Wednesday, February 28, 2007

UW's Tarzan passes

Herman Brix, 100, an Olympic shot-put medalist who became a screen Tarzan in the mid-1930s, went on to act in more than 100 other films under the name Bruce Bennett and was effective as a doomed gold prospector in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," died Feb. 24 at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, Calif. He had complications from a broken hip.

I just watched the "Treasure of Sierra Madre" about a week ago and the former Husky gives a solid performance beside Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Tim Holt.

Mr. Brix was a star on the University of Washington football team, and won a silver medal in the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, throwing the shot 51 feet, 8 1/8 inches. Brix played under the legendary Husky Coach, Enoch Bagshaw.

At the University of Washington, where he majored in economics, he was a teammate of the great George Wilson, and played in the 1926 Rose Bowl game against a University of Alabama team that featured future cowboy star Johnny Mack Brown. The Washington Huskies lost, 20-19, in a famous upset of the day. That was the game that put Alabama football on the map.

He enjoyed parasailing, and skydiving, leaping out 10,000 feet over Lake Tahoe when he was 96. You could say he was quite a guy, and he bled purple till the day he passed.
The photo to the left is a of a copy of his autobiography which is still available on Amazon.com.

Quite a life, he would have entered the UW 82 years ago...wow!

See you on the other side Herman!

What's Cooking?

We all have at least one thing in common, and that is we eat every day. Some of us eat better than others. I worked in restaurants from the age of 15 until I was 25 years old. I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen until I learned how fun the bar could be, and not smelling like grease after work was.

I cook at home quite a bit, and have a professional style kitchen, we have a lot of parties here because of all the family, and friends in close proximity. We have as many as 20 people over once, or twice a month at one time. It gets a little crazy, but we have a lot of fun doing it.

Another thing is Kate, and I don't like processed food, we try to eat fresh ingredients every night, so that means going out, or staying in, and cooking.

One thing friends always ask me is how do you make this, how do you make that, what is the recipe for those? Well like any ex chef, or kitchen hand I don't really cook with a recipe, it is more of a feel for what works with what, and having the right ingredients on hand to make it look easy.

Chef's Recipe Catalog is a new blog I have put together that I am sharing with family, and friends so they have access to recipes of what they taste over here at the house. The recipes come at you from more of a male perspective to cooking, and it has gotten pretty good reviews so far from the family.

So if you are into eating, cooking, restaurants, and gastronomic travels you will probably enjoy this. If you don't know how to cook this blog can make you a hero with your dates just by following the directions.

You might ask why the blog's? Well they do get rated and shine back on my health insurance websites. Selling health insurance is what I do for a living. So it serves a double purpose, I have fun, and it helps raise the ratings in the search engines for my professional web programs. Cooking is a passion for me, and it is very relaxing, so we try to do it as much as possible using the freshest regional ingredients we can find.

Pac Ten Alley

This morning it became official, Charlie Baggett has been named WR coach at UW. Ty and Charlie have been friends since college, and both hail from North Carolina. Baggett has coached 10 years in the NFL, and Randy Moss had his greatest success under Charley. He also spent 14 years as an assistant at Michigan State. This is a great hire! Losing Yarber was unfortunate, but we replaced him with a better postion coach, the question remains can he recruit as well as Yarber who had great South Central LA ties?

Our weekly poll question last week was do you think the Huskies will make the NCAA Tournament? Well the life of that question lasted about two days as the Huskies fell to both Oregon St, and Oregon last week. For the record, I thought they would sweep the final four. I also thought we would see a 20,000 Nasdaq in 2001.

Well let's take a walk down Pac Ten Alley to see what our West Coast neighbors are up to.

Pete Carroll picked up a couple of early commitments at USC despite the sighting of more smoke out in the NCAA Violations area's. Seems like the Trojan's have adopted a few pages out of Rick Neuheisel's book of inadvertant bumps. Plenty of smoke around this program right now as the Trojan staff in it's arrogance seems to have little regard for the rules. You have to wonder when the NCAA is going to get more involved.

We all know fair isn't fair as far as the NCAA is concerned, some coaches like Carroll can do whatever they want, while a guy like Neuheisel gets put on the cross, along with his program for much less. I guess the old adage is, it isn't who you know.....you can guess the rest.

Chris Polk (5-11, 190, 4.45) from Redlands East Valley committed to USC tonight. The REV wide receiver/defensive back was offered a scholarship a week before the 2007 signing day.

Things keep getting more bizzare at Cal in the continuing tree sitting protest going on near the football stadium.

A leader of tree-sitters who oppose a proposed athletic training center next to UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium was charged Monday with two felony counts of threatening a police officer. Zachary Runningwolf Brown, 44, was arrested Friday after he threatened to shoot a campus police officer, said UC Assistant Police Chief Mitch Celaya. Celaya said that Brown told the officer: "You're going to get yours. ... We're going to do what we have to do. ... We're going to shoot you (expletive)."

Can Oregon State defend its National Championship in Baseball?

The Beavers started the tourney with a bang on Friday, winning by 9 over Cal Davis. Oregon State again rallied off big innings in the second and ninth (5 runs apiece) to build up a sizable lead. This game was closer than it looked, however, as UC- Davis left 13 runners on base, 10 of those in scoring position. Oregon State got the win, but was well aware that they didn't have a very good game.

Oregon beat Washington in a great Basketball game on Saturday. The story of the week though was the infantile behavior of the new AD. Perhaps Michael Wines can share his thoughts on that. As I have said I find it interesting that Oregon thinks a guy that made his fortune selling auto insurance to high risk people such as drunk drivers, and repeated speeders has what it takes to run an Athletic department.

Aaron Brooks' peace offering to Ryan Appleby (both pictured here), was the only thing that Brooks was denied on Saturday.

UCLA is getting ready to play WSU, and I hope the Cougar's kick their ass.

Frankly I think Josh’s comment re. the WSU defense is dumb. I am not sure “weak” would be the word I’d use to describe a Cougar defense which as Dohn notes may be the best in the Pac-10. From what I saw in our first game if anything Cougar defense appeared to be very smart, and it reminded me a lot of our defense from last season. Luckily for us it appears Coach Howland knows what his boys will be up against on Thursday.

As he noted in the OC Register Bruins better be ready because in his words playing the Cougars is just like having a “root canal”:

The Coug's look back on a tough road loss to Oregon who seems to have their number this year.

The thing with this team is that they will always be in games because of defense--and there are not many teams out there like the Quack who can really chuck from all corners with that 3 ball, who, quite frankly, the Cougs really don't match up with.

Arizona is having a sub par year and rumors have been floating around that the old coach has Parkins disease.

Lute Olson rarely reveals matters of his personal life. So when he opened his usually bland weekly news conference with a "nonbasketball-related'' thing, we all perked up.
A rumor that the 72-year-old Arizona coach has Parkinson's disease "is a complete lie,'' he said Tuesday, adding his shaking comes from old age and nerves.


The Tree look like they are going to make the Big Dance.

If you include Stanford, the Pac-10 will have six teams in the NCAAs, its highest total in five years.

At ASU not much is going since they are at the bottom of the Pac Ten, but they are looking back at the blown shot against Ohio State for the National Championship in 1997.

Finally, Gaddabout at Wired Devils has written a story defending Phil Snow, Bruce Snyder, and the supposed "prevent D" that doomed ASU in the 1997 Rose Bowl. If you've been hating them since 1/1/97 like I have, it's a tough read but valid points are made. To my friend Patrick, if you can hear me, don't read the article-your head may explode

Monday, February 26, 2007

Huskies take care of PG problem (Update)

Washington took a step today toward filling the gaping hole at point guard by getting a verbal from former USC commit Venoy Overton.

Overton averaged 21.7 points, and 5.7 assists this year for Franklin, which is 21-2 and the top-ranked 4A team in the state.

UW was always Overton's first choice, but when UW passed on him this Fall he verbaled to USC, but did not sign a letter because of eligibility issues that are now resolved.

Here is the story from Bob Condotta of the Times.

Romar realized what we all have and that this team won't go anywhere next year unless they can find someone to direct traffic and handle the ball.

Now the question is who is going to go off scholarship, or leave the team to make room for Overton?

Update

In the papers today they went over what the likely options were to make room for Overton.

1. Hawes elects for NBA Draft. (At this point that looks very unlikely, he likes school, but you never know)

2. One of the incoming Freshmen might not make it in. (Gant is the recruit mentioned)

3. One of the roster member could transfer. (We were surprised when Henry transferred, you just never know who might want to drop down a level. I have heard some names bounced around Dawgman.)

4. A player could go off scholarship. (Hans Gasser who graduates this year was a candidate to do that during his career, but the numbers worked out. Maybe a fifth year member of the squad will volunteer.)

More on Overton

The reports coming out on Overton are good. He has good defensive skills which should be able to get him immediate playing time. Tim Floyd at USC brought in one of the top classes in the country, and he wanted Overton, that tells you something right there. Another description we heard over, over was hard worker. So it looks like the Huskies filled a need with a local kid who wants to be the next Will Conroy. Conroy of course was a strong four year player who was one of the better point guards we have ever had. He used to eat Aaron Brooks for lunch. We need that type of player on the roster.

Quick Note

I posted a link to Hair of the Dawg's blog under sponsor's. If you want to get a feel for what it is like to be an expartriate working in Cyprus you should check it out. Dick is also a big Rugby fan so you can get a feel by going through his site what he finds interesting other than the Huskies!

The Monday Morning Wash

Dan Raley has a great article in the PI this morning on the Husky Basketball team that is worth a read if you have the time. The meat of the article is about what we have discussed most of the season and that is the Huskies have not developed into a cohesive unit this season mostly because they do not have a guy that can handle the rock.

There is another problem, and despite all the talent Romar has assembled there isn't a leader out there on the court either at this point. Many of course will point to Brockman who works as hard as any player in the country, but Jon's role is the enforcer, not the guy that takes control of the temp of a game every single night.

UW has another excellent recruiting class coming in next season, but the one thing it is lacking is a point guard. Even Thomas, who we have to wait a year for, and seems to be a Nate clone may not be a true point guard. For UW to continue to grow they need to get a passer, and rythym setter on the court, and with a full roster coming in the next two years Romar is going to have to be very creative to get it done.

