Pac Ten Alley returns this week after a brief hiatus for vacation. We will take another break next week, and return to full time at the end of July when we get back from New England. While we are gone I will be posting previews on Stanford, and Oregon State.
We start off with Ted Miller of the PI who writes about Oregon dropping it's Wrestling program to reinstate Baseball, and offer a competitive cheerleading program. I really like Ted, and it is great he has decided to pick on UO, it's about time someone did. Pushing Moos out the door will be something this program regrets for a very long time, just like Washington not hiring Moos when they had the chance. Nothing against Turner either, but Moos really got it going down there.
Does the UO budget now include money for bronze poles, mirrors, and disco lights? Ken Kesey (former UO Wrestler, LSD Lover, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) must be rolling around in his grave.
We follow with some snippets from SI's Stewart Mandel. If you are a Husky fan there are some words of encouragement. If you are a Cougar fan you likely won't be happy.
We then move onto the Seattle Times Bob Condotta who has done an exceptional job with his blog over the past year. Bob takes a look at academic casualties over the last decade or so.
Ted Miller shoots one over the Bow of Oregon
It was just a matter of time till someone started taking shots at the new Oregon AD. I also think it won't be long till the NCAA takes a shot at the Oregon program. Something hasn't smelled right in Eugene for some time, and it isn't the pulp mill. Now that they have a neophyte booster running the athletic department it is just a matter of time till they get caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.
Kilkenny is not a typical athletic director. He's a big-money booster who helped force out Bill Moos last fall. He spent three undergraduate years at Oregon but never earned a degree. He had no previous experience in athletic administration before he was hired, but he apparently is better at, er, "handling" Señor Swoosh, Nike Pooh-bah Phil Knight, the Ducks' ATM, who didn't feel like Moos was enough of a sycophant.
SI's Stewart Mandel on Washington vs Ohio State
I think that Ohio State game has definite upset potential because it's early in the season, when it's likely the Buckeyes' untested offense will still be a work in progress. That said, Washington's offense will have to be much improved to have any success against OSU's defense. Remember, the Huskies got off to a pretty good start last year, winning four of their first five (including UCLA and at Arizona) and nearly knocking off USC before QB Isaiah Stanback went down and the season went south. Stanback was the heart and soul of that offense and a talented enough athlete to become a Cowboys fourth-round pick even after the injury.
This will be a critical year for Willingham, and much will depend on the performance of his new quarterback, redshirt freshman Jake Locker, the Huskies' savior-in-waiting the past two years. Willingham has recruited well enough and the defense should be dependable enough for Washington to be a bowl team if Locker comes through. The biggest problem, however, is going to be that murderous schedule. The Huskies could definitely use an upset against either Boise State (Sept. 8) or Ohio State (Sept. 15) early to get the momentum going. And they definitely can't afford to lose at Syracuse the first week.
Mandel also takes the time to give us his list of the top ten worst coaches in college football.
4. Bill Doba, Washington State: With each passing year, it becomes painfully apparent that Doba a super-nice guy and the former legendary high school coach is in way over his head. After a successful 10-3 debut in 2003, he's gone 8-17 in the Pac-10 since.
Bob Condotta of the Times takes a look back into the past of Husky Football academic casualties. This is what he came up with.
Of Lambright's five full classes, he signed 98 players, with six not gaining initial admittance. Of those six, one (Multiauaopele) eventually played for UW.
Giving Neuheisel credit for the 1999 class, he had five full classes at UW and signed 115 players with eight not gaining initial admittance. Of those eight, three later became Huskies.
Gilbertson's only full class was in 2004, and he lost two of 23 players, neither of whom ever played for the Huskies.
Willingham has had three classes and of 63 players he has signed, it appears that at least nine will have been initially ineligible. Of the six ineligible from earlier classes, five won't ever play for the Huskies.
Obviously, on the surface it appears that a higher percentage of Willingham recruits are having trouble getting into school than recruits of previous UW coaches.
Pac Ten Alley
Now it is time to take a walk down the coast to see what our neighbors are up to.
USC, like Washington duck's nobody when it comes to scheduling. Could they get ambushed in Seattle? Will Josh Booty say, "All I saw was purple!"
You know about those pundits that say the Trojan away game schedule is a monster? Well, if you thought the first half of the season was a cakewalk over a relatively harmless group of opponents...
Jeff Tedford has built quite the program at Cal, and once again they are touting another Heisman candidate.
