I was over at Dawgman last night and noticed that the Huskies had moved up to #7 in the country in recruiting after a few adjustments to some unevaluated recruits star ratings. As I have said before this is probably the best recruiting class Washington has had since the early 1990's. The class has everything you want, balance, speed, and utility. Washington has a shot at staying in the top ten once it all balances out, but expect Oregon, and USC to finish strong.
The dead period has been exactly that with Washington only needing 3-4 players to fill out it's 2008 class. That is good news because Washington historically does best in December. When there are plenty of spots left to fill in January it usually spells trouble.
Rick Neuheisel has some buzz going on down South this week after being named head coach at UCLA. He talked to DeWayne Walker about sticking around to be his defensive coordinator but he didn't get an immediate yes from the coveted Bruin assistant. That bodes well for Washington which has made a big time two year offer to bring him North. Michigan's Ron English hasn't made any decisions either waiting for word on what is going on at UCLA, and Washington. My inside hunch is that Walker is heading North. Another inside hunch is that Norm Chow isn't going to want to work for Neuhesiel.
The PI's Ted Miller thinks that Rick is going to lead the Bruins back to the top of the conference. He has been cocky enough to say they will be a Pac Ten power under Neuheisel. I have been thinking along the same lines, but sometimes Rick simply defies logic. We are talking about a smart guy that was unable to follow the rules, or keep his nose out of trouble at both UW, and Colorado. Logic dictates that the public spanking he got at UW taught him a much needed lesson, the problem is like I said, Rick tends to defy logic.
The Husky basketball team has it's last remaining tuneup before conference play today when they face Idaho State at 3:00 pm at Hec Ed. Most of us were encouraged by what we saw Saturday at LSU. That was a quality win, and comeback on the road against an SEC team. On the other hand LSU isn't exactly a power this season. UW will know exactly what they have when they face WSU to open the season. The Cougars have climbed out of oblivion and now are a very good possibility to make the final four in March. Why do I say that? Winning the tournament starts with defense, and WSU is one of the best defensive teams in the country.
How will the Husky basketball team do this year? Well I actually think they will end up doing better than last year in conference. You have to like the way the team stepped up the last couple of games with Ryan Appleby dinged up. Pondexter is obviously the key for this team in conference play, if he can keep up with the assertiveness and become a scoring option it bodes well for these guys.
On the girls side fired UW AD Todd Turner didn't exactly get the sizzle he was looking for from Tia Jackson and a top rated recruiting class. The Husky women certainly are not playing together very well to start the season which is an expected by product of changing coaches, and coming in with a young team. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cougars led by ex Husky coach June Daugherty whack them in conference play. Jackson is a young coach with excellent bloodlines who has never run a big time program before. Like her young team she is going to need some time to mature into the role.
California is down early 21-0 to Air Force which isn't a very big surprise since the Bears have been mailing it in the entire second half of the season. This team has proven to be a big challenge for Jeff Tedford who was being hailed as a coaching Messiah over the last couple of years. Cal can't adapt to defensing the option. The chop blocks are just killing them. Teford is really going to have to do a serious job reclaiming this team in the off season. Cal has come roaring back in the second half to take the lead 35-27. The AFA QB went down with one of the worst knee/leg injuries I have ever seen....very gruesome.
Jonathan Stewart set a Sun Bowl record with a career-high 253 yards rushing and Justin Roper threw four touchdown passes in his first start as Oregon beat South Florida 56-21 on Monday.
The Ducks (9-4) scored 28 straight points in the third quarter to snap a four-game postseason losing streak, their first bowl win since beating Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2001 season.
UW Routs Idaho State
Jon Brockman scored 21 points and collected 11 rebounds Monday as the Washington Huskies rolled to a 82-50 victory over Idaho State. Brockman, just chosen as the Pacific-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season, got seven of those points during a 13-3 run to start the second half, helping Washington expand a 14-point halftime lead to 24 with 16:31 to play. His double-double was his eighth in 13 games this season.