Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Weekly Poll Question

Last week we asked this question:

Will Washington open with a victory on the road against Syracuse?

Yes 72% (13 votes)
No 28% (5 votes)

I was among those who voted yes, and I bet we had a couple of Syracuse people helping out in the no category. I don't think it will be a cakewalk, but UW should win this one, if they don't it is going to be a long season.

This weeks question is:

Who is the greatest Tight End in Husky history?

UW has cranked out quite a few great TE's over the years. The biggest run came during the Don James years. Here are a few that deserve mention for being among the greatest. Dave Williams was what they called an END back in his days at UW. He went on to be an all pro receiver with the Cardinals after a stellar career in the mid 60's. People debate a bit Williams, but he lined up all over the field. Lot's of great names there, and there aren't really any bad choices, have at it, and see you guys's after the 4th!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

My wife, and I are heading out to the Northwest this week for a little vacation that will extend past the fourth of July. I have a few previews already written up of our upcoming opponents that I will post next week when we have a connection , but we will be taking a one week break as far as Pac Ten Alley is concerned.

We will have previews of UCLA, and USC up during the hiatus. Chances are both teams will be in the top ten when we play them next year, nice way to open up the conference schedule. UCLA has the potential to be very good if they can generate some offense. USC on the other hand has the potential to win another national title.

We hit the Seattle area on Wednesday and will be mooching off friends and staying at their vacation houses on Puget Sound throughout the weekend. We then take a train to Portland on Monday and continue the mooching at a friends house at Manzanita on the Oregon Coast. I have never taken the train to Portland, so it is going to be an interesting ride down the coast since it doesn't follow I-5 the whole way.

Husky Football Notes

Sports Illustrated thinks Washington has the toughest football schedule in the country this year. It looks plenty tough to me, but that is why kids historically come to Washington, and that is the opportunity to play in big games.

Washington football suffered a little attrition this week when it was announced that OT Imeka Eweka will not be able to qualify and will be taking the JC route. Eweka wasn't going to be able to play this year anyway because of an Achilles heal injury, so if he goes to a JC he could conceivably come back with 3 years to play 4.

Walkon QB Chandler Clemmons also elected not to come bak after having a good Spring. It may have been evident to him that Locker, and Fouch may never have let him see the field. UW could really use a walk on at this position this Fall.

TE Tim Williams from Chehalis has decided to hang it up. Williams didn't see the playing field, and UW is pretty deep at TE. Expect Frosh Chris Izbicki to make an impact this Fall since he is the only TE on the team who is what Willingham calls the complete package.

Bob Condotta writes in his blog that season ticket sales should be up this year by around 1000. Still even with the increase season ticket sales are down 14,ooo since 2002. They need to win some game to dramatically improve those totals.

Pac Ten Alley

We start off this week with Oregon State who won their second consecutive title in baseball this past weekend in Omaha. Building the Dam, the Beaver blog actually made the trip out to Omaha to catch the series, and they have some marvelous insights this week.

After putting up two wins in the College World Series, and one in the Super Regional against Michigan, freshman phenom Jorge Reyes seems to be sweeping the nation by storm. The story of his grandparents driving up from Mexico is only one of the many story lines I have seen, and as someone who attended the games in Omaha, it seemed like Erin Andrews was interviewing Jorge every time you looked up.

The Oregon blog chimes in with it's own coverage. Duck fans are just as excited since UO does not have a baseball program.

Oregon State ended one of the most dominant runs in the 61-year history of the College World Series with a 9-3 victory over North Carolina on Sunday night. The Beavers became the first team in a decade to capture consecutive national titles.

We all try to keep busy in the off season, and the WSU blog has been focusing on the Mariner's, and the Sonics till football gets under way. Griffey's return to Seattle was pretty neat, let's hope he finishes his career as a Mariner.

The interesting thing is that he said in a lengthy post-game interview that he WOULD like to return to Seattle and retire here. Does that mean they'll try and trade for him? Does it mean they'll hopefully try and sign him after 2008?

Is there ever any bad news at USC?

Hershel Dennis called WeAreSC this afternoon to let us know that he has been approved by the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. Dennis missed the past two seasons due to a pair of knee injuries but it was unclear if he would meet NCAA standards to receive a sixth year. After graduating from USC last month with a degree in sociology Dennis filled out his application for the additional year and the ruling came down today in his favor.

UCLA now has 21 recruits who have verbaled for 2008. Our friend Nestor over at Bruin's Nation gives us a rundown on recruiting. Nestor runs one helluva blog, and never takes a week off. This is a must read if you follow recruiting.

Since recruiting has been the hot topic for last few weeks thought I do another post looking at the big picture and connect with our expectations for this upcoming season. So let's do a little reset before we look into the numbers of Pac-10's top 5 recruiting programs since 2003 (the year Dorrell arrived to Westwood). Here is what we can assume before looking into the numbers: Southern Cal far and above is way ahead of everyone in the Pac-10 (I know (alleged) free housing can go a long away in hauling in elite play makers). California has done a great job recruiting under Tedford by their standards and now is situated as one of the programs that is expected to contend for the Pac-10 title. So much so to the point WWL hypes Cal-Southern Cal game as one of the marquee games of the Pac-10. Karl Dorrell is a mediocre football coach who has come well short of achieving his goals of winning the Pac-10 championship and beating Southern Cal in his four + years in Westwood. UCLA will always recruit well no matter who is the coach because Southern California is one of the most talent rich hotbed in the country when it comes to high school football talent (probably in the top-3 along with Texas and Florida).

The California Golden Bear Blog fills in this week with a few questions. Will Cal be able to play defense?

From Steven in Berkeley: Which do you think is a more pivotal win for California: Tennessee or USC? Nate Longshore, Justin Forsett, and DeSean Jackson obviously make the offense as explosive as ever. It is the defense which is keeping me up at night. I think if we meet the Trojans with an unblemished record in Berkeley, Chris, Kirk, and Lee will have to make their first trip *ever* to Strawberry Canyon.

Lute Olsen pulls in a couple of recruits for Arizona.

So, it wasn't very long ago when there were some talk that Arizona coach Lute Olson & Co., were not going to get much when it came to recruiting. After two not-so-Arizona-like seasons it appeared recruits were looking elsewhere. And don't forget Olson's age - 72, soon to be 73 in September. Drawbacks? Right. Not exactly.In the last two months UA has been unbelievable in the recruiting world. Arizona surely will end up with a top 10 class or likely higher with recruits like center Jeff Withey, guard Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Negedu.

John Wilner picks up slack during the downtime to do another "Best of the Pac Ten List". Wilner is always a good read.

Given the response to my June 6 Hotline post looking at the best Pac-10 teams from the past 20 years, and given that it’s still a slow time of year in the college sports world (unless you’re a baseball fan) …. I figured this would be a good time to extend the “best of” series.
Part Two looks at the best players, excluding quarterbacks (that’s coming next week). I could easily list 20 or 25 but will keep it to 10, which means some huge talents have been left out, including

We wind up with the House of Heat who with a little imagination can always find something to write about that isn't in the police blotters.

There's actually some Sun Devil news relevant to the big sports, and none of it involves the police! Kinda makes me feel like river dancing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Let's start off the morning talking about College Baseball.

A decade ago, it would have been hard to imagine Oregon State making it to Omaha, much less winning a national title. But with a 9-3 win over North Carolina on Sunday, Oregon State ranks with the greatest programs in NCAA history by clinching its second consecutive national title. Jorge Reyes was named the CWS Most Outstanding Player.

This was a big win for the Beavers, the state of Oregon, the entire region, and the Pac Ten Conference. Baseball isn't a revenue sport, but it does have potential if you win, and contributions to that program specifically to keep it in the black, takes pressure off the revenue sports as far as the budget balancing goes.

