Monday, November 26, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

This was one of the type of games that make you do some reevaluating. It reminds me a little of Rick Neuheisel's Holiday Bowl loss to Texas. For all intents and purposes that is when the slide we are currently in started. UW hasn't been able to defend the pass very well for over five years, not to mention the problems we have with the run. Plain and simple we are not very good on defense, and this team may represent the worst defensive team in the history of the school.

WSU's final touchdown really summed up the season. The team doesn't know how to finish, and it is obvious that the coaches aren't putting the players in a position to finish. That one particular play was the result of a terribly blown scheme where half the team was blitzing, and the other was in cover two. There is absolutely no excuse for that in the final minute of the last conference game of the season.

Still it wasn't just the defense that lost this game, it was a terrible offensive game plan contributed also. Washington drove California into the ground last week with a backup quarterback and a strong rushing game. Washington moved completely away from what gave them perhaps the best win in the Willingham era last week over California. UW threw the ball 37 times yesterday completing only 12 passes, with two interceptions. The Huskies also lost a fumble on one of the few receptions one of their receivers actually were able to make. UW receivers dropped at least six very catchable balls yesterday. If you make a couple of those catches dives don't stall, and you probably come away with a win.

Washington didn't lose on Saturday because WSU had better players. Washington didn't win because they didn't execute very well on either side of the ball. The team didn't execute well because the coaches ignored what the team has been becoming very good at, and that is simply running the ball. You have to wonder why these guys keep sabotaging themselves.

What's next?

My friend Nathan Ware seriously doubts that UW will make a move such as firing Willingham, and Turner after the team returns from Hawaii. He thinks the best we can hope for is that they replace a couple coaches, but even that is dicey since Ty refused to do that at Notre Dame.

I on the other hand think that there is a very good chance that they make a move because booster favorite Jim Mora is in town, and very available. That move will cost a lot of money, and the big bucks guys will have to step up to make that happen. Word on the street is they are ready to make that kind of move if Emmert allows it.

I have always liked Willingham, and I think he has done some good things at UW since he arrived, but it really comes down to winning football games and putting butts in the seats. Willingham hasn't accomplished either, and the program may not be able to afford to give him another year to see if he can get over the hump.

Washington should have finished with at least a .500 record last season, the loss to Stanford was inexcusable. Losing to WSU, and Arizona this season is inexcusable too. You need to win the games you are supposed to win even if you are rebuilding and we simply haven't done that.

On Thursday my wife, and I fly to Honolulu for the game. We leave with mixed emotions because of the expense, and of course the likelihood of another loss to finish the season. This was a game that should have meant something. This was a game that should be propelling us into a bowl with a win. What it has become is a reward for a senior class that has never been to a bowl game.

I think it is going to be very tough for this team to compete in Aloha Stadium on Saturday which is unfortunate because it will be on national television via ESPN. Willingham's team has shown up for every single game this season, and in every one of those games they have had a shot to win. Let's hope that continues for one more week.

We will be posting from Hawaii as time, and Internet connections allow.

Rumors About Doba

On rumor is circulating that it looks like Bill Doba has escaped the hangman's noose over at WSU according to our friends over at the WSU blog. Doba was a shoe in to get the axe before the Apple Cup, but that win, and the 2.8 million it would take to buy his staff out have apparently given him another year on Poop Island.

Another rumor posted over at Dawgman suggests that an inside source has divulged that Doba will announce his retirement this evening. that rumor says a settlement has been worked out which will allow the Cougars to pay the contract off over time.


dcdawg said...

Get ready for Jim Price II in the Palouse. Should make Jim Moore happy, they can go get lap dances together.

I still believe Willingham should get his five years. I respect and like Jim Mora, but what makes everyone so sure that he's a better coach than Ty? If Mora had been hired three years ago, he would have had the same seniors and the same schedule this year that Ty did, and quite possibly the same results. Mora might be better, he might not, and the fact is that NOBODY really knows. I say give Ty the full five years that he deserved; UW should not descend to Notre Dame's level.

