The Pac Ten finished with a 4-2 record in bowl games this year. USC, Oregon, California, and Oregon State all won in impressive fashion which gives the league bragging rights with the SEC as being the best football conference in 2007. I was surprised that ASU lost to Texas, but wasn't surprised that UCLA fell to BYU. The Sun Devils just came out flat for some reason which usually isn't how Dennis Erickson teams play.
Oregon surprised me because I didn't think they could win without Dennis Dixon. Bellotti wised up and gave the ball all day to Jonathan Stewart who just bullied SFU all evening. It was an impressive victory for the Ducks who have something positive to build on before facing UW in next years opener.
USC just took Illinois apart from the first to last snap last night. Illinois shouldn't have been picked to be in this game, it should have been Georgia, or Missouri who just smashed their opponents yesterday. USC was healthy for the first time in a long while and it showed last night as they beat the Illini in every single phase of the game.
As for Hawaii they were just bludgeoned by Georgia. We all knew that after UW took Hawaii to the last seconds that the Warriors were not going to have an easy time in the Sugar Bowl.
Meyer and Carr
I really enjoyed Michigan's victory over Florida. People who wondered if Ron English can stop the spread if given enough time to prepare were given their answers. I was also surprised that Urban Meyer through his players under the bus after the loss. For Lloyd Carr it was a great way to go out being carried by his players off the field. Carr is one of those guys who is more substance than flash, and the Wolverines are going to miss him. Rich Rodriguez takes over today and he is already being sued by West Virginia for attempting to renege on his 4.1 million dollar buy out. you would think that Michigan boosters would have had that one worked out in advance.
The post season schedule also lends a lot of validity towards Washington's schedule being the toughest in the country last season. I think it was pretty obvious that even though the Huskies only finished 4-9 last year that they were better than a lot of teams that were playing in bowl games. Nine of Washington's opponents ended up playing in bowl games this season. Ohio State in fact will play for all the marbles against LSU for the BCS Championship. At first glance LSU should have no problem getting by the Buckeyes.
In Los Angeles the intrigue continues as LA newspapers are reporting that Mark Emmert is meeting with UCLA DC DeWayne Walker. More, and more it looks like Walker is headed to Washington based on the reports we are hearing. It may also mean that UW will also revamp the entire defensive coaching staff which means Hart, Tormey, and Williams could be out of a job by the end of the week. Walker will have a lot of power and autonomy if he moves North to Washington. He also could be one of the heirs apparent if Willingham doesn't put all the pieces together next season.
Rick Neuheisel's hiring has dominated most of the news the past week. Rick is already producing a positive buzz in LA. One thing Rick brings is a lot of immediate pizazz. He seemed very contrite during his interview in the stands at the Rose Bowl last night. It will be very interesting to see how long he goes without a misstep. Over at Bruins Nation our friend Nestor is just glowing about the hiring, and he should, if Rick keeps out of trouble he has the ability to do a great job. UCLA always has the ability to have great talent on a par with USC's. What they haven't had in a long time is great coaching. If Neu can put together the right staff they could be dangerous for many years to come.
I will give this one warning to Nestor, and his fellow UCLA fans. This whole thing smacks of Deja Vu, and it only took a a week at UW for him to make a major mistake by violating the dead period by sending his coaches out on the road to contact recruits. Rick is a real smart guy, competent game day coach, and he is a great leader, but the biggest test of his tenure will be resisting the urge to cut corners, and more importantly simply being honest. I hold no grudge against the guy, wish him the best, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
One thing I found curious so far was the Norm Chow dialogue. He said he wanted Walker has his DC, and Chow as his OC. He later admitted that he hasn't had any contact with Chow to gauge interest. He said that he meant to say someone like Norm Chow, not Norm Chow. This is Rick's double speak at it's finest.....stay tuned.
Winter Husky Blog Schedule
With the end of the season almost upon us I will be switching back to our off season schedule next week. On Monday's we will have the Monday Morning Wash, on Wednesday's we will have Pac Ten Alley. We will also have special features such as a breakdown of next years team by position, an in depth look at the 2008 recruiting class, and of course upgraded coverage of the basketball team as we enter Pac Ten play.
One thing I will also be doing is a series of interviews with fellow opponent bloggers concerning their teams prospects for next season. I think we all enjoyed the interaction between opponents last season, and we will be continuing that in the future.