players are making a trip to Japan to play a team made up of former Hawaii players.

It turns out that bowl season isn’t quite over for the Cal football program. The Bears still have one more to go: the New Era Bowl. While the name bears the familiar corporate stamp of many college bowl games, the game shares little else in common with the NCAA’s postseason match-ups. Rather, the July 8 game will be played in Kensai, Japan and feature former Cal players along with current Bears coaches instructing a Japanese football team and then playing against another team coached by a contingent from the University of Hawaii.

The Beaver's are back to defend their national title in baseball. A few weeks ago it looked doubtful, but the Beav's are peaking at the right time.

With the Beavers headed to out of PDX tomorrow morning, and a steady stream of Beaver fans, including me, following them to Omaha, let's veer away from number crunching and game breakdowns to talk about the Beavers' wardrobe. They'll be playing in front of 20,000+ at Rosenblatt, and thousands more will be tuning in across on ESPN. We'll go through the 2007 duds one by one, and then I'll open it up for discussion at the end.

Not much coming out of Oregon since little is going on, but the Duck's picked up a national TV game.

Oregon will be on ABC nationally for it's game against Michigan on September 8th. Not exactly breaking news or new information for some I'm sure, but there it is in black and white. Michigan gets Notre Dame the week after the Ducks, on national TV as well. Is Oregon the trap game for the Woverines because they'll be looking ahead to the Domers? Probably not.

UCLA received it's 18th verbal this week. Bruins Nation isn't that excited.

So the Bruins picked up another commitment yesterday. Connor Bradford, a one star 6-5, 260lbs undersized, unknown OL (who was not being recruited by any major Pac-10 schools) committed to Dorrell yesterday. And I guess a huge congrats is in order (if you have the mindset that UCLA should be competing against schools like Utah and BYU for recruits) for the coaching staff who beat out some powerhouses from MWC or whatever conference those programs are playing in this year. Connor’s commitment was Dorrells’s 18th pickup of the season.

WSU filled the vacancy on it's coaching staff by plucking a guy from Toledo.

Washington State football has hired an assistant from the University of Toledo to replace cornerbacks coach Kenny Greene. The new WSU assistant is 38-year-old David Walkosky, who was on the Toledo staff for eight seasons. He completed his second season as secondary coach last fall and has been special-teams coordinator since 2003. Head coach Bill Doba called Walkosky "impressive.He fits our needs perfectly as we needed an emphasis on special teams and he has a passion for special teams," Doba said.

Arizona eliminated the Husky Softball team and went on to win the national title.

Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea is always looking for omens. This is a guy who, after eating at a Whataburger in Oklahoma City in 1991, kept the receipt in his wallet because it was order No. 1. UA went on to win national title No. 1. He went on eating at Whataburger in future years.

This is an excellent read. You are going to find the sportswriters getting creative just like we are in finding something to post about till camps open in August.

I’m not sure what prompted me to think about this, but I figured it would be perfect for a slow week in June. And it’s a great launching point for similar blog items, like: The best Pac-10 quarterbacks of the past 20 years, the best coaches, the best players, etc... . I hope to make this a semi-regular Hotline series through the slow summer months.

ASU should be the odds on favorite to win the national title in baseball as they move on to Omaha this week.

A few quick thoughts on the 2007 College World Series that begins on Saturday for ASU.* The Sun Devils are the third highest national seed remaining in the field, following #2 Rice and #3 North Carolina.* Here's a good snapshot of each of the participants.* The brackets are up, but difficult to follow due to the double-elimination thing. Perennial bracket dream killer Cal State Fullerton looms large for ASU in the second round, assuming they can get past defending national champs Oregon State.* ASU (48-13) opens up on Saturday against the UC-Irvine Anteaters (45-15-1) at 11 am AZ time. Freshman RHP Mike Leake will make the start on the mound for the Devils.

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