Up this week are games at home against USC, and UCLA, two teams who have the potential to make a lot of noise in the tournament. While UW is likely NIT bound they need to play hard and try to head into the Pac Ten tournament on a positive note. A couple of wins at home over the school's from LA would be nice way to finish the regular season.

The thing these young Huskies need to learn is the season isn't over yet. Win the Pac Ten Tourney and you are Cinderella all over again. Even if that faint dream isn't realized extra games in the NIT are a plus for a team struggling to find it's identity.

Huskies Close on New Wide Receiver Coach?

Nothing official yet from the newspapers, Dawgman, or the Official UW site, but longtime Willingham friend Charlie Baggett seems to be the choice as the new WR coach. If the rumors prove true it is a great hire that will add more stability to the staff. Yarber brought a lot to the table, but Baggett actually has the more impressive resume which should appeal to recruits. Yarber had one advantage, he was a West Coast guy with excellent tie's in the inner city of Los Angeles.

Daugherty on her way out?

Steve Kelley in the Times talks about the current status of June Daugherty. Look's like Turner wants to ratchet up the womens basketball program which is a good idea since it has proven in the past it can draw a crowd when the program is hot. One problem under June has been the loss of local athletes to other school's in the Pac Ten, she hasn't been able to put a fence around the state. Daugherty has a lot of respect around the country, and if Washington cut's her loose she will be coaching somewhere next Fall. However if Turner does cut her loose he is going to have to pick a coach with higher profile, and pricetag to get the results he is looking for.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Duck's get by UW 93-85

Is there life left in the Husky Basketball team? Well we are going to find out tonight in Eugene. Common sense would indicate it after losing to the Beaver's on Thursday that they are going to be spanked in the hostile environment of Mac Court.

Bob Condotta reports that as the teams set up for the jump, Aaron Brooks tried to shake his hand. Brooks held the hand out for quite some time but Appleby, with his hands on his knees, didn't budge, inciting a loud boo from the crowd and a derisive chant of "Appleby'' from the student section on UW's first possession. Hopefully that isn't the play of the game.

The Huskies are noticeably improved tonight and are taking the game to the Duck's tonight, and with 13 minutes left the Huskies lead 21-17. 10:45 left and it is now 25-17....looks like the Huskies are fired up tonight.

2:31 left, and Oregon is up by 7, a 16 point swing in the first half....42-35...ugly.

WSU barely got by Oregon St today in Corvallis which shows that every road game can be a challenge, especially when you are playing an underdog. 8:41 left and the Huskies are on the verge of blowing out the Duck's as they have rushed out to a 30-21 lead.

Key to the game has been Ryan Appleby who has been red hot from the field hotting 5-6 on 3's and leading the Dawg's with 17 points. I guess that is a good way to punk Aaron Brook's.

6:32 left in the half and the Duck's have been on a run to tie the game at 33. Spencer Hawes is 1-7 from the field tonight. The rest of the Huskies need to start chipping in or the fast start is going to go for naught.

Oregon has moved out 40-33 at the 3:40 mark....wow! UW has gone back to playing rat ball, and Oregon has stolen the tempo. Very hard to watch this. Hawes is 2-9, and Dentmon is 1-5. Brockman has only gotten one shot off tonight.

56 seconds left and Phil Nelson just hit a three, Huskies down 44-40.

46-40 Oregon at halftime....remember when the Huskies used to play defense?

54-51 Oregon with 16 minutes left in the game...both teams are trading baskets. 14:30 left and the Duck's lead 59-58. Hawes has 10 for the game...he is recovering from a horrid start...this one is a battle.

12:36 left and there is a timeout on the floor as Oregon has stretched the lead back to 64-60.

9:54 left and Oregon is still up 69-65. Oregon's Poppen-Abajian just hit three free throws after being fouled on a 3 point try. Appleby has 21, and Hawes has 12 lead the Dawg's. Phil Nelson just bricked on a three....why not slow it down and work it inside? Nelson follows up with a dumb foul on Brooks who sinks two free throws...Duck's 73-67....7:10 left. Brockman fouls Hairston who sinks 2 and it is 75-67. Duck's are picking up a lot of points on free throws in the second half.

6:45 left and Oregon is on a run and has taken the lead back to 10 at 77-67....free throw, after free throw....typical Pac Ten officiating for the home team.

5:10 left and Oregon is up 80-71. UW has called a timeout to regroup for a run over the last five minutes. This game has been a rollercoaster with plenty of swings, I wouldn't count UW out yet.

Pondexter has scored the last five points for the Dawg's, and they have pulled close again at 82-76 with 3:33 left as Oregon call's a timeout. I think this one goes down to the last shot.

84-76 Oregon with 3:08 after....you guessed it...two Oregon free throws. Guess again, you are right...two more Oregon free throws 86-76. Oregon is 27-30 at the line tonight while UW is 17-18. Huskies are in foul mode right now and the Duck's are not missing so this one is about over with 1:49 left. Pondexter has 13 on the night with most coming in the last ten minutes of the second half....nice to see.

Entertaining game to watch this evening, but UW's defense is like sieve. Duck's win...Brooks finishes with 30 points tonight as he breaks the Washington jinx. Appleby finishes with 23, Hawes with 20, and Pondexter 13.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Huskies Stink It Up

Pretty dissapointing tonight as the Huskies stunk it up once again on the road against one of the worst teams on the West Coast, the Oregon State Beaver's. If there was any doubt before tonight, there isn't anymore, this isn't a good team despite the talent on board, and they don't deserve to hit the Big Dance unless they win the Pac Ten Tourney which just isn't going to happen for these guys.

The Beavers entered the game two losses away from becoming the first Oregon State squad to lose 20 games since 2000-01. The Beavers had 14 steals, with four apiece from Tarver and Washington, and shot 42 free throws.

The Beavers led 9-2 and 14-8 before the Huskies made a run toward the end of the half, taking their first lead at 20-18 on back-to-back scores from Hawes. The Beavers led 24-22 at halftime after Tarver's buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Oregon State made just 4 of 12 free throws in the first half and were outrebounded 23-12.

The Beavers' started quickly after the half. Oregon State's lead went to nine points on Jack McGillis catch-and-shoot 3, 11 on an alley-oop from Tarver to Jones, and then 13 on McGillis' fast-break layup off a steal to make it 44-31 with 9:13 left.

Brockman made two free throws for the Huskies but Jones countered with a 3 to push the lead to 14. That proved too big a deficit for Washington to recover from, and it got no closer than six points.

Huskies take on Oregon State

We have been saying this for weeks, Washington cannot afford to lose anymore games if they want to get to the NCAA Tournament without having to win the Pacific Ten Tournament. It sounds like a broken record because since we have said that the Huskies have lost three games, and they are still in it if they win the next four because of the chaos around them in the conference. Winning the next four is still no guarantee, the Dawg's have to win 1-2 at the Pac Ten Tourney, but hope still floats.

Up tonight is a game on the road Oregon State (2-13) who represents the most manageable obstacle in the way. The Beaver's simply aren't good, and while they do play hard like fellow cellar dweller ASU they lack the talent to compete in this league. Washington of course has stunk on the road pretty much all year, but the Huskies should be able to get by these guy's with ease tonight if they are not looking ahead to Oregon on Saturday.

I think Brockman, Hawes, and the rest of the team are on a mission right now. These guy's have something to prove, and the next four games are going to give them the opportunity.

This is a very winnable series for Washington. They beat both teams at home earlier in the year, and the Duck's have been in a tailspin ever since that series.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

It is that time of the week again when we take a stroll down Pac Ten Alley to see what is going on with the other Pac Ten school's. This is a time of the year when the focus has shifted almost completely to basketball unless you are a Cal fan, then the focus is on Native American burial grounds.

The Pac-10 beginning to respond to USC's dominance according to Ivan Maisel.

Get ready for a guffaw, you self-righteous defenders of the Big Ten Conference. Time to reposition that chip on your shoulder, you myopic denizens of the SEC. If there's a conference that is the answer to what's next, it is the Pac-10.

The proposed site of California's new athletic complex is now being called an ancient Native American burial ground by the protesters.

Tree-sitting protesters who oppose a massive, $125 million development project in the area of the University of California, Berkeley football stadium said Tuesday that the area is a burial ground for indigenous tribes.

On the Oregon State blog they are sizing up the seed's in the Pac Ten Tournament.

Oregon State would draw Cal, which sits well with me. Out of Washington and Cal, (who are in a tie for seventh place right now, we had to use tiebreakers) I would feel much more comfortable playing Cal, a team we have played tough in both games. Cal is relatively small, compared to Washington, who is quite large.

At Oregon, the Duck Basketball team is in a late season free fall. Can you say Mark Few? If the Duck's don't get to the dance I doubt Ernie Kent sticks around.

Oregon (20-7, 8-7) has lost six of eight games overall and will try to recover with three home games to end the season.

At UCLA the Bruins are focussing on becoming the West's #1 seed.

Anyways thanks to Coach Howland I do believe in taking one game at a time, and working to get the number 1 seed out West. That is really all I want for now: the number 1 seed out west. Once we get that we will put ourselves in a decent spot to make a run. NCAA tournament is a crapshoot as you all know. But getting the number 1 seed will help our cause and it will also mean that we had a pretty good regular season.

The Cougars are still in the hunt for the conference championship.

Paint Thursday's game at Oregon as the first of maybe only two remaining "must wins" for the Cougs until the NCAA tournament. Here are a few quick rambles for "the nation" to consider...

Arizona's Marcus Williams by way of Seattle's Roosevelt HS may enter the draft as a sophomore since he is projected to be a first rounder.

“I don’t think about that right now,’’ Williams said. “Hopefully, we have 14 games left – five Pac-10 games, three in the conference tournament and six in the NCAA Tournament. That’s the thing that helps me not think about it at all.’’

Stanford has been able to overcome the loss so far of Anthony Goods.

Stanford’s Anthony Goods has been out two games with a sprained ankle.

Herb Sendek has been making some progress at ASU.