Washington has the potential in baseball, but what they have always lacked is facilities. Tubby Graves Field, the old home of the Huskies, was a complete joke. I think the head coach at the time also had to act as the head groundskeeper. Imagine having a job title that included gardening if you were the head athletic coach at UW.

The new field while an improvement is just as much of an embarrassment because the stadium has been awaiting funds for almost ten years to get completed. Despite this UW has a pretty good baseball program, in fact they put a lot of players in the pro's, and they even finished ahead of OSU in the conference this year. UW has the potential to do great things on the diamond if the stadium is ever completed.

High School Football Camps

Hard to believe that we are entering the stretch run of June already, and that means the next flurry of verbals will be coming during, and after Ty Willingham's camp at Montlake which started on Sunday, and ends next weekend. UW will have some gunslingers lined up to compete for scholarships at QB. The Huskies have offered three Californian's, but have yet to offer an in state QB, that could change by the end of the weekend. Also look for some local players who haven't been offered yet to finally get the nod after they have been evaluated.

Hawaii Preview

The Warriors have three starting spots to fill on the offensive line, one at running back, and another one at receiver. On defense, depending on what basic scheme is being run, both defensive end spots are open, along with one outside linebacker spot and a safety.

On offense the Warriors are led by Heisman candidate Colt Brennan who set an NCAA record with 58 touchdown passes last season, leading the nation in passing yards (5,549), passing efficiency (186) and completion percentage (72.6). He withdrew from the NFL draft to return for his senior season at Hawaii.

Brennan returned to spark change in the Warrior program as far as quality facilities go. according to Brennan the Warriors should be called the Spartans. Brennan complained there has been no soap in the football locker room showers for months and student athletes must pay for campus parking to attend practices, workouts and study sessions. "We spent all spring with no soap in our showers," Brennan told The Honolulu Advertiser. "Half of the soap dispensers are broken. How hard is it for us to have soap in our lockers?

Brennan has his top targets back in Davone Bess, Jason Rivers and Ryan Grice-Mullen, who combined for 3,168 yards and 36 touchdowns a year ago. But three starting linemen and the leading rusher are gone from an offensive juggernaut that led the nation in scoring, passing and total offense. Twelve backs competed for depth-chart position in spring practice, with explosive freshman Kealoha Pilares turning the most heads. OGs John Estes and Hercules Satele are polished pass protectors.

New defensive coordinator Greg McMackin has eight returning starters to work with as the Warriors move to a 4-3 scheme after two seasons in a 3-4 under Jerry Glanville. All-WAC candidates include DT Michael Lafaele, LBs Solomon Elimimian and Adam Leonard and S Jacob Patek. McMackin calls his linebacking unit, which includes Blaze Soares, the best he has ever been around. That's saying something, considering that his previous pupils include Ray Lewis and Julian Peterson.

Sure-footed junior Dan Kelly handles kicking duties for a third straight year. He hit 13 of 17 field goals in 2006, including a career-long 52-yarder. With P Kurt Milne gone, the team experimented with Kelly and Bess this spring, but the job goes to Juco transfer Tim Grasso when he arrives in August. It's almost an afterthought anyway, with Hawaii punting just 17 times in 14 games last year.

The Warriors must replace league-leading kick returner Ross Dickerson. CB Myron Newberry is the most experienced punt returner, but an intriguing option to handle both duties is incoming freshman RB/WR Gabe Tuata if he doesn't redshirt. Jones called him "probably the most exciting player I've ever looked at."

The Consensus on Hawaii

This is a tough way to wrap up a season. The Warriors are going to be very tough at home, and they are going to give the UW a Pac Ten quality game to end the year. Middle of the road Pac Ten teams are supposed to beat good WAC teams. Oregon State ended their regular season in Hawaii with a win. This is going to be a very good WAC team by the way, one that could be rated inside the top twenty when Washington heads to town. The Warrior's are likely to be favored in this one no matter how well Washington does this season from an optimistic point of view. That all being said UW should be at a level by that time of the season to be able to beat these guy's, because they should beat these guy's. UH has some standout players on offense, but they shouldn't be able to score more points then a good Pac Ten team. I expect UW to be a very good Pac Ten team by the end of the season regardless of the record and I expect this one to end up in the victory column for the Dawg's.

Next week we will start looking at our conference opponents for 2007 starting with the UCLA Bruins who the Huskies face on the road in the Rose Bowl.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Oregon State plays for another title

This of course isn't the Oregon State blog, but we will make an exception today because the Beaver's have reached the championship game again against North Carolina after eliminating a very good Rice team.

For the second straight year, North Carolina and Oregon State will play for the national title. But while the uniforms are the same, these are not the same teams that gave us a true College World Series classic in 2006, when the Beavers won the championship series--now called the CWS Finals--in three riveting games.

For starters, both teams lost their top two starters from a year ago, which is no small matter. Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard were both first-round picks for North Carolina, and Miller was the 2006 Player of the Year. Dallas Buck and Jonah Nickerson had both been All-Americans for Oregon State, and Nickerson was the 2006 CWS Most Outstanding Player. Both teams lost crucial pieces in the bullpen, as OSU had to replace stalwart closer Kevin Gunderson, and UNC lost national ERA leader Jonathan Hovis.

And while North Carolina's only significant loss from its lineup was outfielder Jay Cox, the Beavers had to replace six of their nine starters, including 2006 Pacific-10 Conference player of the year Cole Gillespie.

Yet for all of that, the Beavers and Tar Heels are the last two teams standing again. It's just the second time ever the same two teams have played for the championship in consecutive years, and the first time since Southern California beat Arizona State in 1972-73.

Everything is clicking for Oregon State right now, but getting to this point has not been easy. After starting 22-3, the Beavers slumped badly in conference play. After losing three straight series against Washington, Washington State and Arizona State, the Beavers were teetering on the brink of missing the NCAA tournament, and they knew it. Oregon State had one more chance to prove it was worthy of a spot in regionals--it had to win a series at UCLA over the final weekend of the regular season.

If you are don't have a lot going on today tune into ESPN to watch this classic as an unlikely Northwest team takes on UNC for the national championship for the second consecutive year. Take a little time to root for the Pacific Northwest because champions from our neck of the woods are rare, so when it happens, join the celebration.

Oregon State Wins Game One

Freshman Jorge Reyes gave Oregon State another strong pitching performance, leading the defending champion Beavers to an 11-4 win over North Carolina in Game 1 of the College World Series championship tonight.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Weekly Poll Question

Who is the greatest kicker in Husky Football History?

The vote is in and you guys have chosen Chuck Nelson who had an incredible streak at UW which ended in a missed kick against WSU in the finale which cost the Huskies a Rose Bowl berth. Second was Jaeger who I think was a better overall kicker evidenced by his longevity in the pro's. I went with Nelson.

Chuck Nelson 52% (13 votes)
Mike Lansford 4% (1 votes)
John Anderson 8% (2 votes)
Travis Hanson 4% (1 votes)
Steve Robbins 0% (0 votes)
Steve Wiezbowski 0% (0 votes)
Jeff Jaeger 32% (8 votes)
Don Martin 0% (0 votes)

This weeks question:

Will Washington open with a victory on the road against Syracuse?

On paper you have to say yes, but the game isn't on paper, and we have a RS QB starting the game, what do you think?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

Changing coaches is always a difficult decision in the college ranks. Take women's basketball for example, when June Daugherty was fired she was sitting on a top ten recruiting class which was immediately put into peril by her dismissal. Two of the incoming recruits decided to follow Daugherty to WSU, and Todd Turner put his foot down rejecting the request because it would set a bad precedent, and also hinder the team in the immediate future.

This week Katelan Redmon decided that UW was indeed the place she wanted to spend the next four years after spending some time with incoming coach Tia Jackson. Jess McCormack, a 6-5 forward from New Zealand, also filed appeals with the school and NCAA letter-of-intent office to be released, Turner said. As it did with Redmon, the school denied McCormack's request. McCormack's appeal to the national office is still pending, with a decision due soon.

