My wife, and I are heading out to the Northwest this week for a little vacation that will extend past the fourth of July. I have a few previews already written up of our upcoming opponents that I will post next week when we have a connection , but we will be taking a one week break as far as Pac Ten Alley is concerned.
We will have previews of UCLA, and USC up during the hiatus. Chances are both teams will be in the top ten when we play them next year, nice way to open up the conference schedule. UCLA has the potential to be very good if they can generate some offense. USC on the other hand has the potential to win another national title.
We hit the Seattle area on Wednesday and will be mooching off friends and staying at their vacation houses on Puget Sound throughout the weekend. We then take a train to Portland on Monday and continue the mooching at a friends house at Manzanita on the Oregon Coast. I have never taken the train to Portland, so it is going to be an interesting ride down the coast since it doesn't follow I-5 the whole way.
Husky Football Notes
Sports Illustrated thinks Washington has the toughest football schedule in the country this year. It looks plenty tough to me, but that is why kids historically come to Washington, and that is the opportunity to play in big games.
Washington football suffered a little attrition this week when it was announced that OT Imeka Eweka will not be able to qualify and will be taking the JC route. Eweka wasn't going to be able to play this year anyway because of an Achilles heal injury, so if he goes to a JC he could conceivably come back with 3 years to play 4.
Walkon QB Chandler Clemmons also elected not to come bak after having a good Spring. It may have been evident to him that Locker, and Fouch may never have let him see the field. UW could really use a walk on at this position this Fall.
TE Tim Williams from Chehalis has decided to hang it up. Williams didn't see the playing field, and UW is pretty deep at TE. Expect Frosh Chris Izbicki to make an impact this Fall since he is the only TE on the team who is what Willingham calls the complete package.
Bob Condotta writes in his blog that season ticket sales should be up this year by around 1000. Still even with the increase season ticket sales are down 14,ooo since 2002. They need to win some game to dramatically improve those totals.
Pac Ten Alley
We start off this week with Oregon State who won their second consecutive title in baseball this past weekend in Omaha. Building the Dam, the Beaver blog actually made the trip out to Omaha to catch the series, and they have some marvelous insights this week.
After putting up two wins in the College World Series, and one in the Super Regional against Michigan, freshman phenom Jorge Reyes seems to be sweeping the nation by storm. The story of his grandparents driving up from Mexico is only one of the many story lines I have seen, and as someone who attended the games in Omaha, it seemed like Erin Andrews was interviewing Jorge every time you looked up.
The Oregon blog chimes in with it's own coverage. Duck fans are just as excited since UO does not have a baseball program.
Oregon State ended one of the most dominant runs in the 61-year history of the College World Series with a 9-3 victory over North Carolina on Sunday night. The Beavers became the first team in a decade to capture consecutive national titles.
We all try to keep busy in the off season, and the WSU blog has been focusing on the Mariner's, and the Sonics till football gets under way. Griffey's return to Seattle was pretty neat, let's hope he finishes his career as a Mariner.
The interesting thing is that he said in a lengthy post-game interview that he WOULD like to return to Seattle and retire here. Does that mean they'll try and trade for him? Does it mean they'll hopefully try and sign him after 2008?
Is there ever any bad news at USC?
Hershel Dennis called WeAreSC this afternoon to let us know that he has been approved by the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. Dennis missed the past two seasons due to a pair of knee injuries but it was unclear if he would meet NCAA standards to receive a sixth year. After graduating from USC last month with a degree in sociology Dennis filled out his application for the additional year and the ruling came down today in his favor.
UCLA now has 21 recruits who have verbaled for 2008. Our friend Nestor over at Bruin's Nation gives us a rundown on recruiting. Nestor runs one helluva blog, and never takes a week off. This is a must read if you follow recruiting.
Since recruiting has been the hot topic for last few weeks thought I do another post looking at the big picture and connect with our expectations for this upcoming season. So let's do a little reset before we look into the numbers of Pac-10's top 5 recruiting programs since 2003 (the year Dorrell arrived to Westwood). Here is what we can assume before looking into the numbers: Southern Cal far and above is way ahead of everyone in the Pac-10 (I know (alleged) free housing can go a long away in hauling in elite play makers). California has done a great job recruiting under Tedford by their standards and now is situated as one of the programs that is expected to contend for the Pac-10 title. So much so to the point WWL hypes Cal-Southern Cal game as one of the marquee games of the Pac-10. Karl Dorrell is a mediocre football coach who has come well short of achieving his goals of winning the Pac-10 championship and beating Southern Cal in his four + years in Westwood. UCLA will always recruit well no matter who is the coach because Southern California is one of the most talent rich hotbed in the country when it comes to high school football talent (probably in the top-3 along with Texas and Florida).
The California Golden Bear Blog fills in this week with a few questions. Will Cal be able to play defense?
From Steven in Berkeley: Which do you think is a more pivotal win for California: Tennessee or USC? Nate Longshore, Justin Forsett, and DeSean Jackson obviously make the offense as explosive as ever. It is the defense which is keeping me up at night. I think if we meet the Trojans with an unblemished record in Berkeley, Chris, Kirk, and Lee will have to make their first trip *ever* to Strawberry Canyon.
Lute Olsen pulls in a couple of recruits for Arizona.
So, it wasn't very long ago when there were some talk that Arizona coach Lute Olson & Co., were not going to get much when it came to recruiting. After two not-so-Arizona-like seasons it appeared recruits were looking elsewhere. And don't forget Olson's age - 72, soon to be 73 in September. Drawbacks? Right. Not exactly.In the last two months UA has been unbelievable in the recruiting world. Arizona surely will end up with a top 10 class or likely higher with recruits like center Jeff Withey, guard Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Negedu.
John Wilner picks up slack during the downtime to do another "Best of the Pac Ten List". Wilner is always a good read.
Given the response to my June 6 Hotline post looking at the best Pac-10 teams from the past 20 years, and given that it’s still a slow time of year in the college sports world (unless you’re a baseball fan) …. I figured this would be a good time to extend the “best of” series.
Part Two looks at the best players, excluding quarterbacks (that’s coming next week). I could easily list 20 or 25 but will keep it to 10, which means some huge talents have been left out, including....
We wind up with the House of Heat who with a little imagination can always find something to write about that isn't in the police blotters.
There's actually some Sun Devil news relevant to the big sports, and none of it involves the police! Kinda makes me feel like river dancing.