The concensus has been that ASU is better than their record and opponents have been leaving Tempe with respect for the Devils. The scores have been close, but I have been wondering how close they are to being a good team.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Tuesday Question

Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight doesn't like the new rule that say's HS players have to spend at least one year in college before being eligible for the NBA draft.

"Because now you can have a kid come to school for a year and play basketball and he doesn't even have to go to class," Knight said Monday, a day before his team plays at 19th-ranked Texas. "He certainly doesn't have to go to class the second semester. I'm not exactly positive about the first semester. But he would not have to attend a single class the second semester to play through the whole second semester of basketball."

"That, I think, has a tremendous effect on the integrity of college sports."

So the Tuesday Question courtesy of Coach Knight is:

Are kid's like Spencer Hawes, Greg Oden, and Kevin Durrant essentially one year rental players getting seasoned for the NBA, or are they real students who are mandated to go to class, and make progress towards a degree while they are in school?

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Tough week if you are a Husky basketball fan after two very close losses to two top ten teams. UW should have won both games, but handling the ball, and getting shots to drop in the last few minutes of the game have been the problem for the Dawg's.

Despite the two tough losses the team is actually getting better, and could cause some problems in the Pac Ten tournament because they can beat anyone on a given night. What's up next is a series on the road in Oregon, followed by USC, and UCLA at home. Even if UW wins out it is becoming very doubtful that they will get an invitation to the big dance unless they win the tournament.

Washington is really only a player, or two away right now from becoming what they were supposed to be, and that is a top ten team that can contend for all the marbles. I like Appleby, but he is a real defensive liability who is one dimensional on offense, and Dentmon while showing some flashes, isn't a point guard, he is more suited to the two spot. The loss of Joel Smith has really hurt this team, but even if they had him they still needed someone to run the point.

Next year's recruiting class while impressive does not include immediate help at point guard because Isaiah Thomas is going to have to do another year in prep school to get eligible. You have to wonder if Romar tries to bring in some JC help to solve the problem for next years team.

Marv Harshman's last Washington teams had similar problem's, great front court including the amazing versatility of Detlef Schrempf, but the lack of a true point guard kept that team from going to the Final Four.

I have to agree with Romar...the team is making progress, and is a lot better despite the losses then they were a month ago. It wasn't that long ago that a possible 18-20 win BB season was out of reach, now it seems to be a disappointment. It will be an interesting final three week's, and I am not ready to count these kid's out yet even though they are basically on life support.

Oregon State, and Oregon up Next

The Huskies play on Thursday in Corvallis against the meager Beaver's, and then head down the road to Eugene to play the Duck's on Saturday. I think UW comes out, and sweeps this series to keep a glimmer of hope going concerning the tournament. The Duck's earlier this year were one of the hottest teams in the country, but after being swept on their Washington trip they have been decidedly slumping. The PIT of course is one of the toughest places to play in the country, but I think we are due for a road win over a quality team.

Weekly Husky Poll

We asked the question who will lead the Huskies in rushing on 2007, and the readers winner is Louis Rankin.

Michael Houston was the early leader but since there is a pretty good chance he won't be with us next year, the readers reversed, and went with the senior, Louis Rankin. Still no official word from a credible source concerning Houston's future which makes me think that he still has a chance to stick around.

I like some of the skill set that Louis Rankin brings to the table, but he just hasn't proven to be an every down back, and he has worn down significantly by mid season every year since he has been on the squad.

I have seen Hasty play in HS, and he can be a player, but I think it is going to be difficult for him to regain the momentum he had on the scout team when he arrived. Did James lose speed during his layoff when he couldn't afford to lose any? Hasty will be an interesting player to watch this Spring.

Hasty is a kid that could end up at Safety if enough of the frosh beat him out. Curtis Williams, who started his career off at UW as a highly touted RB ended up as a Safety. Curtis had some personal obstacles to overcome before he hit the lineup just like JR.

So that all being said I have to go with one of the Frosh, and I am picking Curtis Shaw who seems to have the most complete skill set of the incoming frosh....just a wild guess, but I really like all five of the kids they brought in this year at RB, and Shaw just comes to mind first.

Spring Sports get off to early start

The Husky Baseball, and Softball seasons started with games in California this week. It is mid February, which isn't exactly Spring at all. The Northern teams tend to head to California to get an early start and try to stay competitive with their Southern cousins.

Junior Caitlin Noble tossed a one-hitter vs. Florida A&M and sophomore Danielle Lawrie struck out a UW record 20 batters vs. USF Sunday as Washington picked up a pair of wins at the USF Wilson Invitational.

Cal Poly scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to complete a series sweep of the Washington baseball team with a 5-4 win Sunday at Baggett Stadium.

The Husky baseball team's May 4 game against Oregon State has been moved to Safeco Field. If I was in Seattle I would try to take that one in as the Huskies play the defending national champions. I think OSU winning the national championship in baseball, with basically a locally recruited team was one of the stories of the year.

Oregon Hires Booster as AD

The University of Oregon has turned to prominent booster Pat Kilkenny to serve as athletic director for the next two years. One of his priorities will be getting a new basketball arena back on track. Kilkenny, who spent 22 years transforming a small San Diego insurance firm into a $1 billion business, was named Wednesday as the UO's new athletic director, succeeding Bill Moos.

Since 1998, Kilkenny has given $1 million for the construction of the Moshofsky Center practice facility, $1 million for the expansion of Autzen Stadium and $1.5 million for architect's plans for a basketball arena.

Hiring a major booster with no experience to run a college athletic program? We will watch this closely to see hot it plays out. Here is a humorous articles on the subject from The Register Guard.

I have to think this is a solid step towards sanctions at Oregon, and you have to wonder if the President of the University has the ball's to stand up to the booster's since they basically just took control of the entire sports program.

Boise State giving Petersen a Raise

If Boise State football coach Chris Petersen manages to guide the Broncos to another season like last year, his salary will climb above the $1 million mark. But the contract he has agreed to first has to be approved by the state Board of Education, which meets Thursday. Details of the five-year, $4.25 million contract were posted on the board's Web site. It calls for Petersen to receive $850,000 a year. If the Broncos win 12 games, he will receive an additional $161,500. Another $100,000 will be added if the team wins another Bowl Championship Series game like it did at the end of last season.

Boise is expanding their stadium in phases similar to OSU, and moving there coach up to the major league's salary wise. Most observers don't think this school will ever get invited to play in the Pac Ten, but they are building a successful program brick, by brick in this mid sized, and growing Idaho city.

It is all about TV when it come to expansion.

The biggest problem the Bronco's have concerning the Pac Ten is their TV market which is rated only 119th in the country. Reno is #110, Las Vegas #48, Salt Lake is #36, Portland is #23, Denver is #18, while Seattle has climbed to #14.

Omaha of course isn't a huge metropolis, Nebraska has been a national program for over 50 years...they are however only the 75th largest TV market in the country....Spokane, just for comparison is # 77.

At #119 Boise has some work to do, but it will grow a lot quicker in the future than Omaha, or Spokane, but I don't know if Idaho will ever have enough TV sets to be take seriously by the Pac Ten. Still what the Bronco's are doing is pretty remarkable since the school only moved to Division One in the early 90's.

Arkansas AD Frank Broyles to Retire

Frank Broyles announced his retirement Saturday. In 50 years as Arkansas' football coach and athletic director, Broyles built a program with high-profile coaches and top-notch facilities. He told the university's board of trustees Saturday he will retire at the end of the year, ending days of intense speculation about his future. Broyles, a Georgia native, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He was a three-sport star at Georgia Tech and compiled a 144-58-5 record as a head football coach. His most memorable season was probably 1964, when the Razorbacks went 11-0 and were named national champions by The Football Writers Association of America.

Broyles is 82 years old, which is 574 in dog years...he probably was good for another couple of years if the sailing was smooth, but the latest recruiting scandals associated with the football team was probably the determining factor in making him decide to hang them up.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Close but No Cigar....Pitt beats UW

Washington played pretty well today, and Spencer had his best rebounding game of the year which was nice to see, but in the end the Huskies lost because they can't handle the ball well enough out on the perimeter. Turnovers once again played a big role, as well, as UW lost 16 to just six for Pitt and the Huskies just couldn't get enough shots to fall.

Washington's talented but inexperienced front line of the 6-foot-10 Hawes and 6-7 Brockman teamed to shut down Aaron Gray, who didn't score or get a rebound for the first 10-plus minutes of the game. Gray, averaging 14.8 points, had scored in double figures for five consecutive games.

But with Gray and 6-10 Levon Kendall (four points) doing little at either end of the court, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon went much of the game with a smaller but quicker lineup in which 6-6 sophomore Young took Kendall's place and the 6-1 Ramon played guard. Young and the 6-4 Cook gave Washington matchup problems, and they helped Pitt rally and take a 31-28 halftime lead even with Gray neutralized.

Washington still hasn't beaten a top 10 team on the road since defeating Kansas on Dec. 14, 1974, losing 32 in a row over than span.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

UW takes on Pittsburgh Saturday

This was supposed to be a late season tune up to get the Huskies ready for the rigors of the NCAA tournament. What it has become is a potentially unavoidable dark hole which the Huskies might be unable to climb out of if they are going to get into the tournament. After the loss to WSU on Wednesday the Huskies are faced with having to win out the rest of the way, or win the Pac Ten Tournament to be able to return to March Madness.

Pitt is ranked #7 in the country and had won 12 of it's last 13 games before falling to Louisville at home 66-53 on Monday. Over the last six years, Pitt has been the most successful Big East Conference basketball program. From 2001-07, Pitt owns the league's best records for league play (69-22) and overall games (155-36). Pitt is the only Big East Conference school to win 20 or more overall games and 10 or more league contests in each of the last six seasons. Pitt also set a school record with its sixth consecutive 20-overall win and 10-league win season. Prior to the 2001-02 season, Pitt won 20 or more games in only two consecutive seasons. It marks Pitt's 13th all-time 20-win season. Pitt is 14-2 at home this season.