While nothing has been announced concerning McCormack who should have a different set of options available due to the fact that she is an international player, expect Tia to be making a visit to that mountainous isle North of Australia to seal the deal if she wants to continue to develop her game in the United States next season.

NCAA rules dictate that if you sign a LOI, and change your mind, you have to sit out a year, plus lose that year of eligibility if you want to go to another school. While most players make the appeal when they are in that situation, most appeals fail, and the player ends up going to the original institution.

Hawes heads to NBA

In the end Spencer decided to take the sure thing which will make him an instant millionaire and most likely put him with a team on the verge of contending next season. Rumor has it that the Chicago Bull's will be the team to take him if he is still available. Hawes, listed at 7 feet but measuring 6-10 ½ at the pre-draft camp, becomes the first player to leave UW for the NBA after attending school for just one season. Martell Webster, Hawes' teammate at Seattle Prep, signed with UW in 2004 but went straight to the pros when that was still allowed. I am happy for Spencer, but my gut says that he will eventually wish he stayed around at UW a year or two more to develop his game.

June Daugherty on the road to recovery

Greg Bishop of the Seattle Times updates on how June is doing during her recovery at home from a heart attack.

June Daugherty sits in a chair outside her home, sun shining, water glimmering a short distance down the hill. Her husband, Mike, is inside making hotel reservations for an upcoming recruiting trip.

Pac Ten Alley

Now it is time to take our weekly walk down the coast to see what our Pac Ten neighbors, and upcoming opponents are up to.

Keep an eye on Omaha because the Beaver's have put themselves in a very good position to win their second NCAA baseball crown in as many years. The Beaver's limped into this thing during the Pac Ten season but they have gotten really hot and are now one of the favorites to win the thing.

The Beavers, once nervous about making it into the NCAA baseball playoffs, decked mighty Arizona State 12-6 to take a huge stride toward successfully defending their national championship. They amassed 18 hits, made spectacular defensive plays, and dodged most of the shots the Sun Devils fired back. Oregon State's next game will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday against the ASU-Irvine winner.

California QB Nate Longshore looks back at what happened in the opener against Tennessee last season.

Cal quarterback Nate Longshore's take on last year's season opener at Neyland Stadium isn't much different from everyone else's. "Shell-shocked" he said. That applied not just to a quarterback starting his first college road game but an entire team of Golden Bears, who were blitzed by big plays and bedeviled by their mistakes while falling behind 35-0. In scoring the last 18 points, Cal succeeded only in producing a misleading score.

UCLA continues to have early success with their football recruiting which is predictable since they sit in the middle of one of the greatest collections of high school talent in the country.
“I’m going to UCLA tomorrow actually to figure out my commitment and make sure it is final,” he said. “The commitment is a little shaky right now, and that is why I am going to head down there tomorrow. For me to go to a different school is pretty unlikely, and that school would really have to blow my mind for me to switch my commitment. I would have to fit in at that place like a piece to a puzzle.”

Oregon continues to own Southwest Washington in football recruiting.

Nick Cody from Brush Prairie,Washington is leaning heavily toward the Duck's. He's a four-star rated player who's 6' 5", 289lbs. and hold offers from UCLA, Purdue, Stanford, WSU, and Oregon State. Cody says he could make his announcement as early as June 22nd.

WSU men basketball team win's down under against international pro competition.

Robbie Cowgill had 19 points and six rebounds to lead Washington State University to an 85-70 men's basketball victory over the Southern Districts Spartans in Brisbane, Australia.
The Cougars are 3-2 on a six-game tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Arizona is riding high after winning another national championship in softball.

The UA softball team might be short on power hitters in 2008, but here is one who is on the way for 2009 -- Perelini Koria from San Pedro (Calif.) High School. As a junior, she was selected as the catcher to the L.A. Times All-Star softball team. Koria hit .549 last season and tied the California state record with 17 home runs.

John Wilner takes an early look at Pac Ten basketball next season, and think the Pac Ten will be even tougher next season. He predicts the Huskies will finish near the cellar now that Spencer Hawes has moved on to the NBA.

I know, I know. The Cardinal has a potentially problems at point guard. Big problems.
But it should be good enough at the other positions — Lopez/Lopez/Hill is one of the top frontline in the country, and Anthony Goods is a quality combo guard — to offset point problems during the regular season. But if Mitch Johnson (or Goods) doesn’t play well down the stretch, then the Cardinal will flop (again) in March.

The House of Heat was speechless after Oregon State knocked the Devils into the losers bracket in Omaha.

Arizona State finally took the punch in the mouth that its coach predicted was coming.Oregon State knocked ASU into the College World Series losers' bracket 12-6 Monday before 21,692 at Rosenblatt Stadium. To reach the best-of-three championship series, the Sun Devils (49-14) must get off the mat to win three games in three days starting at 4 p.m. today against UC Irvine.

Is Patrick Turner the next great receiver at USC?

Patrick Turner went to Los Angeles to pursue football stardom. What he found was traffic. Lots of it. As a student at the University of Southern California, Turner found that the inner-city setting of his new school presented unique challenges. Like the day he took a wrong turn and found himself in an area that was anything but Mayberry-esque. “You can end up in the wrong place real easy,” said Turner, a Nashville native and former Goodpasture star. “Once, I didn’t know where I was. Everybody was looking at me.” Turner might as well get used to it. Many eyes will be focused on him this year as he attempts to become the next great USC wide receiver.

Out of Conference Opponent Alley

The Huskies face two WAC front runners in Boise, and Hawaii next season. This is an interesting article on how well the league has evolved. It seems it has evolved to the point where the leading members actually have a reason to stay home rather than join the once more prestigious Mountain West conference.

To appreciate the current state of the WAC one has to look at the conference's revolving door over the last eight years. In all, 24 different schools have been part of the conference and only three remain from that '99 breakup (Fresno State, Hawaii and San Jose State). The conference had to deal with losing its only real history in BYU, which delivered a national title in '84 and a Heisman winner, and TCU, which bolted for C-USA after nearly crashing the BCS party in '00. But the current nine-team lineup has a 32-24-2 bowl record, the highest winning percentage of the 11 Division I-A conferences based on their current membership.

Looks like Boise State is going to start off the season in the top twenty five.

The Sporting News ranked Boise State No. 22 in its preseason Top 25 on Friday, while also naming junior left tackle Ryan Clady to its first-team All-America list. Clady (6-foot-6, 319 pounds) was also selected as the second best offensive tackle in the country by the Sporting News. He also earned preseason first-team All-America honors from PLAYBOY earlier this spring. In addition to being named a first-team All-America pick, Clady was named to the preseason All-WAC team by the magazine. Joining Clady as all-league choices are junior running back Ian Johnson, senior offensive lineman Jeff Cavender, senior safety Marty Tadman and sophomore cornerback Kyle Wilson.

The Syracuse Blog is doing a run down on Big East football over the next couple of days. they do a very nice job over there.

This is part two of an eight part series giving analysis of each of the eight teams in the Big East Football Conference, proceeding alphabetically, but ending with Syracuse. A new team will be released each weekday for the next eight days. Feel free to use the comment section to supplement the facts and analysis presented, however my opinions will stand. Enjoy and I hope you are looking forward to the new Big East football season as much as I am.

Five musts for Ohio State next season.

The complete lack of football newsworthy items is fantastic. That means no one is imitating Pacman Jones nor do we have any freak accidents. Instead we have our head coach apologizing, in so many words, to the Big Ten for the national title game and eager to get going in August. And, just what about this coming year? Depending on who you talk to, expectations are all over the map but there are a few things that must happen in order to make noise on the national title scene. In Letterman-like reverse order...

Let me add one of my own....lose to Washington in Husky Stadium!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Hope everyone is ready for Summer as we near the longest day of the year on June 21st. The weather has really kicked in back here in Chicago, along with the humidity. School of course is now out of session, and vacation has begun for nearly everyone.

