Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

Not exactly a real active Tuesday as Ty Willingham is staying pretty quiet down in Anaheim looking for some new assistant coaches to add to his staff. Rick Neuheisel on the other hand spent part of yesterday chatting with Softy on his show. You have to hand it to Rick, the guy really knows how to manipulate the media. the interview was the usual "Mea Culpa" where Rick aplogized for past screw ups and swore they wouldn't happen again.

It is very interesting to me that Softy can get Rick on the phone anytime he wants to do an interview on the Huskies flagship radio station but we haven't heard from Ty Willingham since Hawaii.

What next, Mike Bellotti, Jeff Tedford?

Not much to report from the recruiting front as Washington really only has two more spots to fill before signing day. As I have said time, and time again this is one heck of a class they are putting together considering all the adversity going on.

In our last poll we asked if any of you thought the Husky basketball team was going to the Dance this year and over 60% responded no. The bulk of the vote happened before the WSU game.

This week we are asking those who read AAndy's Tick...Tick...Tick post over on Dawgman their opinion on the credibility of the piece. For most insiders it wasn't anything you haven't heard over the last couple of weeks, but it was nice to see it all assembled neatly. Once again it is one thing to eat the sausage, it is another thing to watch the sausage being made.

Pac Ten Alley

Welcome to the 2008 edition of Pac Ten Alley which suspiciously looks like the 2007 version. We took the last couple of weeks off from the column, but it will be back every week in the off season.

We welcome three new blogs to the lineup from our out of conference opponent lineup next year.... BYU, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame.

The Duck's started off with a big win over Arizona to start Pac Ten play. Michael Wines has the usual game of "What is it?" going on. Michael is a super guy and there is always something interesting on his blog.

Malik Hairston tied his career high with 29 points and the Ducks shot 56 percent from the field Saturday to beat Arizona at McKale Center. Oregon (10-4, 1-1 Pac-10) led by 19 in the first half, and the No. 21 Wildcats (10-4, 1-1 Pac-10) never got closer than five in the second.Hairston was 11-for-17, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Overall, Oregon was 10-of-21 on three-pointers, compared to Arizona's 5-of-21.

BYU is on the schedule next year and I found a great blog which covers the Cougars who are still on a high after beating UCLA. The Pride of Provo is the name of this BYU blog and they seem to do a nice job keeping it updated.

Max Hall has a Ty Detmer type of attitude. He has a strong personality with some moxy when he is in the pocket. He's get after O-lineman when needed and will give the occasionally fist pump when there is a defensive Pass Inerference. Hall is going to be a great Quarterback at BYU, were lucky Ben Olson decided to leave us and opt for Westwood. Thank you Southpaw!

Oklahoma is still smarting from getting spanked by West Virginia. The Crimson and Cream Machine? Sounds more like an ice cream shop.

Oklahoma's 2007 football season didn't just end on Saturday night it was taken out back and killed Wednesday night by the West Virginia Mountaineers. In yet another BCS game the Sooners lost to an underdog. Oklahoma's offense took the first half off before finally moving the ball in the second half but at that point it was too little too late for OU because they literally couldn't catch up to West Virginia.

Stanford is off to a rocky start in Pac Ten basketball, but I don't think many teams will beat UCLA this year.

No surprise at Maples Pavilion tonight. UCLA ramped things up midway through the second half, Stanford had no answer and the Bruins rolled 76-67. Actually, there was one surprise. I never thought I’d watch the Cardinal play UCLA and come away thinking that Mitch Johnson was better than Brook Lopez. That’s both a disturbing and encouraging development for Stanford, with the edge to encouraging.

Arizona has finalized its schedule for 2008.

The Arizona-Arizona State football game next season has been moved to Saturday, Dec. 6, and will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2. That game, originally scheduled for Nov. 29, will be played in Tucson. UA will have seven home games in 2008, including against USC (Homecoming) and Washington (Family Weekend)

This is a new blog called "Rakes of Mallow" that follows Notre Dame. I think if you watched the HS All Star games this past weekend you would have found it amazing how many future Irish where on those rosters.

As a college football fan - not a Notre Dame fan - it's a shame this postseason drug out for three weeks and we're no closer to finding a "best" team than we were after West Virginia and Missouri fell in the first weekend of December. If the season itself weren't so fun, and a handful of bowl games each year so entertaining, I'd give up on this God forsaken sport until they find some better way to resolve it. For the second time since 2003, we're left to wonder how a Southern Cal/Louisiana State championship would have played out, and we'll keep on wondering.