Pitt center Aaron Gray is the guy the Huskies need to stop on Saturday to have any chance of winning. Louisville was able to do that by utilizing a 2-3 zone which put the game on the shoulders of the permeter players. Hawes, and Brockman should be able to give the 7'0 senior a game. Look for this game to be physical, and won on the inside. These two teams match up well, even though Pitt has an edge in experience. Both teams tend to flounder when they can't get the ball inside. Pitt had 15 turnovers in the first half against Louisville, does that sound familiar?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Huskies Fall in Close One to Cougars

The Cougars held a 40-32 lead at the half and outrebounded the Huskies 15-13. Washington however hung in throughout the second half but the Cougar's pulled it out in a game that went down to the last seconds left on the clock.

WSU's Taylor Rochestie scored a season-high 16 points off the bench and Derrick Low hit two free throws with 16.7 seconds left to help Washington State beat Washington 65-61. Freshman center Spencer Hawes had 22 points and sophomore forward Jon Brockman added 15 for the Huskies.

Tough loss for Washington tonight against a very tough team that will do well in the Big Dance. The Cougars are the masters of tempo, and it showed once again tonight as they controlled the rythym in a closely fought contest. The Huskies had their chances to win this one, but couldn't put down shots over the last three minutes of the game as the Cougars shut out the inside.

For Washington it is time to go back on the road with an intersectional contest against Pittsburgh this weekend, and two next week in Oregon. The Huskies better bring their brooms to the Willamette Valley if they want to stay alive. Things get even tougher as they close the season at home against UCLA, and USC.

Pac Ten Alley

We are heading into crunch time as teams in the Pac Ten jockey for position in the standings over the last three weeks of the season. One thing is certain, at least six teams from the Pac Ten are headed to the Big Dance this year. Washington on the other hand is currently in 7th place a couple games back of Stanford.

Usually a 20 win season in a tough conference like the Pac Ten is enough to send a team to the tournament. Washington needs to win four of it's last six games to do that, but this year it may not be enough. What UW could really use is a couple of quality road victories. They get that chance when they visit Pitt on Saturday, and Oregon the following week. Don't forget the Beaver's even though they are mired at the bottom of the conference, they played Arizona pretty tough at home this past week. Winning on the road is never a given for this Washington team, but the consensus believes that they need to start doing that if they are going to take the season into March.

TV For WSU Game

It is sort of a project finding the UW/WSU game on TV. Bob Condotta has the TV options in his blog. Because of a conflict with the Sonics the game is going to be fished out to various local cable channels. 10th ranked WSU has a fantastic season so far. The Cougars were supposed to be improved, but not enough to challenge for the conference championship as they are doing right now. The Cougars are led by Derrick Low, Robbie Cowgill, Daven Harmeling and Chris Henry. What the Cougars do is play defense, in fact the toughest defense in the Pac Ten right now. They slow teams down, take control of the tempo, and that has been a recipe for success this season.

Zag's having problems

Well the slipper finally fell off of Cinderella's foot when two Zag players were arrested this past week. According to a spokesperson for the Cheney Police Department, Josh Heytvelt and Theo Davis, who is red-shirting because of a shoulder injury, were charged with possession of marijuana and “psychedelic” mushrooms following a routine traffic stop for a defective taillight at 11:42 p.m. The marijuana charge, because of the amount, police explained, was a misdemeanor, but the possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms is a felony.

Houston....we have a problem?

Rumors were floating around Tuesday that RB Michael Houston has decided to leave the team. Last report we had on him last week was he was back on the team and fully participating in off season drills. In Bob Condotta's blog he said he reached Houston last night. "I have no comment on anything,'' said Houston, who transferred to UW from Texas last August. "Right now there's a rumor out there, that's all I can say. ... I can't really say anything right now.''

Oregon hires Offensive Coordinator

Oregon got creative and hired longtime New Hamphire assistant Chip Kelly. Most recently Kelly served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Wildcats, who averaged 35.3 points per game and 401 yards of offense this past season.

Pac Ten Alley

Now let's take a walk down the coast on Pac Ten Alley to see what the rest of the blogs in the neighborhood are up to this week.

Washington State's Bill Doba went out of his way to talk about the recruiting process, how disappointing it is these days as the "in" thing to de-commit, and told a few stories about some Pac-10 teams doing some things that, well, aren't exactly cool with Doba and company. Teams text-messaging players non-stop, making phone calls and refusing to hang up the phone while Doba was in their living rooms at the time, on and on it goes.

USC Coach Pete Carroll today declined to address speculation that he was a candidate to become coach of the San Diego Chargers. Expect Pete to continue to stay one step ahead of NCAA investigators.

We are not looking ahead to Saturday's game. However, lot of Arizona enthusiasts are already talking about the UCLA-Arizona game this Saturday. Apparently some Arizona fans are a little peeved about the style of play Coach Howland has brought into Westwood. For i.e. here is Greg Hansen, a columnist for the Arizona Star (Arizona Homer) whining about Ben Ball's emphasis on defense and how it has ruined his enjoyment of college hoops.

Stanford hasn't been the same giant killing basketball team lately. Two losses in Washington will do that to a team. The slumping Stanford Cardinal will not have point/shooting guard Anthony Goods for at least the first of four big games in the stretch run — and maybe not for any of them.

The Bear's have it rolling even though new facilities are being put on hold. The local hippies are the only thing holding this program back. The beat goes on for California. Coach Jeff Tedford pulled in his fifth consecutive top 20 recruiting class, which puts him in great position to continue as the second-best program in the Pac-10, looking up at USC.

Tought to talk about basketball when your a Beaver fan. Oregon State made a haul in the Oregon Sports Awards. The championship baseball team received the Team of the Year award, head coach Pat Casey received the Sportsperson of the Year award, pitcher Jonah Nickerson received the Male Athlete of the Year, Brianne McGowan got the Female Athlete of the Year, and Steven Jackson, now of the St. Louis Rams, received the Professional Athlete of the Year.

I don't know if you could ever call Brooks' clutch, he has a chance to prove the critics wrong down the stretch. Oregon's Aaron Brooks will need to regain his confidence for the Ducks to close out games down the home stretch. He hasn't been the same since sitting out the Washington game.

Arizona and UCLA square off this weekend. I’ve said all season that the Arizona men’s basketball team is one broken ankle or bone away from disaster. It almost happened Saturday when senior Mustafa Shakur twisted his right ankle. UA coach Lute Olson said the sprain is more serious than recent ones suffered by Marcus Williams and Chase Budinger.

The Arizona St blog has a review of this year's recruiting class in the works, but there has been a lot more real life than usual and thus it's not finished, but I'll be sure to post it when I have some real time. In it's absence, here's a link to a fantastic off-season thread on the Devil's Digest Message Boards.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Husky Tuesday Question?

I got a comment from a friend, and reader this week that the posts, or articles on the blog were so informative, and long that it muted discussion on those topics. He made a great point, and while I still want to do posts like that on occasion, I do want to open up some dialogue by directly posing some short questions to our readers each week.

This weeks topic is about today's article in the Seattle Times about the Husky Swim Team. As you are probably aware the program which was a perennial top ten performer for many years has been on life support for some time because of the lack of training facilities. The UW is looking into building an above-ground, temporary pool at a cost of about $3 million. The facility would be similar to the one Long Beach built for the 2004 Olympic trials. Despite the obvious drawbacks Washington is still a top twenty program, and could contend for national championships if it had the right facilities.

Today's first question is.... Should Washington continue to invest in the swim program if it cannot find a way to pay for new facilities ?

(The Swimming, and Football programs both had benefactors willing to fund the entire cost of new facilities at one time during the reign of Barbara Hedges. Both opportunities were turned down by the University, and the Athletic Department. Paul Allen was turned down after an offer to rebuild Husky Stadium, and the Seahawks built a new stadium rather than utilizing Husky Stadium for another 15 years. The King County Aquatic Center which the Goodwill Games organizing committee wanted on the UW campus was built in Federal Way after UW turned that gift down.)

Today's second question is.....What exactly was Barbara Hedges smoking ?

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Last week was of course one of the busiest of the year as we came to the close of the football recruiting season. I put together five articles in a series I hope you enjoyed, the first was the recent history of Washington recruiting, followed by this years class, classes from around the league, and finally an early look on what to expect this Spring, and Fall. There is a lot of stuff there, so I hope it keeps you busy, and entertained. We also ran an old local article we found on Husky Legend Junior Coffey. Look for the site to be doing more stuff like that as things slow down. We also might throw in a few interviews as people are more receptive when it is less busy in the off season. Expect the ever popular Monday Morning Wash, and Pac Ten Alley to continue on a weekly basis.

This is the beginning of the time of the year when coaches take some time off, attend conventions, and complete their planning for Spring football. In other words there isn't going to be a lot going on football wise till April 9th which is the start of Spring Practice. The Spring Game is on Saturday April 28th.

UW still has one announcement to make, and that will be the hiring of a WR coach to replace Eric Yarber who moved on to Arizona. DJ McCarthy from UCLA is another name that has been recently floated around. Ty probably has a good idea of who he wants to hire, but he takes his time.

Recruiting for the 2008 class of course has already started with the Huskies already having a few offers out on the table to the usual top prospects. The coaches hit the road for evaluation at the end of the dead period.

Basketball is going to be filling the void till Spring football. Let's hope the Huskies can make it interesting. I am thinking NIT more than NCAA right now.

As you can see I have made a lot of changes on the site over the last two weeks. I think it looks a lot better, and I like the ability to ask poll questions. The countdown clock is pretty trick too. Most importantly the readability, and aesthetics's are 100% better. If you guys have any other idea's on how to improve the site just let me know. We seem to have quite a few readers, if you gauge it by the the counter, but it would be great if we had around 20 people commenting on a regular basis.

Tommy James Passes

Don James older brother Tommy who was a member of the Cleveland Browns passed away this past week, he was 83. Here is a link to a release put out by the Brown's.