Talking about vacation, my wife, and I are going to be traveling to the Pacific Northwest over the fourth of July. I hear the weather out there has been less than optimum, but we are going to try to bring the sun back with us. I can remember some rainy June's, and July fourth's growing up.

The College World Series is in full swing, and Oregon State which has been on another season ending hot streak faces off against tourney favorite, and Pac Ten champ Oregon State today. the Beaver's will their ace Mike Stutes on the mound today. The game will be televised on ESPN at 4 pm PST.

Stay Spencer Stay

Spencer Hawes was not ready Sunday to publicly reveal his basketball plans, but he has been invited to the NBA draft in New York and all signs point to Washington's center passing on school and moving on. Hawes, 19, is faced with a 2 p.m. PDT Monday deadline for removing his name from the draft and retaining college eligibility.

Most observers feel that Spencer will be picked within the top twelve if he opts to stay in the draft. I think it is a mistake for him to make the move right now, he could really use another year to develop his game at UW. I just don't see Spencer despite his potential playing very much in the NBA next year, and that retards growth despite the paycheck. Of course if he blows out a knee, or ghurts his back next year it will retard his paycheck, so there are a lot of things to consider.

Hawaii Contract and return game finalized

The contract for UH's regular-season finale against Washington Dec. 1, 2007, at Aloha Stadium has been concluded. It calls for UH to play a Sept. 10, 2011, return game at Seattle, UH said.
The Huskies will receive a $350,000 guarantee for the game, one of the largest cash payments made by UH to an opponent.

UH has traditionally offered opponents the choice of cash or a package that includes airfare, lodging, cash and tickets. The Huskies chose cash, and the contract calls for them to receive $50,000 more than cross-state rival Washington State will receive for its Nov. 29, 2008, appearance at Aloha Stadium.

Ohio State Preview

The new leadership at QB will tell much as to how far next year’s Buckeyes can go. Enter drop-back hurler Todd Boeckman, an understudy for the past few years who will be thrust into the limelight. Boeckman has the arm and pedigree to succeed, but how long he takes to properly adjust to real game pressure dictates the potential of this offensive juggernaut.

RB Antonio Pittman’s prowess will ease him in Pittman’s experience and ability should keep DLs respectful, though losing Stan White could affect the impact of the running game more than losing linemen Datish and Downing inside. But Alex Boone will have the QB’s blindside (only 14 sacks allowed by entire OL). Depth with Chris Wells (top prep RB in ’06 recruiting class) should keep defenders tired as he and Pittman rotate early and often. The star of this offense and a potential Heisman finalist – is WR Ted Ginn. Still, he is but one of the talented Buckeyes at receiver (Gonzalez, Robiskie) who can burn foes deep as well as via short routes with YAC. Ginn also explodes on punt returns, though coaches need to find a new kick returner to keep Ginn healthy.

Then there is the defense, which was supposed to need 2006 to adjust to six new starters in the back seven. Coach Jim Tressel improved his legacy even more by fielding a defense that shut most foes down for 60 minutes.

Nagurski Award winner Jamie Laurinaitis leads a group of sophomores and juniors that will play with cohesion and determination to make each game a shutout, and they can hold up their end of that bargain. But the DL is the biggest team concern with Richardson, Pitcock and Patterson departing. Soon-to-be juniors Vernon Gholston and Lawrence Wilson, along with over-achieving Robert Rose, look like they should tow the line on the outside, so it is only inside that needs extra attention in spring/summer practice's. The LBs are rangy enough to be able to help in this area, though teams that spread the Buckeye defenders may find the most success running between the tackles. Kickers Pettrey, and Pretorius went a combined 3-for-5 from 50 plus, and both are back. If 2006 was any indication, be sure not to underestimate Tressel’s ability to take supposed weaknesses and turn them into definitive strengths. The Buckeyes look to be reloading for another run as one of the nation’s best.

The Consensus on Ohio State

The Buckeye's once again figure to be in the top ten once everything is said, and done at the end of the season. They are however not going to be a finished product when they arrive in Seattle, and like Boise State they have some holes to fill, most notably at the QB position. Ohio State was manhandled last year in the National Championship game, and it was obvious at the end of the season that the Big Ten Champs were not playing at the same level of Florida, and USC.

For Washington to compete against Ohio State they need to be able to generate some offense against what is always a tough defense. Ty, and Lappano need to study the Florida game film to throw the change ups needed to keep them off balance.

On paper nobody expect's Washington to compete with the Buckeye's, but UW is on an upswing, they are playing at home in front of a supportive audience, and the Buckeyes shouldn't be firing on all cylinders as they break in a new QB against what should be an improved Husky defensive front. Look for the game to be similar to last season against Oklahoma where Washington gave the Sooner's all they could handle till mistakes allowed Ohlahoma to pull away in the fourth quarter.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Husky Sports Blog's First Anniversary

It is hard to believe that the first article for the blog was written exactly one year ago today on June 15th, of 2006. Since then we have had nearly 16,000 visitors to the site, of course that is just a good week over at Dawgman. But hey, I never wanted to be Dawgman, (I like having hair, and being over 5'7") I just wanted to compliment what they were doing in a troll free zone.

The site has made a lot of new friends, down the coast, and around the country. I think this year we are going to see a large spike in readership since our friend Nathan Ware was kind enough to give us a link over at the Seattle P-I.

The reason I started writing the blog was that there just wasn't enough positive stuff being written about our favorite football team. I felt that every cloud has a purple, and gold lining. We tried to fill a void over here while the team was rebuilding. We came close to having a winning record last year, and you could feel a change in the wind as Ty finished his second season at the helm.

As we enter the third season of the Willingham era I am going to continue to look at the present team, our upcoming opponents, and of course try to put a positive spin on Husky Athletics while being objective. I think the gloves are off this season, and it will go a long way in determining whether Ty retires at UW, or moves on. I am betting that Ty finishes his career at UW, and that there will be many Rose Bowls in our future.

Once again, thanks to everyone who has contributed over the last year, and Go Huskies!

Huskies and Boise State to be Televised

UW officials announced today that the Sept. 8 home game against Boise State will be televised live on FSN Northwest at 12:30 p.m. In addition, the school announced, the homecoming game against Arizona on Oct. 27 will kick-off at 12 noon with specific television plans scheduled to be announced during the summer.

According to Bob Condotta of UW's 13 games this year, seven have been selected for TV. UW officials are hopeful that most of the rest will be picked up later, though likely not until either six or 12 days prior to the game. Games that appear most problematic to get selected, apparently, are road contests at Arizona State and Stanford.

The Weekly Poll Question

Who is the greatest Quarterback in Husky History?

The voters went with Marques, who was closely followed by Warren Moon. What do they have in common? Taking their underdog teams to the Rose Bowl of course against all odds. Both Rose Bowl apearances came after a drought of many years.

If you want to look at who made the best pro's it is hands down Moon, and the late Don Heinrich. Don's teams came close to a Rose Bowl, but California stopped them at the goal line. Both Warren, and Don are NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks.

Who was the best QB just during his Husky career? Billy Joe Hobert never lost a game while at UW, and Mark Brunnell participated in three Rose Bowls. The guy I would have picked however was Chris Chandler who was surrounded by a less than stellar supporting cast while at UW. You notice he didn't get any votes, and for some reason the thing locked me out of the voting. Brock Huard was pretty darn good too, but like Chandler didn't have the horses around him to take it over the top. Sonny Six didn't get a single vote which was surprising.

I love Marques about one man strapping a team on his back, willing them to win, and he comes to mind. You can never forget the Stanford game when he rallied the team to victory after the injury to Curtis Williams. Then of course he demolished Purdue in the Rose Bowl leading the Huskies to a #3 ranking in the polls.