For the second consecutive season, the Cal athletic department has started a Heisman Trophy campaign for a standout junior, launching a Web site devoted to receiver/returner DeSean Jackson this week.
The euphoria of winning two consecutive national championships in baseball has the valley spinning. The Dam also takes time to make fun of Oregon's attempt to re-enter the baseball arena.
Now, I realize, the Beavers won their second National Championship twenty-some days ago, and that might not have been early enough for the Beavers to be considered for and ESPY nominations. But still, was it too late for ESPN to throw in a video of Joey Wong's miraculous double play, or Joe Paterson's strike three called that gave the Beavers their second National Championship? How hard would it have been to put in a clip of Kevin Gunderson forcing Chad Flack to fly out to center field, then showing Kevin throw his glove into the air, and be joined by all the other Beavers in the dogpile? That entrance video seemed to last five minutes.
The big news at Oregon is the new baseball, and cheerleading programs, but since Ted Miller already slammed that around we turn to news of Jordan Kent. I think the kid will be a fixture in the NFL for a long time. He didn't have a lot of experience, but I really like the way the kid moves.
Jordan Kent's three-year transition from complete football newbie to NFL player has come full circle, with reports that the former Oregon three-sport athlete has signed with the Seattle Seahawks.
What? Happy news from Nestor about UCLA football? Cat's sleeping with dogs? Rain falling upwards? What's going on here?
It's always tough to tell too much from any one practice, let alone an informal short & T shirt 7 on 7 type dealio vs a local JC squad, albeit one of my alma maters WLACC. But FWIW, (to this longtime practice regular), it is obvious that UCLA's overall talent level is picking up considerably. As is the confidence level & focus of the team.
Someone picked WSU to go bowling this season, and just not any bowl.
Trust me Cougar Nation, the staff here at the WSU Football Blog would accept the invitation RIGHT NOW if offered. This is by far our best case scenario.
THE BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL!
THE BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL!
THE BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL!!!!
Do they even care about football in Arizona? I guess they are a softball school, sound familiar?
Arizona softball pitcher Taryne Mowatt returned to Tucson on Friday from her experience at the ESPY awards in Hollywood, where she won for top female athlete of the year and top college female athlete of the year.
Wilner seldom writes about Stanford in his Stanford blog, but who can blame him, Stanford sucks. He did manage to ruffle some feathers up in the Pacific Northwest. By the way our scientific poll has Don James as the best coach in the Pac Ten over the last thirty years, so take that Jon.
Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve gone and ranked Don James No. 3 on the list of best Pac-10 coaches of the past two decades, behind Pete Carroll and Mike Bellotti, and now I’m feeling the wrath of Husky fans everywhere. I even went on a Seattle sports-talk show; the hosts wanted a piece of me.
UW isn't the only program in the Pac Ten that is looking for money for renovations.
Dan Zeiger of the East Valley Tribune has had to create his own stories this offseason thanks to this new-fangled idea called discipline. In the wake of a $30 million deficit and Sun Devil Stadium's structural inadequacies, the overall ASU sports program seems to be doing as well as it ever has as evidenced by Zeiger's article.
Out of Conference Opponent Blogs
Well the Hawaii blog is getting petty cocky aren't they? No mention of UW which should have a pretty tough defense. I bet the Hawaii blog a couple Pina Colada's that UW will keep Hawaii under 30 points.
No one will keep Hawaii to under forty points. Sound crazy? Only Alabama, Boise State and Oregon State were able to do it last year, and even those games were tight until the end. The offense rolled for over sixty in four games and should do that in at least six.
Not much news out of Boise, but at least they did well at the ESPY's. This blog should heat back up at the start of August.
The Boise State University football team went two-for-two at The 2007 ESPYS Awards co-presented by Hummer and Under Armour, Wednesday night, at the Kodak Theatre.
I really like the Syracuse blog, those guy's have a lot of fun poking fun at themselves.
Superficially, this fact only tangentially pertains to Syracuse University. As a proud American football playing institution, the Orange must vicariously take a hint of pride in the U.S.'s utter domination of its competition.
Some very interesting info on Ohio State, remember the Buckeye's will be breaking in a new QB in Seattle. Check out SMQ, they know ther stuff.
What is shaping up to be a work heavy week means light blogging. But, to provide some material for the start of the new week, I would highly recommend Sunday Morning QB's (SMQ) preview of Ohio State. Before you dive in, there are some things to know about SMQ. Their knowledge of just about any Division 1A college football team borders on frightening.