The Stanford and Cal Series

The Huskies opened with a physical win over California that was highlighted by a viscous beast type of game out of Brockman with the return of Spencer Hawes to double digits. The Huskies went on to sweep as they powered by Stanford on Sunday night to sweep the series. Up next is Wazzu on Wednesday night in Hec Ed which is arguably the biggest game so far this year. Once again it is another must win for Washington over a highly ranked national opponent. The Huskies travel to take on Pittsburgh in a nationally televised game on Saturday. The Huskies then head South for a road trip to the Willamette Valley to take on the Oregon schools, before finishing at home against UCLA, and USC. Six more games left on the schedule and not a lot of margin for error.


Weekly Husky Poll Question

Last week we asked which newcomer would have the most impact next year and the reader's picked RB Brandon Johnson two to one over everybody else.. Good pick, but I think the most dramatic bump will happen with the WR's, and Anthony Boyles was my pick.

This week we are voting on who will have the most rushing yards in 2008. You will notice that I didn't list Jake Locker. If you take a close look at the photo I posted of Jake in an earlier post you have to be amazed by the size of his legs...the kid is going to be a rock.

Recruiting Under the Influence

Recruiting prospective athletes to play football at BCS schools is a tough job. The school's that are best at it often bend the rules as far as they can go. The NCAA often chastised former Washington coach Rick Neuheisel for doing the same thing. They eventually gunned him down in a witch hunt which resulted in both the NCAA, and Washington who fired him at the NCAA's urging, paying him a settlement that totaled in the millions. In the end the NCAA got what it wanted, and that was Neuheisel out of college football.

Looking back of course Rick's petty crimes look as harmless as putting a fruit basket in a college recruits hotel room, but that is how it has always been at Washington.

While recruiting at Washington this season was pretty straight laced around the rest of the country it has become pretty ugly as schools such as Illinois, and USC were under suspicion of foul play before the ink was dry on the LOI's.

Accusations brew in McKnight's recruitment to USC

USC has been walking a very fine line ever since Pete Carroll arrived on the scene. The Trojans problems have ranged from Reggie Bush, and his family being paid by an agent he met in the USC locker room, to USC alums, and boosters calling, or fraternizing with recruits during the recruitment period. WR Duane Jarrett was suspended temporarily for taking extra benefits for living in a luxury apartment he shared with Matt Leinhart which Matt's father, a USC booster paid for.

The NCAA and the Pac-10 Conference are currently investigating whether Reggie Bush or his family received "improper benefits" from agents while he was playing for USC. Yahoo Sports has been investigating the Trojan program for some time trying to identify any misdeeds that have taken place in the recruiting of athletes at the school, or the obtaining of special benefits when they play there.

Currently Southern California is looking into whether it may have violated NCAA recruiting rules while pursuing highly rated recruit RB Joe McKnight. McKnight is hailed as the top RB in the country this year, and if you have seen his film, he is truly a gem.

McKnight signed a national letter of intent with USC on Wednesday and made comments during a news conference that seemed to suggest communications involving former Trojan Reggie Bush, who is now with the New Orleans Saints. USC coach Pete Carroll denied any call took place, and McKnight's high school football coach said the recruit misspoke during the news conference. During the Wednesday news conference, McKnight said Carroll set up a conference call so he and Coach Curtis could talk to Bush and ease concerns USC might face sanctions.

Coach Curtis told the LA Times on Thursday that he spoke to Carroll during McKnight's recruitment, but not on a conference call with McKnight or Bush. He also said McKnight told him "Coach Carroll was talking to Reggie on the speakerphone and Joe was able to listen and hear Reggie Bush's side of the story," the newspaper reported. After being informed of Carroll's denial Thursday night, Curtis called McKnight and later said the recruit never heard Bush on a speakerphone.The story has changed quite a bit over the last few days as USC, Carroll, McKnight, and Curtis his HS coach, and guardian have decided to deny that it ever happened, and all involved just misspoke because of all the excitement surrounding signing day....right, that is a lot of misspeaking by a lot of different people involved.

Where there is smoke, there is fire, and the NCAA isn't going to be able to continue to ignore the transgressions of one of it's Golden Children much longer. I like Coach Carroll, and admire what he has built at USC, but it has become obvious this program has been living in a grey area for some time regarding recruiting. In the SEC they get mad, and they also get even, don't expect LSU to let this one slip under the rug.

More USC Accusations

It seems USC has been sending limo's (NCAA Violation) to pick up local recruits in the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles. Town cars for the airport are ok, (according th the NCAA) and it was billed as a town car charge, but SC once again is skirting the rule's by having it billed as a town car but sending a limo courtesy of a USC alum,...where there is smoke there is fire....insiders say the NCAA is very reluctant to go after a team in a major TV market and is turning a blind eye towards USC's transgressions. Nice job Miles Brand!

Notre Dame Spreading Rumors of Illini Cheating?

Illinois had it's best recruiting class in decades, but Big Ten opponents, and Notre Dame are allegedly churning out rumors that perhaps the Illini weren't on the up, and up this year. Illinois by the way snagged three prime recruits that Fat Charlie coveted, and that didn't play very well in South Bend.

Zook won't pretend he wasn't stung by a New York Times story in which former Michigan State coach John L. Smith wondered how a school that went 4-19 over the last two seasons could attract top-notch recruits. "Where there's smoke, there's probably fire," Smith told the paper.

Interesting quote from Smith who still stings from an Illini upset this season, and subsequent brawl that helped send him out the door at Michigan State.

Zook has a major problem with rival coaches whispering that he and his staff used illegal inducements in signing blue-chippers Arrelious Benn and Martez Wilson. Zook doesn't want to seem, uh, paranoid, but it's clear he believes Notre Dame played a role in the Times' story. He believes the timing of the piece—it ran on national signing day—was intended to hurt Illinois' recruiting efforts.

The rumors going around are that Illini assistant coaches gave illegal inducements to recruits to get them to come to Illinois. Fat Charlie has been known to open his mouth before thinking, and he can be pretty creative with the truth. Of course Fat Charlie won't go on the record, according to Chicago newspapers he, and other coaches prefer to float anonymous accusations to the media without the fact to back it up.

Arizona Hates Oregon, and California

There were more than 100 Division I-A football coaches who held various versions of happy-happy signing day news conferences Wednesday. Arizona's Mike Stoops seemed more ready for a bar fight.

"The negativity around recruiting never stops. It's unfortunate, but it's the ugly part of our business,'' he said. "People speak negatively about us and me. That's all right. I don't forget. They said some stuff last year and we got back at a lot of people. We're going to have our shot back on the field. Believe it, we will."

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/sports/41288.php

A Note on Star Rankings

From 2002 to 2006, Oklahoma signed 17 five-star recruits and 43 four-star recruits. In that same period, Boise State signed a mere trio of four-star recruits. I'll assume you know which team won the Fiesta Bowl last month.

Husky Recruiting Notes

S/QB Shane Horton ended up committing to Nevada Las Vegas, and passed on the opportunity to greyshirt at UW.

Transfer CB Byron Davenport still has some schoolwork to do so he will not be enrolled by the time Spring Practice starts.





Molly Yanity takes a look at the cream of the 2008 Class


Recruiting coordinator Chris Tormey said the Huskies already have made inroads with 10 current in-state juniors. Tormey can't speak about specific recruits because of NCAA rules, but three juniors claim to have scholarship offers already in hand: Kentwood running back Demetrius Bronson, Lakes tight end Kavario Middleton and Kennedy defensive end Everette Thompson.



Sunday, February 11, 2007

UW 64 Stanford 52

Stanford visits Hec Ed tonight for a nationally televised Sunday night game. Washington once again has it's proverbial back up against the wall as they face the Cardinal. Every game is shaping up like a must win for the Huskies at this point.

Pretty even game so far as advertised, Huskies lead 16-14 with 13 minutes left in the first half. Huskies are showing the same toughness they exhibited against Cal. 9:08 left in the first half and it is 18-16 UW in physical game.

4:25 left in the first half and Washington still holds a 25-23 lead in a meat grinder of a game so far. The story of the game so far is Brockman and Pondexter who have 11, and 8 points respectively. 34-32 Washington at the half. Spencer started for the first time, in some time, looks pretty good, but UW hasn't gotten the ball enough in his hands in the first half.

16:28 left in this one and Washington still leads 38-35, tough game as Washington has controlled it most of the way, but hasn't had more than five point lead. The team that goes on the next run should own this one. 14:52 and Washington still leads 39-35....this one is a battle.

12:14 left and Washington has equaled it's largest lead of the game 41-36. Huskies move it out to seven point lead, 43 -36, so they are taking initiative on the needed run I mentioned earlier with 11:28 left. Down to 9:37 and the Huskies are methodically pulling away leading 46-36. Spence has 14 on the game to now lead the Huskies. Only 18 total points have been scored in the second half with only 7:49 left. 49-38 with 7 minutes left, Stanford has gone cold, all you can hear is the clanking of the rim. UW goes to the line as Stanford enters the penalty...6:30 left as Washington's defense has shown up this evening. Dentmon hit one, at the line, misses the next, but Spencer grabs a big offensive rebound.

Hawes hits jumper and now Washington is truly pulling away up by 16, 54-38 with 4:10 left. 4 minutes left in this one and Washington leads 56-41 with 4 minutes left. It will take a miracle for Stanford to get back in this one. Redemption game for Spencer who has 16 in this one and has owned the second half.

62-43 on a Spencer Hawes tip in....bring out your forks and stick them in the Tree with 2:20 left in this one. Brockman has 10 rebounds so far tonight.

Washington wins a big one tonight and sweeps the Bay area series at home with a 64-52 win over the the #25 Cardinal. the hero of the day was defense as Washington finally figured out that you don't beat teams by running with them, you beat them by slowing them down, and making them play to your tempo. Spencer finished with 18 points, and more importantly 7 rebounds.

The Lopez twins combined for 29 points in Stanford's 78-77 win over Washington on Jan. 11. But they managed just 13 quiet points combined, each on 3-for-6 shooting. You can say Brockman and Hawes got the last laugh in the series.

Washington (16-8, 6-7 Pac-10) kept its flickering NCAA tournament hopes alive by winning for the fifth time in six games. Next up is Washington State on Wednesday in what appears to be another must win situation for the Huskies. If the Huskies can pull out a win over WSU they will be officially back on the bubble. A win on the road at Pittsburgh, and a sweep in Oregon is a necessity it seems, but the Duck's are slumping in the second half so it is a winnable game. (We said that about Arizona too!)