Don Heinrich 3% (1 votes)
Bob Schloredt 3% (1 votes)
Sonny Sixkiller 0% (0 votes)
Warren Moon 31% (9 votes)
Tom Flick 0% (0 votes)
Steve Pelleur 0% (0 votes)
Chris Chandler 0% (0 votes)
Mark Brunnel 3% (1 votes)
Billy Joe Hobert 17% (5 votes)
Damon Huard 0% (0 votes)
Brock Huard 7% (2 votes)
Marques Tuiasosopo 34% (10 votes)

This Weeks Question:

Who is the greatest kicker in Husky Football history?

We have had some great kickers over the years, and most were actually walk-ons when they got here. The lack of a great kicker kept Jim Lambright out of Pasadena, but he made amends by recruiting a kid from Florida by the name of John Anderson who played an integral part in the last Rose Bowl run. To refresh your memory Don Martin a kicker from the 60's was basically the Huskies whole offense during the down years, and he co-holds the record for the longest field goal with Mr. Anderson. For trivia buff's Hugh McElhenny was also a kicker while at UW, and he still pops up in the record book here and there as a kicker.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

UW Fires Womens Crew Coach

Todd Turner makes the call on this one, and it serves notice that nothing but West Coat Championships are tolerated at UW as far as Women's Crew is concerned. Considering the fact that UW dominated the sport for years makes it a good move at this point as the program has slipped toward mediocrity.

The University of Washington has fired head women's rowing coach Eleanor McElvaine, with one year remaining on her contract. "The women's rowing program at Washington has a history of great success on a national level," athletic director Todd Turner said in a statement announcing the firing on Wednesday. "Being among the country's top programs presents a number of challenges, not the least of which is maintaining our ability to compete for national championships."

Will Todd be that quick to pull the trigger in year four of Ty if needed?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

Most of the coaches are taking a break and going on vacation till the high school camps open in late June. Chances are you will find Ty out on the golf course sharpening his game. I just finished building a couple large decks in the backyard, and we are enjoying the outdoors again which is a real treat now that Summer has begun in Chicago.

Talking about Chicago, the Mariners are at Wrigley for the first time, and I am going to hit the game on Thursday. Wrigley is a special place even though Safeco is probably close. The thing with Wrigley is the history, you get a real tingle when you walk in there similar to when the Huskies run out of the tunnel at Montlake. It almost brings tears to your eyes.

The NBA draft is coming up and it looks like it is a foregone conclusion that Spencer Hawes is going to enter the draft despite not exactly showing well at the pre draft camps. Everyone knows Spencer is a player, and everyone knows Spencer has a lot of work to do to even get off the bench next season because of the lack of upper body strength which is so crucial when playing in that league. Hopefully he comes to his senses and stays another year at UW to mature. Stay another year and chances are that he would be a top 5 pick, right now his stock is falling. One good thing about your stock falling is you don't get stuck on a crummy team.

The University of Washington athletic department will honor its proud and successful heritage this fall with a weekend full of special activities surrounding the Sept. 29 home football game against the University of Southern California. A number of events will be held in conjunction with the Huskies' critical Pacific-10 Conference game against the nationally-ranked Trojans, which will be televised live nationally by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 beginning at 5 p.m. The department will honor the 1960 squad that convincingly defeated top-ranked Minnesota by a score of 17-7 in the Rose Bowl and was listed as the nation's top team in the final Helms Foundation poll following the conclusion of the bowl games that season.

Pac Ten Alley

Once again it is time to take a walk down the coast and see what our Pac Ten neighbors are up to.

We start off at USC. The recruiting machine at USC is amazing because the coaching staff doesn't rest on it's reputation. They are out there recruiting each year like their jobs are on the line.

Only the very top football programs in the country can do it - dominate recruiting on their home turf, and at the same time go out to the far corners of the country and recruit the very best high school football players. That delicate balance can be hard to achieve, but few would argue that USC has done it. And its track record of success on the field has garnered attention from high school and junior college athletes from all over the country again this year.

Former Golden Bear players are making a trip to Japan to play a team made up of former Hawaii players.

It turns out that bowl season isn’t quite over for the Cal football program. The Bears still have one more to go: the New Era Bowl. While the name bears the familiar corporate stamp of many college bowl games, the game shares little else in common with the NCAA’s postseason match-ups. Rather, the July 8 game will be played in Kensai, Japan and feature former Cal players along with current Bears coaches instructing a Japanese football team and then playing against another team coached by a contingent from the University of Hawaii.

The Beaver's are back to defend their national title in baseball. A few weeks ago it looked doubtful, but the Beav's are peaking at the right time.

With the Beavers headed to out of PDX tomorrow morning, and a steady stream of Beaver fans, including me, following them to Omaha, let's veer away from number crunching and game breakdowns to talk about the Beavers' wardrobe. They'll be playing in front of 20,000+ at Rosenblatt, and thousands more will be tuning in across on ESPN. We'll go through the 2007 duds one by one, and then I'll open it up for discussion at the end.

Not much coming out of Oregon since little is going on, but the Duck's picked up a national TV game.

Oregon will be on ABC nationally for it's game against Michigan on September 8th. Not exactly breaking news or new information for some I'm sure, but there it is in black and white. Michigan gets Notre Dame the week after the Ducks, on national TV as well. Is Oregon the trap game for the Woverines because they'll be looking ahead to the Domers? Probably not.

UCLA received it's 18th verbal this week. Bruins Nation isn't that excited.

So the Bruins picked up another commitment yesterday. Connor Bradford, a one star 6-5, 260lbs undersized, unknown OL (who was not being recruited by any major Pac-10 schools) committed to Dorrell yesterday. And I guess a huge congrats is in order (if you have the mindset that UCLA should be competing against schools like Utah and BYU for recruits) for the coaching staff who beat out some powerhouses from MWC or whatever conference those programs are playing in this year. Connor’s commitment was Dorrells’s 18th pickup of the season.

WSU filled the vacancy on it's coaching staff by plucking a guy from Toledo.

Washington State football has hired an assistant from the University of Toledo to replace cornerbacks coach Kenny Greene. The new WSU assistant is 38-year-old David Walkosky, who was on the Toledo staff for eight seasons. He completed his second season as secondary coach last fall and has been special-teams coordinator since 2003. Head coach Bill Doba called Walkosky "impressive.He fits our needs perfectly as we needed an emphasis on special teams and he has a passion for special teams," Doba said.

Arizona eliminated the Husky Softball team and went on to win the national title.

Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea is always looking for omens. This is a guy who, after eating at a Whataburger in Oklahoma City in 1991, kept the receipt in his wallet because it was order No. 1. UA went on to win national title No. 1. He went on eating at Whataburger in future years.

This is an excellent read. You are going to find the sportswriters getting creative just like we are in finding something to post about till camps open in August.

I’m not sure what prompted me to think about this, but I figured it would be perfect for a slow week in June. And it’s a great launching point for similar blog items, like: The best Pac-10 quarterbacks of the past 20 years, the best coaches, the best players, etc... . I hope to make this a semi-regular Hotline series through the slow summer months.

ASU should be the odds on favorite to win the national title in baseball as they move on to Omaha this week.

A few quick thoughts on the 2007 College World Series that begins on Saturday for ASU.* The Sun Devils are the third highest national seed remaining in the field, following #2 Rice and #3 North Carolina.* Here's a good snapshot of each of the participants.* The brackets are up, but difficult to follow due to the double-elimination thing. Perennial bracket dream killer Cal State Fullerton looms large for ASU in the second round, assuming they can get past defending national champs Oregon State.* ASU (48-13) opens up on Saturday against the UC-Irvine Anteaters (45-15-1) at 11 am AZ time. Freshman RHP Mike Leake will make the start on the mound for the Devils.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fantastic Article

Ron Judd of the Seattle Times is one of the best sportswriters in the world. He is the Times free agent who focuses on the outdoors, and all things a little left field in the sports world. Today he wrote an excellent article on what is going on track wise in Eugene.