That's a serious question, by the way, HCE, and one which I have not seen anyone actually discuss with specific statistics and examples rather than just empty rah-rah drivel: what are the reasons to believe that Mora would be any more successful than Ty? I'd love to see you discuss this in detail, either in tandem with Nathan or alone, whatever.

John Berkowitz said...

Why would Mora be more succesful than Ty?

It's a pretty good question since it is never a slam dunk that the new guy will do better than the old guy.

I think the problem with Ty and Turner is that they have alienated too many people from the program. Neither of these guys have promoted very well, and when you need to raise 400 million to rebuild the stadium you could use some promoting.

It isn't just the losing, it is the lack of spark and excitement. People feel that Mora will bring that spark back and unite the Husky nation.

Mora has never been a college coach so like I said earlier he is no slam dunk for success. I do feel he will bring a lot of excitement and bring people back in the fold that have been missing since DJ left.

If they don't fire Ty I can live with that too. I don't hate the guy at all, but I do think he needs to make a lot of changes in the way he does thing to stay here beyond 2008 if it comes to that.

t9odawg said...

I assume dcdawg means Mike Price II in Pulman.

Is there something in Ty's 13 year history that leads you to believe he will turn this around? That he can actually rebuild a program?
His three year history at UW is full of gameday coaching gaffs, just like his DC he didn't get stupid over night. DJ planned for every possible game scenario, we haven't seen that with Ty, he looks lost when confronted with something that needs an immediate decision

TT and Ty ared driving the final nails into the Husky FB coffin Gerberding started 15 years ago

dcdawg said...

Pullman is in the Palouse, last I checked.

Ty did pretty well at Stanford despite much higher academic qualifying hoops than at UW. And he did well at first at ND, and his recruits did pretty well last year at ND. We can argue about how much of this year's problem is coaching, how much is the players, how much is luck, etc -- but none of that answers the question, what makes you think Mora will be any better?

John, thanks, I think you're right about the spark/excitement thing; unfortunately, I'm not sure those things have any proportional relationship with building a successful football program. I sense a lot of alums like Mora just because he's "their guy" and Ty isn't. But objectively, that's no way to make hiring decisions.

Anonymous said...

Hey John, Doba is in fact OUT as you've probably heard by now. They are cleaning house. And all accounts are this is the new president's decision all the way, basically stepping on/over Jim Sterk to pull the plug. Say what you want about "poop island" but the new WSU president wants to try and compete at a higher level. With a stadium renovation about halfway done, more funds are needed, and status quo isn't the answer to rally the alums to write checks.

Hmm, SOUND FAMILIAR? Might Emmert step on/around Turner and pull the plug after a (likely) 4-9 season? Executives need to make big decisions. Crucial time for this program.

John Berkowitz said...

Actually T-90 there is nothing that makes me think that Ty can turn it around at UW. If they don't can him this year chances are they will have to do it in 2008.

Final nails?

I don't think it is anything that a coaching change wouldn't be able to fix.

Like I said before, I don't dislike Ty at all, but I am tired of coaches who aren't prepared on game day.

abg said...

Everything John says about the coaching is true, but I was listening to Gary Pinkel (argh! woulda shoulda coulda) being interviewed today. He was talking about the first few years at Mizzou, when they were losing all the time. He said he was fortunate that he had the total backing of the administration and that they committed for the long haul.
"The bottom line is, you can't build a successful football program if you have a new coach every four years."
Give Ty his five.
It hurts, but the revolving door approach won't work.
Also: I read that Mora would bring 'excitement' but I didn't read 'victories.'

prrbrr said...