Following that USC, and UCLA invade Seattle, and as we know, anything is possible for this team at home at Hec Ed. The season is definitely on CPR, but UW still controls it's own destiny after this weekend.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Very Early Look at Next Season

You may say that it is way too early to get a guage on what things are going to look like this Fall. Recruiting has just finished, and Spring football is still a couple of months away but we are going to try to take a semi educated stab at anyway. This is the fifth, and final segment of our signing week series. (Photo of Jake Locker showing his power at Ferndale HS)

Let's face it we haven't had a stretch of QB performance this dismal since the pre Sixkiller-Jim Owen's days of the later 60's. The names Stanback, Paus, Durocher, and Bonnell will forever represent an era of inadequacy at the trigger position. Funny thing though is I really like all four of those guy's personally, all four hung in, had some good moments such as Casey Paus leading the Huskies to their last win against the Duck's. Bonnell's OT game last season against Cal was an instant classic even though we lost. Carl bounced back to lead UW to a win over WSU on the road which was sweet. Durocher had some meaningful moments this Fall, and of course Stanback was seemingly on the verge of breaking through and leading us to a bowl till his unfortunate injury. IS was a snap, or two away from beating USC on the road last year. You also have to mention Cody Pickett who had an injury plauged senior season that finished only .500. Who would have guessed that would be a high point in QB play over the last five years?

The era of Montlake Jake officially begins this Fall, and the redshirt from Ferndale will be expected to make big plays from the get go. From the day this kid hits the field till the time he leaves for the NFL he is going to be Washington's biggest playmaker. Jake has the ability to lift a green, mediocre team into a bowl, and that is exactly what his task is going to be next year.

You may say that is a lot of praise for a guy who has never taken a snap in a regular season college game. Locker is the best QB recruit Washington has ever had. Nobody before him, and there has been some great ones, had the complete set of skills this kid brings to the field. Think of Marques with a better arm, faster wheels, and better decision making ability. Sure he is a green, but he also studies the game, and picks up things a lot quicker than his predecessors.

Jake isn't going to get the job done all by himself. He is going to need some playmakers to emerge around him this year. Washington has some serious holes to fill, however they will be filling those holes with faster, and stronger albeit less experienced athletes.

Washington will be better next year. Another year under the same system with most of the same coaches should insure more wins despite another tough schedule. Nine wins for this very young group is very achievable despite another tough schedule.

Offense

The Skill Positions

UW went out, and brought in quite a few guys that are going to beef up the playmaking ability of this unit. Washington under Stanback has been scoring around 20 points per game which isn't nearly enough in a league of high flying offenses.

Locker, Houston, Hasty, Shaw, Homer, Reese, Goodwin, Boyles, Aguilar, and Izbicki.....these are first, and second year players that have the ability to give this anemic unit an immediate shot in the arm next season.

QB: Serious Upgrade

I was a big fan of IS and really enjoyed him till he went down last year, but Locker is a serious upgrade that will give us one of the ten best QB's in the country by the end of the year. Locker is a difference maker, and we haven't really had one of those lately. Ronnie Fouch is the lone scholarship QB recruit this year and will most likely Redshirt. He however is going to be here this Spring and will likely be the #2 until Bonnell gets back to full strenght from shoulder surgery. Walk on Chandler Clemmons will be here this Spring. The kid is a good get since he was a 3 star QB before taking a year off for a year to concentrate on baseball.

Newcomers to Watch: Jake Locker, Ronnie Fouch, Chandler Clemmons (Walkon)

RB: Serious Upgrade

Add Hasty, Houston, Shaw, Johnson, and Griffin to compliment Rankin and you have a serious position upgrade. This will be the first time Ty, and Lappano have had viable otions in the RB corps since they arrived. UW ran out of healthy players the previous two years. Rankin wasn't capable of being an everydown / everygame back when James was slowed by injury. You can't win a lot of games with only two horses in the stable. This year the stable is full.

Newcomers to Watch: Everyone but Rankin is new, Shaw is the most polished Frosh, while Houston, and Hasty have a year in the system. Johnson, and Griffin will also compete for time. Williams, and Yakaboski could all get early looks too.

FB Slight upgrade....The coaches have high hopes for Homer, but we didn't see him much except for on specialties last year.
Palaita is gone, but Homer, Kravitz, Sylvester, and possibly Yakaboski should be an upgrade. I think Homer can be an excellent FB who can lay some lumber, and catch some balls out of the backfield. The question is can any of these three guys block? It has been awhile since UW had a complete player at this position.

Newcomer to Watch: Homer played a lot on special teams last year. The coaches like him, watch for his role to expand. Sylvester could see action here too.

WR: Upgrade....You don't lose much, but you also don't know how much immediate help you have either till these guys hit the field in the Fall.

You add Boyles, Aguilar, Logan, and Goodwin to a senior rotation of Reese, Russo, Williams, Ellis, and Daniels, and you are talking about improvement. Bottom line is your adding speed and agility with the young guys, and blending it with experience. You lose Shackleford who was your most consistent receiver, and Wood who was a big play threat. We know what the holdovers can do, but you really look for the newcomers to break through to create some deep threats. Reese should emerge as a force this year on the outside.

Newcomers to watch: Anthony Boyles, and Devin Aguilar will probably play right away in a move to boost speed at the wideouts. Logan could be headed for Safety. Reese isn't exactly new, but the player you see out there this Spring should be ready to takeover.

TE: Upgrade....Experience counts

You keep all the same guys and sign an All American to bolster the depth so you are automatically better. Two years in the position should help Kirton become a better blocker, and more consistant receiver. You just wonder when the lightbulb goes off for Johnnie, he has the tools. Gottleib, Lewis, and Winter all played last year as the injury bug tested the depth of the unit. Sophomore to be Tim Harris from Chehalis has yet to emerge. Winter could move back to DE.

Newcomer to Watch: Izbicki could play right away if needed, but the Huskies are deep at TE. I didn't say extremely talented, but they are deep. Izbicki is the only member of the group who is the complete package.

Offensive Line

The Huskies return three, and lose two. The OL has been holding it's own but it hasn't been exactly improving very much from year, to year, in fact it has just been just treading water. You can't improve the line overnight, it takes years to do that. this year is a crossroads, do they keep treading water, get better, or get worse before they get better again?

This is the year that you would expect Gilby's class of JWF, Bush, and Bulyca to begin contributing, if they don't it means a longer wait, and some more early graduates next Winter. JWF has been injured since Frosh year and is entering his Junior year as an engima. When healthy this kid has all Pac Ten ability on both sides of the ball. His injuries are career threatening because you are talking about something that has kept him out two straight years. Bulyca got a few snaps last year and there didn't seem to be much dropoff when he was in the game. You have to wonder why they didn't develop a rotation as the season went on to help these guys gain experience, and increase the stamina of the unit as a whole. So far this class gets a grade of incomplete with a likely to fail.

Ty's experienced recruits are represented by So. Ossai, Jr. Mason, So. Rosborough, RS Tolar, RS Sedillo, and RS Habben. They were brought in over his first two years. Ossai of course started as a RS frosh last year and took plenty of lumps from the Pac Ten DE's. One Dawgman regular suggested that someone put a spring on Ben's ass so he could bounce back up after being pancaked. Just part of the learning curve for a guy playing two years early, he will develop into a good one. Mason came in late, and light last year so he took a RS year to eat at the training table, read the playbook, and get the system down. Rosborough is just a huge man with light feet. He will emerge before he leaves, but most think he has a chance to win a starting job this Spring. Tolar was in the two deeps as a true frosh. He could be one of the starting guards.

Ty's 2007 class will not have any immediate contributors which is common on the OL. It is led by Eweka, Schugert, Fancher, and Armelin. This wasn't an exceptionally highly ranked class with four, three stars, and a sleeper. That being said you never really know what the potential is till these guys have been in the program for a year, or two. 2008 is a huge year for lineman in state. UW could fill up most of it's class in state next year.

The Neuhesiel era still has a presence with Macklin, Berglund, and Garcia. All three will play important roles in 2007. The unit has lived on Rick's leftovers, and this year is no different. None of the three are all league, but Garcia could have a breakthrough year after finally playing a full season. Macklin, and Berglund weren't highly regard the year they were recruited, but they developed into guys who were worthy of playing time. This class gets a C Plus.


OT: Slight Upgrade....Same guys back, and experience counts.

UW played with basically the same five OL guys all last year, and two have them have graduated. The Huskies figure to start with Macklin, and Ossai, backed up by Berglund who is solid, White Frisbee, and Habben. Since we get both starters back, and have three potentitally solid backups we look a little better. We all hope that JWF can stay injury free and contribute next year, that would elevate the potential of the unit. You would really like to see some competition develop.

Newcomers to watch: If JWF, and Habben can compete for meaningful playing time this position is looking much better. A beefed up Mason could also move outside.

OG: Slight Downgrade....you lose the top two and fill in with untested players.

We lose our two best OL in Daniels, and Walker. Neither were all conference type players, but both started a lot of games for a number of years. The Huskies will have five, or more players competing for one of these two open spots. Rosborough, Tolar, Mason, Bush, Sedillo, and Bulyca are the all in the competiton. I like the sound of Tolar, and Rosborough. Going in you have to mark this as a down grade because of graduation, and the loss of experience. We are going to have two starters who will be taking their first meaningful snaps next season.

Newcomer to Watch: Tolar was in the two deeps last year even though they didn't play him. JC Redshirt Mason has had a year to beef up and learn the playbook. The huge Rosborough will vie for time inside.

Center: Slight Upgrade

You have to upgrade a position with a returning senior starter coming back. Depth behind Garcia though is inexperienced. Bush was supposed to be a ready made Center but he has not emerged.