I remember going to the Olympic trials a couple of times in the early 70's in Eugene, it was just amazing, and I am glad the city of Eugene is stepping up to the plate to bring the big track events home to the Northwest again.

Hayward Field is a special place, it was originally the football stadium for the University till Autzen was built in the mid 60's. If you haven't been there think of a bigger West Seattle Stadium as a model. We are talking an old, historic wooden grandstand.

All of us sports fan's want to go to a Masters, Super Bowl, Rose Bowl, Final for etc....but you are not completed till you witness a track meet at Hayward Field, it should be on every one's list.

It's hallowed ground. The late Steve Prefontaine, rock-star distance runner, consecrated it back in the early 1970s, burning up the track at Hayward Field on the way to owning the American record at every distance from 2 kilometers to 10. In the decade that followed, Hayward Field, oft described as the Carnegie Hall of track and field, regularly welcomed the world's greatest athletes, hosting the sport's marquee event, the U.S. Olympic Trials, from 1972 through 1980.
Hallowed, pure and simple

The Monday Morning Wash

Let me start Monday a little off topic.

Steve Kelley returns to the Seattle Times after a two month vacation....let me ask did anybody miss him? I certainly didn't, Kelley is the biggest pompous ass currently writing in the Seattle area. The Philadelphia native has never become a true Seattle type of guy....hard to imagine he was the replacement for the legendary George N. Meyers. The Times did get it right when they made the recent hire of Jerry Brewer. Jerry does his homework, and even though he isn't a Seattle native he has made double the effort that Steve has done in his twenty plus years at the Times in understanding the local sporting intelligencia. Kelley has only one area of expertise, and that is the NBA, hopefully if the Sonic's move on to Oklahoma City they will take him with him.

Ah, back at last! So ... what did I miss? (Steve you missed that nobody missed you, and the circulation of your paper probably increased in your absence.)

Washington senior Ryan Brown capped his illustrious UW career with a third-place national finish in the 800-meters Saturday, leading Washington's men to its highest team finish in 22 years at the 2007 NCAA Track and Field Championships. Brown was one of six Washington athletes to earn All-America honors at the four-day meet at Sacramento State's Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex, which concluded Saturday.

Brown was one of six Huskies to earn All-America honors at the four-day meet, including five UW men. Those outstanding performances - including a third-place long jump finish for junior Norris Frederick, a sixth-place hammer finish for senior Martin Bingisser, an eighth-place pole vault finish for freshman Scott Roth and a 10th-place finish for quarter hurdler James Fredrickson - lifted the 11th-ranked UW men into a tie for 15th in the final team standings with 16 points, equal to No. 14 Baylor and No. 15 Oklahoma.

Six more Washington baseball players were drafted on the second and final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Friday. Third baseman Matt Hague, right-handed pitcher Brandon McKerney, right-handed pitcher Harrison Bishop, right-handed pitcher Johnny Durocher, first baseman Curt Rindal and shortstop Danny Cox were all drafted.

Boise State Preview

Think Dan Hawkins wouldn't mind having his old job back?

The 2006 Bronco's hit that elusive goal of going to a BCS game, and they actually beat Oklahoma in one of the most exciting bowl games in years. The Bronco's aren't Cinderella anymore. Did you ever think Boise State would be the dominant football program in the Northwest? They are right now, and they visit Husky Stadium for the first time looking to cement that fact in a game which will have as much meaning for that program as the Fiesta Bowl. Make no mistake, this is a Bowl Game for Boise State and they will treat it as such.

Boise State completed spring practice with their annual spring game, a competitive contest won by the offense, 27-26. The score doesn’t matter at all. Coaching staff 's are looking for individual efforts much more than which team won.


Bush Hamdan will be Boise State's starting quarterback when the Broncos open their season against Weber State under the lights at Bronco Stadium on Aug. 30. Hamdan, a redshirt junior, took the lead in the Broncos' four-way quarterback derby during spring practice — even if Boise State football coaches aren't conceding that anyone is a favorite to succeed Jared Zabransky.
Now Hamdan must hold his slim lead over Taylor Tharp through summer workouts and fall camp to make the prediction stand up. Hamdan has the best mix. Impressive arm strength. An ability to make plays when they aren't there or buy time with his feet.

Who will be the go-to wideout? That will be determined in the fall, when the Broncos identify their top five or six receivers and let them jell with the eventual starting quarterback.
Sophomore Jeremy Childs and junior Vinny Perretta are the top candidates, but junior Toshi Franklin had a breakout spring, sophomore Aiona Key improved and converted tight end Julian Hawkins developed into a nice target over the middle.

The offensive line was shuffled by an injury to center Paul Lucariello, who will miss the entire season, and the absence of All-WAC left tackle Ryan Clady for much of the spring due to a minor injury. Junior tailback Ian Johnson rested his banged-up body for the entire spring. Will senior Pete Cavender, who missed all of last season and the contact drills this spring, return to the starting lineup at right guard? The line at the end of spring featured Andrew Woodruff, the starter at right tackle last season, at right guard and Dan Gore, a defensive lineman until last August, at right tackle. If Cavender starts, Woodruff likely will move back to tackle.

What will the tailback rotation look like? It starts with Johnson and freshman Jeremy Avery, but freshman Jarvis Hodge and incoming recruits Doug Martin and D.J. Harper will compete for the leftover carries. Avery, who ran a 4.44 40, capped an impressive spring with 107 total yards in the Spring Game. The 5-foot-9, 161-pounder showed he could take a pounding on a team that played just two tailbacks after spring break.


The future at safety for the Bronco's looks good as Freshmen Jason Robinson and Jeron Johnson, junior-college transfer Garcia Day and senior Austin Smith delivered some big hits and broke up five passes in the Spring Game. Robinson, in particular, proved he can provide a physical presence. The second safety job - alongside senior starter Marty Tadman - remains an open race going into the fall. Robinson, Johnson and Day are learning quickly on the job.

Boise State lost two of the top defensive playmakers of the school's WAC era in linebackers Korey Hall and Colt Brooks, yet the position remains one of the team's greatest strengths.
Juniors Kyle Gingg and David Shields, who shared the weak-side job last year, move into starting roles. Junior walk-on Tim Brady, promising freshman Derrell Acrey and potential role players Josh Bean, Ellis Powers, Dallas Dobbs and Garrett Tuggle give defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox flexibility.

Gingg didn't hit much this spring as he continued to recover from a broken ankle suffered in the first quarter of the Fiesta Bowl. He was a force in the Spring Game, though, including a nasty hit that caused a fumble. The third starter could be Brady, who would force Gingg or Shields to move to middle linebacker, or Acrey, who is a natural middle linebacker.

On the Defensive front the Broncos will enter the fall with a four-man tackle committee led by senior Ian Smart and junior Joe Bozikovich. Senior Sione Tavake and junior Phillip Edwards also are in the mix. The group improved in the spring, but none showed he was ready to replace Browning - a three-year starter, All-WAC first-teamer and the unsung hero of the Broncos' run defense.

Consensus Opinion

The general consensus on Boise State is that they are young, they have holes to fill, and while they are capable of competing for the WAC title, another BCS berth in 2007 is unlikely. The 2006 Bronco's were very good, and they could compete against anyone in the country. This years version while following the same blueprint will have a hard time living up to that. The Bronco's are going to be breaking in a new QB, new recievers, and dealing with a shuffling offensive line. they will have growing pains. Washington is still going to have to play a complete game to beat these guys next year. They need to get it in to their mindset that they need to bury these upstart Bronco's and let them know that the Pac Ten is on a much higher level than the WAC. The Bronco's are still made up of guys the Pac Ten didn't want, and the talent level has to tip strongly to Washington. Don't expect a rout, expect a game like last year when we played San Jose St, a game we could have easily lost. This is going to be a fight to finish, but I am pretty sure Washington will prevail if they control the ball and don't cough it up for easy one's.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Puppy Chow

Well it's Friday, and the Spring sports schedule is coming to a close with the track team competing with a strong team down in Sacramento at the NCAA championships. I actually remember when track meets drew a crowd in the Northwest. I went to more than a few at Husky Stadium, and caught Jim Ryan at the Olympic Trials in Eugene one year when I was a kid at old Heyward Field. for some reason track faded as a spectator sport in this country despite the excitement a meet generates.