JohnB, sorry about Doba, he was a class act, but didn't win. On Ty, I, like you, am torn. I could live with him for another year, but what if we go 6-6 next year, will that be enough? The DC mst go, no negotiation, if Ty wants to fall on his sword, so be it. Lappano also hasn't done himself any favors either. The game was very winnable. I saw again too many instances of failure to adjust or just plain pigheadedness. Maybe it is time to do it right, but I am proud of what TW has accomplisehed sun thru Fri.
2. We will be arriving HNL Thurs also, staying at JW in Ko Olina. For sure would like to meet you and Kate at rally at least.
3. Went to 3 mens bball games, 1 womens bball, 2 vball matches plus the Cal and WSU games these last two weeks. Tried to watch soccer playoff win too but it was just too dang cold.
4. My thoughts on these: mens bball; Brockman and little else, they really need Apples to break a zone. Overton very good but very young, Dentmon improved. Morris and Smith seem to me to be less than average. Wolf helps against bigger plodding teams as does Wallace. Go with Amaning, QP, Brock, and Apples, Oliver, Dentmon and we might do ok. Womens bball: Florence is fun to watch, I wish our football team had her drive and desire. Kate Redmon is best bball player on team. Others looking good are Sami Whitcomb, Mosiman, McClellan. Augustavo, McNeil are good players not great. Bennet needs to get in better shape, but she is tall. My wife and I agree, Mosiman is downright cute, but the stunner is Mackenzie Argens, who wwas out with a knee. Tia can coach, at least she can make several game day adjustments and gets on her players and the refs when they aren't doing it right. Watching them, i was surprised they had been blown out so badly in previous games, but they do go cold in long stretches and turn the ball over too much. Vball was just plain fun. Against Ore St, they didn't have much enthusiasm, but played with them until they wanted to put them away. Against Ore, too many mental mistakes in first game (senior night?) but got better and put them away convincingly quicker each succeeding game. BTW, Ore will be very good nexy year in Vball, very young team who swept both USC and UCLA a few weeks ago, plus won 3 games against UW tough senior laden team this year. Enough of this non football stuff, but I wanted to recognize these other sports as we had a very good time at all their games. I will hammer on football in another thread, See you roland

t9odawg said...

Final nails if Ty is here for five years. I know quite a few people waiting for a good reason to renew season tickets. I'm not giving mine up, yet.

I don't see many big time local recruits being enthusiastic to be Huskies. A couple maybe the rest will say something like Taylor Mays did.

There are big money guys that quit coming to the games. They say it is too painful and they're right, it's downright depressing watching the kids play they're butts off and then the coaches put them in bad situations with the game on the line. Ty says the kids need to leran to to close a game. Ty and his staff need to learn how to close the deal first

t9odawg said...

I have no idea that Mora can do better than what Ty has put together so far. I think he can.
We know that Ty was 6 win 5 loss guy on average when he came to
Montlake. 66-55-1

There were many, many empty seats this year in Husky Stadium. The announced ticket sales numbers were not indicative of butts in seats. There were a lot less butts in seats and season ticket sales/renewals will drop again if Ty is still here. At some point in time there will a negative ROI by keeping Ty, if the drop off trends in renewals and attendance continue. The older fan base is leaving, saying they have better things to do with their money than watching Husky FB be destroyed. You may not like that but that is what I hear everytime I go to a game. Hardcore fans talking of giving it up because there is no energy left to watch meltdown after meltdown

Roger said...

For what it is worth from an old broken down ex-player, my former teammates and I have gnashed on our tongues for three years. In the first year we saw ethics and credibility return with a dash of responsibility and no new bookings into the local jails. Last year was a little better but losing the QB at the mid-point really hurt - an example is Oregon minus Dennis Dixon. This year the offense played a lot better but the sad results were too familiar. They were in most of the games and should have finished above .500. What has been absent when we watch practices and during games is a mean streak in players on both sides of the ball. In the clutch, "mean" helps take the fight out of opponents. Now we have to endure Colt Brennan putting up a 600 yard passing day against a tepid secondary. If teams reflect the personality of their coaches, TW and his staff aren't going to get any kids that could start on any other school in the Pac10. He admitted as much at mid season. He'll muddle through two more years with a lot of 'woulda' shoulda' coulda' excuses but in the end without a different philosophy, different coaches and better players, he'll enable the team to settle for mediocre. The fans will stay away in droves and UW will fight it out with Stanford for 9th place for the foreseeable future. I hope I'm wrong but don't think so. My condolences to you all.