Newcomer to watch: None

Defense

Defensive Line

The Huskies have had some decent talent on the line. Wilson Afoa is a very good player, but someone needs to emerge beside him to help take off the double teams and free him up more. that player is expected to be RS Cameron Elisara. If that happens you start to have something in rootation with Reffert. People like the look of our DE's, but Gunheim didn't have a great year, he even lost his job to Brandon Ala as time went on. He stilled played a lot, but he wasn't the dominating presence he was expected to be. Teo Nesheim had a good first year as a starter and people noticed. What this unit needs is for a true space eating star to emerge. Someone like JWF was when he was a true frosh. UW has five men from this unit graduating in 2007 so keep an eye on how the young guys are doing, they will be the backbone in 2008. Hart has done a nice job keeping his pipeline full, but he needs a start to emerge.


DT: Upgrade...You return two experienced starters and blend in some new talent that has been aging for a year.

Afoa, and Reffert will start. Elisara, Lobos, Kosub, and O'Connor will vie for time in the rotation. You won't miss Mateaki. I think Elisara starts asserting himself. Lobos has never impressed much, and O'Connor is a candidate not get a 5th year. Kosub needs some more seasoning but Hart says he is promising.

Newcomers to Watch: Elisara has the tools to be an All Pac Ten Beast. Is he ready to challenge for a starting spot after a RS year? Nick Wood is strong and agile enough to compete for playing time if needed.

DE: Slight Upgrade....experience counts, and you have some new faces that should compete.

Gunheim, and Teo Nesheim return. Both are a little undersized but have big motors. Another year of experience and growth should help these guys improve. Rayford, Atkins, Jones, Matthews, and maybe Winter fight it out for spots in the rotations.

Newcomers to watch: Atkins, and Jones compete after RS seasons. Matthews is a guy who could move up this Spring with his extra long wingspan.

Linebackers

This unit was improved for the most part last year. The emergence of So Butler, who will be flanked by Sr Howell, and the So Savannah/Jr Steven combo makes it solid with upside. Butler is a huge improvement over Bomar. Tuiasosopo was always the heir to this spot, but on, and off field injuries kept him off the field for two years. Expect him to develop into a solid backup. Trew had a good year and played well when called on.

LB: Upgrade....you lose 1 1/2 starters and you replace them with better athletes who have a couple of years experience.

You lose White, and Bomar. I can see Butler, Howell, and Savannah/Stevens starting. Behind them you have Tui, Houston, and Trew. Youth was served last year, and we won't miss Bomar. White will get a chance in the NFL. I don't think we lose much overall, and we keep gaining speed.

Newcomers to watch: Matt Houston debuts after redshirting last season. Mason Foster's film showed a guy with an awful lot of speed and talent who could play a variety of positions.

Defensive Backfield

Talk about taking a hit, you lose two All Pac Ten quality players in Wallace, and Goldson. You mix it in with the reality that Ashley Palmer isn't going to get into UW, and you have a serious depth problem. What that means is this is the best place to be if you are a freshman looking for early playing time. How Washington did in recruiting this year will have a serious impact on this group.

CB: Slight Downgrade....We have more depth and experience. The addition of Davenport adds a lot of experience back there.

You lose Goldson probably to the NFL, and Fountaine. Fountaine I can live without. Goldson was a difference maker when healthy. Ray Lewis who also has an NFL career ahead of him returns and will be flanked by either Murchison if healthy, Davenport, or Mosley.

Newcomers to watch: Davenport will compete to start, and McDowell could be pressed into duty right away.

Safety: Slight Downgrade

All Pac Ten Wallace heads off to the NFL. Mesphin Forrester, and Jason Wells are the two remaining safeties as Ashley Palmer wont be attending UW. Experienced depth does not exist.

Newcomers to watch: Williams, Aiyewa, Logan, Foster, and Richardson will all compete for early playing time.

Specialties

If there is one single area you can improve that will actually win games for UW it would be special teams. To put it mildly the special teams play of the Willingham era has been mediocre. It is easy to blame the coaches but one common cause of lackluster special teams play is the lack of surplus talent, and speed. I think some young surprises will emerge from the 2006 class to drastically improve the performance.

Kicking Specialties: Even

You lose "Lou" Braunstein, and Douglas who were good performers and replace them with Falk, and Ballman. I think it's even because of Braunsteins limited range, and attitude, and Douglas's tendency to get blocked, and outkick coverages.

Return Specialties: Serious Upgrade

Wood was really the lone return threat we had last year and we replace him with Goodwin, Aguilar, McDowell, Boyles, Logan, Johnson, Williams, and Shaw. Those are the guys that are likely to battle it out to return the football this year. I call it a serious upgrade despite the fact that it is a casting call because at least now we have plenty of new speed to audition.

Newcomers to watch: Boyles, Aguilar, Johnson, Shaw, and Goodwin.

Recruits who may play right away

Expect six to ten, from this class, not including the transfers to make an immediate contribution and, play next season. Here is a list of the most likely.
With Locker, and Bonnell ahead of them these guys won't see the field unless the latter two get injured. By the way it has been a long time since a UW QB was around the entire year. You would have to go back to Cody's junior year.

QB Fouch....Arrives in Spring and will get plenty of snaps.
QB Clemmons....Walk on also arrives in Spring
Both of these guys will play because it is their show completely next year.
WR Boyles....He could start if he learns the playbook quickly.
WR Aguilar....Has the ability to make an immediate impact.
All of these guys could play this year, but with three upperclassmen ahead of them I think they redshirt one, or two unless they return kicks.

RB Shaw....Game breaking potential
RB Johnson....Best speed of the three
RB Griffin....Good inside runner

These two physical guys are going to a get real close look.
LB/FB Sylvester....Arrives in Spring so could contribute early.
TE Izbicki....The complete package
Both kickers of course are going to play
K Falk....He will compete with Ballman for the job at place kicker.
P Ballman (JC)....Recruited as a punter, he can place kick as well.
McDowell is a good bet to RS if Murchison is back.
CB Davenport (JC).....Brought in to compete for a starting job.
CB McDowell....He has a lot of useful tools.
DT Wood....Strength could allow him to play early if needed
At least two of these guy's will get the early call at Safety.
LB/S Foster....Like Butler before him, could see early action.
S/WR Logan....Has the tools for immediate impact on both sides of the ball.
S/RB Williams.....Could end up on either side.
S Ayewa....He can hit people.
S Richardson.... Will get an early shot

Thursday, February 08, 2007

UW beats up Cal 79-71

We are a few minutes from tipoff of this pivotal conference matchup. Once again it is must win time for UW.

Over in Pullman, Stanford is up 16-14 with 7:40 left in the first half. A close low scoring game means WSU is controlling the tempo which bodes well for the Cougars.

It should be a very competitive game at Hec Ed tonight as both teams are in a must win situation. 15:30 left in the first half and it is tied 8-8. Appleby hits a 3 off a screen and that is good sign because he is a streaky shooter, 11-8 Washington as Cal takes a time out.

Arizona St gave Oregon a lot of trouble tonight, but the Duck's prevail 55-51.

Spencer looks better tonight, he just hit a hook, he still is getting beat on the inside defensively.

Halftime at Pullman and it is 22-20 WSU.

10:52 left and it is 19-17 as both teams are beginning to trade baskets. The Huskies are handling the ball better tonight and are playing better defense. 23-22 UW with 7:30 left.

Artem Wallace just made a very nice athletic move to the hoop, and is at the foul line. You have to like the way his game is coming along. Appleby pops in another, UW 27-23.

34-29 Washington with two minutes left. Anderson is starting to heat up for California, a really good looking freshman player. Appleby is in rythym tonight with a big half so far. He has 10 on the game and has been hitting from all over the floor. Huskies are shooting 67%, but Cal is staying in the game because of turnovers. It's halftime, and UW holds 37-36.

We have now started the second half and Washington holds onto 39-36 lead with 18:00 remaining. Brockman has 12 boards tonight.

3:40 left in Pullman and the Coug's are up 44-43.

43-36 Washington with 15:05 left and Brockman at the line. Cal hasn't scored yet, and Washington is taking it to them defensively. He hits them both and UW leads by nine.

Arizona is struggling, but holding on to a lead in Corvallis against the Beavers, 47-45 with 14 minutes to go.

11:58 left with Cal at the line, UW leads by 8. This game is starting to bog down, and get physical. Brockman has been a beast tonight.

It's over in Pullman and the Cougars are the victor. The UCLA game at the end of the season in Pullman may decide the conference championship. Wazzu reaches 20 wins for first time since 1993-94.

Atrem Wallace has been solid tonight spelling Hawes, and Brockman. The Huskies aren't hitting their free throws tonight.

7:49 left and it is 56-40 Washington. Both teams have been trading baskets for awhile. The Bears have been hanging in there. Hawes just hit two on a feed from Pondexter, he is fouled and heads to the line. Pondexter has 6 assists tonight in his first start since the UCLA game. Story of the game in the second half is Washington's inside play provided by Hawes, Brockman, and Wallace. UW leads 59-50.

Cal has closed the game to a two point gap after going on a 7-0 run. Hawes is currently out of the game but expect him to return soon. 59-57 Washington with 5:28 left. Huskies answer with Brockman being pounded under the hoop, he heads to the line and hits both. 4;27 left and as Burmeister draws an offensive foul, UW up by 4 with the ball. Brockman drives for his second score in a row, is fouled, and heads to the line. UW moves out to a 66-59 lead.

Brockman has scored the last seven points for UW, has 14 rebounds, and 20 points on the night. Hawes is intentionally fouled, the Huskies shoot two, and retain the ball. Good chance for UW to put this thing away during this sequence. Hawes hits 1-2. Dentmon drives and draws a floul and heads to the line. He hits both and UW leads 69-58 with 3:00 left. Hawes put in a rebound and it is up to 12. This one is probably over with 2:25 left.

Arizona is up 66-60 with a little over a minute to go in Corvallis.

California hits a 3 to cut the lead to 71-65 with a minute to go. The Bears refuse to go away. UW is hitting their foulshots as the Bears have been putting Dentmon on the line. 75-67 with 40 ticks left.

16.7 left an Appleby is at the line with a 75-69 lead. He hits them both.

Brockman has a spectacular driving dunk to end the game. That pretty much sums it up, the Huskies inside game was too much for the Bears tonight. Spencer finished with 16 tonight. Dentmon and appleby chipped in 12 apiece. Don't forget Wallace who had 8 points and 2 rebounds, he looked good tonight.