I have been watching our poll question closely this week and Marques Tuiasosopo has pulled into the lead in the voting. So many great QB's to choose from, and the Woodinville native remains a favorite in the hearts of Husky fans. Hopefully Marques will get a chance to show what he can do in the pro's this year. Make sure you vote for your all time Husky QB, polls close next Thursday.

Washington junior Norris Frederick captured his fifth-career All-America honor with a third-place finish in the long jump Thursday, highlighting another busy day of action for Washington's track and field teams at the 2007 NCAA Championships in Sacramento. The four-day meet, featuring 12 Husky athletes, continues through Saturday at Sacramento State's Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex. The Husky track team is projected to be in the top ten once the meet is concluded which would give them their highest finish in quite some time. The Dempsey indoor facility has given that program quite a boost.

Washington pitcher Nick Hagadone was selected by the Boston Red Sox with the 55th overall pick in today's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Hagadone, a junior lefty from Sumner, Wash., was Boston's first pick as the the Red Sox did not have a first-round selection. Hagadone was chosen in the first compensation round, which falls between the official first and second rounds.

The Husky Crew has decided not to compete at Henley this year due to scheduling conflicts regarding members participating on various national teams. The three event titles were the most for the Huskies' fleet of crews since 1997 when they claimed top IRA honors in the three eight-oared events. The trio of championship boats continued a streak that has seen at least one Washington crew win a national title during each of the last seven years. The Huskies' top crew completed a perfect season. That marked their first undefeated campaign since 1997, which was also the last year they won the varsity eight event.

The Weekly Poll Question

Last weeks poll question was:

Who is the greatest running back in Husky History?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This weeks poll question:

Who is the greatest Quarterback in Husky History?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

We have officially reached the start of the slow news time for the year when it comes to college athletics, but we were able to unearth some nuggets during our walk down Pac Ten Alley.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times rips the Sporting News which has been a shadow of itself ever since it was purchased by Paul Allen.

I had just glanced at this Sporting News ranking of the Pac-10 schedules for this season and was about to begin a blog wondering how they could really rank UW's slate second to UCLA's when I realized that the magazine once known as "The Bible of Sports'' had done it again. Close readers of this blog know that I regard The Sporting News --- which like the Yankees, is a shell of its once-great self --- as having about as much insight into Pac-10 sports as Lindsay Lohan does about safe driving habits.

The Quarterback situation at USC is just ridiculous.

John David Booty's starting spot is in no danger after a breakthrough performance in the Rose Bowl, earning him a spot on the Heisman Watch List but the quarterback situation at USC is about to get a lot more interesting with the arrivals of Arkansas transfer Mitch Mustain and Orange Lutheran graduate Aaron Corp to eventually compete with Mark Sanchez. There are plenty of story lines heading into fall camp.

Cal at Stanford tickets getting tough to get in smaller Stanford Stadium.

The 115-year-old Cal-Stanford football contest transcends mere athletics. It's a gathering of the tribes, a bacchanalian ritual akin to Mardi Gras and Christmas combined. For fans of both schools, the Big Game is seared into their internal clock like the turning of the seasons. In the past, any Cal season ticket holder automatically got a ticket to the Big Game. But that has changed -- tickets for November's showdown are expected to be rarer than Stanford victories last year. The only way for Cal fans to get Big Game tickets at this point is to have donated at least $6,800 to the athletic booster fund or to buy Stanford season tickets. Many have.

The magic is still happening as Oregon State advances to the Super Regionals at home against Michigan.

Lonnie Lechelt's solo home run sparked a three-run second inning and put defending national champion Oregon State ahead to stay today in a 7-3 victory over Virginia in the Charlottesville Regional. The Beavers (42-18) won for the third time in two days, and beat the Cavaliers for the second straight time, to keep alive their hope of defending their title. Oregon State advanced to the Super Regional round, hosting Michigan starting Saturday. "The guys are just really pumped to be able to go back to Corvallis," Beavers second baseman Joey Wong said. "It will be really fun. "Virginia, hosting a regional for the third time in four years, has never made it out of the regional. The Cavaliers were in their seventh trip to the tournament.

Oregon Nabs a Tight End from California.

Tight End Mychal Rivera from Birmingham High in Van Nuys, CA says he's committed to Oregon. Telling, ""I'm a solid verbal," said Rivera. "I'm relieved to get it over with. In my mind, I had it over with about two weeks ago, after they offered, but I didn't want to say anything until I got up there."

The war against Karl Dorrell continues at UCLA.

I'm sure the guys over at Bruins Nation and Dump Dorrell will be interested to know that when you perform this same analysis for the games where Dorrell had input (i.e. after the WSU game) and when just Svoboda was in charge (i.e. WSU and earlier) there is virtually no difference in the plays called. In fact, Dorrell was even more conservative, passing the ball only 26% of the time in the red zone to Svoboda's 39%. In goal line situations the team followed the run-run-pass pattern almost exclusively when Dorrell was helping call the shots.

The search for a cornerback coach continues at WSU.

Washington State's football program already was facing a 2007 season with an unproven secondary. Now the uncertainty includes a new assistant coach. Ken Greene, former standout WSU safety in the 1970s, later an NFL player and for the past four years an assistant under Bill Doba, has been dismissed from the staff.

The Arizona Softball teams falls in the first round against Tennessee.

Arizona pitcher Taryne Mowatt rolled her eyes because she knew the question was coming.
Are you tired? "Yeah, it's getting tougher, but it doesn't mean I'm getting tired," she said. "I don't get tired." And yet for the first time at the College World Series, Mowatt was merely mortal, allowing two home runs as Tennessee beat Arizona 3-0 Monday night in the first game of the best-of-three championship round.

Stanford win the NCAA Mens Golf Title.

The Cardinal shot a 1-over-par 281 Saturday in Williamsburg, Va., and ran away with the NCAA tournament by 12 shots, its first golf title since 1994. "Our first three years, we were happy with a top-five, a top-three," senior Matt Savage said once the win was secure. "To finally progress to winning one tournament, and then winning six, and then winning the championship, it's unbelievable."

ASU advances to the Baseball Super Regional.

Arizona State gets an extra day to prepare for its NCAA baseball super regional against Mississippi, a best-of-three series that will begin Saturday at Packard Stadium. Game 2 is Sunday and Game 3, if necessary, is Monday. Times will be announced today. The winner advances to the College World Series and is more likely to play its first game in Omaha, Neb., on June 16 because of the Saturday super regional start.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Washington won a national championship in Crew, and finished third in the race for the national championship in Softball losing to conference rival Arizona in two straight games. The softball program has been here before, and while they have knocked on the door it seems there is always someone a little better who keeps them from the championship trophy. Heather Tarr did an excellent job this season and has the program back to the level it was before Teresa Wilson was let go.

On the Cooper River in New Jersey the Husky Crew showed everyone that they are back on top, and that the program is in great shape winning the overall title in addition to the Varsity Eights. Look for the Huskies to announce soon that they will be headed to Henley.

With Spring Sports for the most part completed we enter the slow period of the Summer for the football, and other athletic programs at UW. Over the next eight weeks we will be reviewing where our upcoming football opponents stand headed into the season.

This week we kick off our reviews with the opener at Syracuse. The Orangemen are currently down, and Washington should enter the game a prohibitive favorite. If you take a good look at the schedule this may be the least skilled opponent Washington will face this year. The Orange have problems on both sides of the ball, but like Washington last year have bottomed out and are starting the long return to the upper division of their conference.

