Friday, June 08, 2007

The Weekly Poll Question

Last weeks poll question was:

Who is the greatest running back in Husky History?

It went right down to the wire between two running backs who were separated by about forty years in their tenure at UW. It is really tough to say who is better. I saw Nip, and have only seen a few snippets of film on McElhenny, but I will say this for Hugh, most feel he would be as effective today, as he was during his run in the 1950's, and early 60's.

Hugh McElhenny 30% (6 votes)
George Wilson 5% (1 votes)
Chuck Carroll 0% (0 votes)
Joe Steele 5% (1 votes)
Napoleon Kauffman 30% (6 votes)
Corey Dillon 15% (3 votes)
Greg Lewis 15% (3 votes)
Robin Earl 0% (0 votes)

Kauffman was a great back, and probably the best Pac Ten back in quite some time till Reggie Bush came around who was very similar. They both had legs that resembled sewing machine needles. Nip went on to have a solid career in the NFL before retiring early to pursue the ministry.

McElhenny possessed a trait that few have had in history, and that was the ability to stop on a dime and change direction time, and time again. Hugh actually scored a TD in a Pac Ten game where he covered about 175 yards running side to side. He was one of the best open field runners in the history of the game....think Gayle Sayers. Hugh was voted as a first string RB to the NFL first 50 year team.

Greg Lewis got more votes than I thought he would, and that is great because he was an excellent college running back who won the Doak Walker award as the best running back in the country his senior year. He is the only Husky who has ever won that honor.

Right up there with Lewis, was Corey Dillon. Dillon probably would have won the vote if he had stayed at Washington a second year and led his team to a Rose Bowl, and National Championship. For the record that is what would have happened if he had stayed. Jim Lambright would probably still be head coach and getting near to retirement, and the Husky program would not have plummeted to the depths it did over the past five years.

Joe Steele of course is among the best who ever played, and an injury ruined his chances for a pro career. Joe goes down as the most important recruit of the Don James era. He was the guy you had to have, which is very similar to the importance of Jake Locker becoming a Husky.

George Wilson gets a single vote, and while time has faded over the last eighty, or so years since he played, he banged heads with legends such as Ernie Nevers, Johnny "Mack" Brown, Red Grange, Jim Thorpe and came out on top. Nobody really knows how good he, or Chuck Carroll who came later really were since most that saw them play are dead now.

For the record I voted for McElhenny based on the testimony of such guys as Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford, Mike Ditka, and the recollections of my father who saw Hugh play quite a bit at Husky Stadium.

When I was in HS and college the best Husky RB in my mind was Joe Steele, nobody really compared to him until Kauffman arrived, and I think Nip was better, even though Joe is still my favorite. My father felt that while Joe was very good, he wasn't in the same league as a McElhenny, or an OJ Simpson. Hugh was in that OJ, Sayres, Brown, and Payton type of class according tot he old timers.

This weeks poll question:

Who is the greatest Quarterback in Husky History?

Wow, this is a tough one because there have been so many great QB's at Washington. You have to go back to Don Heinrich, in the 50's, Schloredt, in the 60's, then Sixkiller in the late 60's and early 70's.

That was pretty much it as far as greatness was concerned until Don James arrived. His first QB was a guy by the name of Harold Warren Moon who did pretty good for himself. DJ followed it up with a great one almost every year he was at Washington. In fact UW at one time had more QB's in the pro's than any other school. While Moon is a Hall of Fame QB, can you honestly say he was the best college QB UW ever had?

Heinrich was where the bar was set, not only was he the best collegian while he was at UW, he went on to have an all pro career. I never saw him play, but he was the best pure QB until Sixkiller came onto the scene. Schloredt is in a special category, he led the Huskies to two Rose Bowls playing both ways, and he was more of a running QB.

I saw a lot of Sixkiller, probably every game he played at home, and he had lot's of zing on the ball, but the best in the conference while he was at UW were Plunkett at Stanford, and Fouts at Oregon. Sixkiller was fun to watch, and his teams rekindled the excitement Husky football lost in the late 60's.

Moon of course had a great senior year after a rocky start as a sophomore at UW. He went on to be one of the best pro QB's in the history of the CFL, and NFL. Once again, was he best QB the Huskies ever had based just on his days at UW?

After that came the DJ prototypes, Flick, Pelleur, Conklin, and probably the best in my mind in the early models was Chris Chandler who has had an unbelievably long career as a pro. Brunnel, and Hobert followed in the 90's. BJ never lost a game, hit some scandal, and he never did click in the pro's. Looking back he was screwed since what he did didn't end up being a violation, however he did open Pandora's box. Brunnel on the other hand has had a great career in the NFL, and is still playing.

The Huard brothers, like Cary Conklin never quite lived up to the hype, but the hype of course was Heisman potential, both had solid careers at UW. Finally of course we have Marques Tuiasosopo who is a legend in these parts after leading the Huskies to their first and only bowl game since the Millennium.

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