Washington wins this one 79-71, and stays alive for the tournament. Four wins in the last five games as the Dawgs get back on track.

Arizona was able to outlast OSU tonight 72-66.

Next up is Stanford on Sunday at 5 pm, and the Huskies will be facing a much stronger presence in the middle with the Lopez twins, so they have their work cut out for them.

Huskies take on California

The Huskies start a three game stretch at home where there is very little margin for error when they take on the California Golden Bears this evening at Hec Edmundson. The Huskies play well at home, and they have a good shot to sweep the Bay Area schools, but the following week when they play WSU it is going to be a tall order for them to beat the Cougars even at home, win that game, and they are back on the bubble.

Washington is a very long shot to make the NCAA Tournament this year. According to an article by Bob Condotta in the Seattle Times 20 wins may not be enough for this team to make it because of the poor road record. The experts he talked to thinks the Huskies have to sweep on the road in Oregon, and add a win at Pittsburg to improve their chances...a very tall order. Add to that a win in the conference tournament.

The game will be on Fox tonight since the TV schedule was made out before the season. Washington St and Stanford a much bigger game on the other hand will not have TV coverage.

I am going to be watching tonight because the season is on the line, these guys are playing at home, and I really want to see what they are made of with their backs pressed firmly against the wall. Lose this one and it is all over for this season's edition.they will have to console themselves in the NIT.

California forward 6' 10" Ryan Anderson has been a force inside, and outside. He had 18 points and 14 rebounds in a win against Washington at home last month. Led by Anderson, Cal outrebounded the Huskies 47-36, becoming the first team this year the only other was Arizona last Saturday to outboard UW.

So the key to this game is Brockman, and Hawes winning the game on the inside. They should have plenty of motivation since if they lose any dreams of another NCAA Tournament appearance will be likely over.

Pac Ten Alley Recruiting Report

This is the week to the focus on recruiting, and we are linking to blogs, and articles up and down the West Coast with relevance toward that subject. (The photo on the left is of plum Washington recruit WR Anthony Boyles.)

You look at the top three classes in the Pac Ten this year and they all have one thing in common, they loaded up with lineman. The line is where the championship is won regardless of the talent at the skill positions. If you take a good look at California, and Oregon there are a lot of OL who would have looked good in purple next year.

1. USC "A Plus" ...The Trojan's bring in a much smaller class than usual this year, but as usual it is loaded with five star players. USC's national recruiting is opening up opportunites for other schools in the West. USC got beat on a couple players, but closed strong getting the best Safety, and RB in the country on the last day. USC probably has reloaded on offense with a tandem of Tyler, and McKnight who are arguably the two top RB's in the country.

John Curtis Christian running back Joe McKnight made it official in a press conference in River Ridge Wednesday morning that he will attend Southern California. The 5-11, 193 pound running back announced his decision choosing the Trojans over LSU, Ole Miss and Alabama. "I will attend the University of Southern California,” McKnight said. “It was a close decision, very close. But I sat down with my mom and laid out the pros and cons of all the schools and we both agreed that this was the best decision for me. It feels very good right now.”

Stars of the Class: RB Marc Tyler, RB Joe McKnight, and DT DaJohn Harris
Top Sleeper: TE/DE Trey Henderson

2. Oregon "A" The Duck's kicked some butt in the offseason bringing in possibly their best ever class. Oregon had great balance, and some potentially great lineman. Oregon just got a lot better. On top of that they renewed Belotti for another five years.

I have seen the class rated as high as 10th nationally (second in the Pac-10, behind USC). I have also seen the LB class rated as the best group in the nation. A lot of the lineman come in highly regarded as well.

Stars of the Class: OL Darrion Weems, OL Carson York, and OL Charlie Carmichael
Top Sleeper: LB Terrell Turner

3. California "A Minus" The Bear's like the Duck's dominated with linemen this year. Cal is going to be good for some time. Tedford really has it rolling down there.

Cal's group includes 20 high school players and three junior-college transfers, and is especially strong at running back, linebacker and along the offensive line. By position, the class has five linebackers, four offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, two running backs, two wide receivers, two tight ends, two defensive backs, a quarterback and a punter.

Stars of the Class: OL Sam Demartinez, OL Justin Cheadle, and DE DJ Holt.
Top Sleeper: LB John Tyndall

4. Washington "B" The Huskies bring in a large class dominated by great skill players. UW didn't do as well on the OL, or DB as they would have liked. Still it is a solid class.

Tyrone Willingham and the Washington Football program picked up 27 commitments today in what totals Tyrone Willingham's biggest class thus far at the Univeristy of Washington. This class addressed many needs and restocked the cupboard that was left empty by Rick Neuheisel and the turmoil of the past few years. Tyrone's legacy in my opinion will be based on the performance of this class.

Stars of the Class: WR Anthony Boyles, RB Curtis Shaw, RB Brandon Johnson, and TE Mike Izbicki.
Top Sleeper: OL Skyler Fancher

5. UCLA "B" The Bruins bring in some great athlete's, but have a tiny class this year. The B rating is strictly due to low numbers. They picked up on some serious players. In comparison Washington's rating is higher because of large numbers. This is a very talented class. UCLA is always going to recruit well.

For its size it's actually a pretty decent class. The current class although may be small, in terms of ratings rank second in the Pac-10 and eighth in the country averaging 3.73 (based on Scout.com's nat'l rankings) per committed recruit. Not too bad.

Stars of the Class: DT Bryan Price, RB Raymond Carter, and DE Akeem Ayers
Top Sleeper: DE Justin Edison

6. Oregon St "B Minus" the Beaver's took their usual class of instate kids, what was left in Washington, and some blue collar recruits from California. Ex Husky Nigel Burton can really recruit DB's, and he had the steal of the year getting CB David Ross to come to Corvallis at the last minute over Nebraska. The Beaver's also scored potentially big with late commitment from RB/WR Reggie Dunn who has work to do to qualify.

He's huge. I've seen him listed in some places at 325, some places as 340. Can't wait to see him play.

Stars of the Class: RB Reggie Dunn, S Lance Mitchell, CB David Ross, and S Cameron Collins
Top Sleeper: DE David Paaluhi

7. Arizona St "C Plus" Erickson really rallied to put together a top 40 class this year. He got the QB he wanted over USC. Don't expect Erickson to ever finish this low again during his tenure at ASU, in fact last week they were easily 10th in the conference, so nice finish for ASU.

There are so-called recruiting "experts" bordering on pedophilia that give Memphis a run for it's stolen money in sketchiness.* The emotional investment some fans put into the decisions of 18-year olds is beyond me. Anyhoo, came across this gem on the Scout.com network

Star of the Class: QB Samson Szakacy, WR Kerry Taylor, DE Luis Vasquez, OT Pou Palelei
Sleeper of the Class: DT Bo Moos

8. Stanford "C" The Tree took three guys that Washington really wanted, and they salvaged their class ranking by doing it. Harbaugh did a better job in comparison to Dennis Erickson at ASU with a lot more room to work in because of academic standards.

"Stanford did OK. I think coach Harbaugh is going to be a very good recruiter, but he got a late start and there wasn't a whole lot he could do to get in on kids that weren't already being recruited," said Greg Biggins, recruiting analyst for SuperPrep Magazine. "When kids have to go through the admissions process, there's not a whole lot of time for a player not already looking at Stanford to do that."

Stars of the Class: DT Matt Masifilo, QB Kellen Kiilsgaard, and RB Chike Amajoyi
Top Sleeper: LB Owen Marecic

9. Arizona "C" The Wildcat's have fallen a bit on the recruiting trail after having a very hot year previously. A small average class with some good athletes on defense.

The Arizona football team is putting its Polynesian connection to good use in its 2007 recruiting class. The Wildcats are expected to sign three four-star defenders with Polynesian backgrounds as the letter-of-intent signing period starts today.

Stars of the Class: DE Apaita Tuihalamaka, LB Vuna Tuihalamaka, DE Levar Brown
Top Sleeper: QB Bryson Beirne

10. Washington St "C Minus" A weak year in state welded together with the usual suspects put's this class near the bottom. WSU is always near the bottom, but they have gone 10-1 with kids like this. The Coug's take chances, and sometimes it pays off with continuity they have developed over the years. Coug's lost three commits in the last month to SC (Henderson), Texas A&M (Apata), and Davenport (UW). Depite the low rating Doba feels he found the right players to fit his system, and that has been the key at WSU.

Whatever. USC taking what they want, that will never change. But the funny part? The kid they stole just AMAZINGLY ROSE FROM 2-STAR TO 3-STAR THE MOMENT HE CAST HIS LOT WITH THE EVIL EMPIRE!?!? HUH!?!? Lots of cred there, Fetters and the rest at Scout. What a bunch of....well, you know.

Stars of the Class: S Terry Mixon, LB Tyson Kirksey, FB Lowgone Mitz
Sleeper of the Class: DE Tyson Spencer

Dorrell Gets Extension

UCLA gives Dorrell one-year extension: UCLA coach Karl Dorrell, whose Bruins finished the season 7-6 but beat USC for the first time in eight years, has been given a one-year extension, putting him under contract through 2011. Dorrell, 29-21 in four seasons at UCLA, signed a five-year contract in July that included an $850,000 salary and incentives up to another $505,000 annually.

Bellotti Gets Extension

Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti has agreed to a five-year contract extension. The 56-year-old Bellotti gets a salary of $150,000 a year, with a guaranteed base of $650,000 in
compensation that includes such things as car, country club membership and TV contract, a university spokesman said Monday.The contract also includes incentive payments that could boost his annual take to $1.1 million. "He'd have to win a national championship to max out at the $1 million figure," said Dave Williford, the university's media services director.

Pac-10 Replay Official Loses Job

Gordon Reise, the Pac-10 official who missed a call during the Oklahoma-Oregon game last season, has been told he will not return to the job. Reise said he received death threats after a call on an onside kick near the end of the Sept. 16 game that the Ducks won 34-33. Reise said his doctors had advised him to quit, anyway. (No word on if he has been offered a job at Nike :)