Jeff Tedford has fired himself as offensive coordinator at Cal. Tedford is going to do less micro managing.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford said during each of the season's final six weeks that the offseason would include a re-evaluation of every part of the program. He didn't waste any time putting his promise into action. Tedford announced a major overhaul to the coaching staff on Sunday, including the hiring of 49ers quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti as the Bears' quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator. "The main reason for all of the realignment of the coaching staff is so that I can be more efficient with my head-coaching duties," Tedford said. "I can spend more time with a lot of things that weren't possible as the play-caller and with being so involved with the offense. ...

Oregon State's prospects are not looking good in basketball. John Jay should be gone before the end of the season.

So, we lost the Pac-10 opener to Arizona State. I wasn't able to see or listen to the game (not on TV, and Duck basketball radio broadcasts are unlistenable), so you write the recap. I just can't fathom how a team with Bryce Taylor, Malik Hairston, Maarty Leunen, and Tajuan Porter is so bad. All that talent is being wasted. I'm tired of this team not being ready to play at the beginning of games. I'm tired of them not buckling down on the defensive end. Its one thing to play hard and lose--no shame in that. But, although I didn't see this game, this team was dogging it in the Nebraska and Oakland games. And until they decide that they really want to play basketball, they are going to lose a lot more games

USC dominates Illinois in the Rose Bowl and were probably the best team int he country at the end of the year. How do you lose to Stanford at home?

USC's frustration with its Rose Bowl opponents forced the Trojans to adopt a cocky game plan with another dreary Big Ten Conference opponent sent here on New Year's Day. The Trojans were not worried they would beat Illinois. That was a given. But caution was for another day.

The House of Heat takes a look at Rudy Carpenter. I like Carpenter, and I think he has the make up that Dennis really likes.

You've got to be kidding me. People are jumping ship on Carpenter after a couple of bad outings and are calling for backup Danny Sullivan to compete for the starting job when spring camp begins in March. Arrogant? Yes. Erratic and unconventional? Guilty. But Sullivan is NOT better than Carpenter, and to declare him so after a good stint of mop up duty in awfully harsh.

The We Love Rick Neuheisel Blog will have plenty to write about in coming months. You may not like Rick, but he keeps it entertaining. The Norm Chow stuff is all the usual Rick BS.

Rick Neuheisel brought a needle with him to UCLA and wasted no time trying to get under the skin of USC coach Pete Carroll. In his introductory news conference last week, Neuheisel noted he has a career 1-1 record against Carroll, who has led the Trojans to six consecutive Pacific-10 Conference championships and six wins in seven attempts against UCLA. "Time to get even with the guys across the street," Neuheisel told the crowded room.Just to make sure he had Carroll's attention, Neuheisel promised to offer the UCLA offensive coordinator's job to the Tennessee Titans' Norm Chow. Chow, in case you've forgotten, came to USC with Carroll and kindled an explosive offense. Chow gets credit for the transformation of Carson Palmer, the development of Matt Leinart and the synchronization of the thunder-and-lightning, LenDale White/Reggie Bush tailback combination.

WSU just got a verbal from Lakes QB Calvin Schmidtke, and also got the news that Brandon Gibson is going to stick around another year. Cal's family are big UW supporters so it is too bad that the Huskies didn't give him a longer look, but a full ride to a Pac Ten school is a ppretty neat accomplishment even if it is Pullman.

You may remember Brandon Gibson from dominating performances like, oh, I don't know, the 2007 Apple Cup? Well, Paul Wulff scored his first big win as head coach, as young Mr. Gibson is coming back to Pullman! Well, ok, there's another side to it. Such as Gibson's potential draft grade wasn't as high as he had hoped, so he wants to come back and get better, turn in an outstanding senior year and then go to the next level. So it wasn't just Wulff's overwhelming recruiting skills that kept Gibson in the fold. But I'm sure it didn't hurt.


Michael Wines said...

Thanks for the nice plug John!

John Berkowitz said...

No problem Mike, and I hope you and your family had a great time this past Holiday Season!

The Passionate Cougar said...

Call this shameless promotion, but if your readers are actually interested in up-to-date BYU commentary, they will find fresher content at Cougar Passion (mine, of course) or Cougar Legion. Provo Pride hasn't been updated since September.

John Berkowitz said...

Sounds like a deal...we will add Cougar Passion to our go to list!

bigdave967 said...

shameless promotion...smart move by the coug...(kind of rhymes). As my mother always said, "the squeaky wheel gets the oil".


I also wish someone would give me $3 million to stop working because I didn't do my job correctly. I just never understood how that works...if you suck at your job then why should you get compensated?? God bless America!

The Passionate Cougar said...

Many thanks. . . and turnabout is fair play. On another note, I am a big fan of Tyrone Willingham, but I hope his team isn't quite there yet when ours visits Seattle later this year!