Syracuse Preview

First of all Syracuse's hopes of escaping the Big East cellar were dealt a serious blow with the season-ending injury to RB Delone Carter, who led the Orange in rushing with 713 yards as a freshman. Carter dislocated his hip during a 7-on-7 passing drill during spring practice. In 2006, Carter split time with Curtis Brinkley, who had knee surgery during the spring but is expected to be healthy in the fall.

What can you learn from a spring scrimmage that features a punter lining up as a wide receiver and two stoppages of play for video review? Apparently, quite a bit from reports.

Despite Syracuse's defense pushing forward for an unsurprising 25-24 victory in the spring game, Orange sophomore quarterback Andrew Robinson stepped to the fore, likely earning himself the starting role in 2007. The sophomore from Baltimore was impressive during the team's annual spring football game. The defense won the contest 25-24, but it was Robinson who carried the day as the game's most arresting performer.

Robinson completed 12-of-19 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown. He threw one interception, though it was a pass receiver Taj Smith caught, then fumbled into the arms of defensive lineman Anthony Perkins. Robinson directed two touchdown drives and one field goal drive. All three came against the first-team defense.

Robinson's display must surely buoy the expectations of even the most pessimistic of Orange fans. Without starting running backs Delone Carter (dislocated hip) and Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley (knee), Robinson managed to carry the load most of the afternoon. His poise in the pocket and ability to complete a myriad of throws proved that he can, under the right circumstances, compete in head coach Greg Robinson's West Coast Offense. The pieces are there among the skill players for a night-and-day improvement from last year’s putrid attack that cranked out a mere 264 yards and 17.4 points per game, but the injuries are a disappointment that will be hard to overcome coming out of the gate.

On defense it might take a little while for the team to gel next season, but the defense should improve as the season goes on. In 2006 it struggled in every area but getting into the backfield, and with a strong defensive line returning, led be end Jameel McClain, generating pressure won’t be much of a problem. The linebacking corps will be work in progress with three new starters, but the they will be blessed with two excellent safeties who will have to clean up the mess in Dowayne Davis, and Joe Fields. The inside-outside combination of Jenkins and McClain will be the teams strength on defense. For all the dire news about the defense, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Jenkins and McClain were the disruptive catalysts for a group that finished 19th nationally at almost three sacks a game.

Consensus Opinion on Syracuse

Syracuse goes into 2007 being labeled as the worst team in the Big East, and is a good candidate to make most people's national bottom ten lists initially. The Orange are rebuilding, and while it won't be quite as bad as 2006, this is definitely a team Washington should beat up on road to start the season. One key for Washington is keeping the Orange out of their offensive backfield. The other is exploiting what should be a porous Orange defense. Washington needs to start quickly, control the ball, and bottle up the Syracuse offense, and watch them self destruct. Jake Locker needs to be wary of the pressure the Syracuse defense can bring and turn it to Washington's advantage by using his speed to make plays. The Huskies as in most cases this season need to establish a strong running game early and control the temp putting away the underdog early.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Arizona Knocks UW out of CSWS

The Huskies went down for the first time in the tournament losing to conference nemesis Arizona 2-0. The Huskies could have eliminated the once beaten Wildcats with a victory this morning. The two teams play at 4:00 PM PST on ESPN with the winner going on to championship round. We will be back with the recap after the second game. Arizona has now topped the Huskies in 11 of their past 12 meetings. It was the Wildcats' third victory in four tries against Washington this year. Arizona has seven national titles to its credit, while the Huskies are seeking their first one.

In the nightcap Arizona pounded Washington 8-1 to move onto the championship series. Arizona pounded out 12 hits in the decisive game, a season-high allowed by Washington. The seven-run margin of defeat was the largest against Washington since the Huskies lost to Texas, 9-1, to end the 2006 season in the NCAA Super Regional.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Husky Mens Crew Wins the National Championship

Washington won their first IRA title and completed their first undefeated season since 1997 today, and took their first Ten Eyck points trophy since 1970, after winning the national men's eights title with a powerful, commanding, and almost workaday performance; they didn't make it quite look easy, but neither did it ever really seem in doubt. And it's not like there wasn't a race right behind them; the race for the medals resulted in a dead heat for second between Stanford, and Harvard, a hair under one second behind Washington. Brown was only 0.8 second behind them, followed by Cal, and Princeton. While Washington was the class of the field this was one of the better races in years from a competitive standpoint.

California finished a dissapointing fourth, and they may have rowed their best race in the semi-finals in which they turned in the best time of the three day event. This is the Huskies' first varsity eight championship at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) regatta since 1997 and 12th national title overall. Washington went a span of almost twenty years without participating in the IRA's because of scheduling conflicts with finals.

Varsity Eight Grand Final

1. Washington 05:33.165
2. Stanford 05:34.125
2. Harvard 05:34.125
4. Brown 05:34.981
5. California 05:40.126
6. Princeton 05:43.419


The focus is usually on purple in the University of Washington color scheme. Saturday the primary color for the school's rowers was gold. Three crews gathered gold medals in one of the most rewarding days in Husky crew history. Washington won its 12th varsity eight national championship, while the second varsity and open four boats also garnered gold during the final day of the men's Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) championships on the Cooper River.


1. Washington 216
2. Harvard 191
3. California 190
4. Brown 185
5. Cornell 157
6. Princeton 147
7. Wisconsin 142
8. Yale 141
9. Northeastern 123
10. Stanford 112

Huskies Blow Past Northwestern

The Huskies, increasingly looking like a team capable of winning a title, throttled No. 2 seed Northwestern 9-0 in five innings, gaining themselves a day off today and a favorite's tag to win a spot in the best-of-three championship series starting Monday.

While the Huskies still have a way to go to win the national title, they can declare themselves the champions of Chicago after dispatching both DePaul, and Northwestern on succesive days. By winning the first two days the Huskies earned themselves a day off before playing either ASU, DePaul, or Arizona at 10:00 AM on Sunday. A win on Sunday will propel the Huskies into the championship round which begins on Monday.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Huskies Win Heat in Semi Finals

Washington won it's semi final heat today at the IRA. California upset Harvard in a very fast heat turning in the best time so for the event. The national championship race is tomorrow, and California, Harvard, and Washington will be the odds on favorites. The course record for the varsity eight on the Cooper where the IRA is held came in the 1999 grand final when California clocked a 5:23.60. Conditions of course vary from race to race and they have a direct bearing on the times turned in during each race.

Heat One

1. Washington 05:37.005
2. Princeton 05:38.251
3. Stanford 05:38.755

Heat Two

1. California 05:32.527
2. Harvard 05:32.795
3. Brown 05:33.798

Heat Three

1. Virginia 05:40.370
2. Boston U. 05:40.425
3. Syracuse 05:41.097

Heat Four

1. Navy 05:45.367
2. Georgetown 05:45.943
3. Penn 05:47.347

Grand Final Qualifiers for Saturday

Washington, Princeton, Stanford, California, Harvard, and Brown.

Big Friday

The softball team takes on Northwestern this afternoon at 4pm, the game will be on ESPN2. The Huskies play their second game in a row against a Chicago area team. The Wildcats are one of the top seeds in the tournament, and dispatched Arizona yesterday.

The Northwestern team (51-11) that Washington faces today is sixth-ranked (Washington is No. 11), went to the WCWS final a year ago and features the two-time Big Ten pitcher of the year in 6-foot Eileen Canney, who shut down Arizona State on one hit.


The Husky Crew advanced to todays Semifinals which kick off at 9:00 AM PST. The Huskies expect to be challenged in this one by Cornell, and Stanford. Cornell was a surprise victor in their heat yesterday.


The Finals will be on Saturday, and everyone is expecting a showdown with Harvard which had yesterdays second fastest time. Don't count out California either who has raced the Huskies close all season.