Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

I focused a lot on Husky Stadium the last couple of days and you should all have enough information regarding the remodel, and why the state should be involved. To say the least I am pretty excited about the prospects.

Out on the recruiting trail the Huskies nabbed two and lost one this past week. CB Adam Long, and OG Allan Carroll officially joined the recruiting class over the weekend. The Huskies currently have the top class in the Pac Ten, and #8 in the nation according to Scout. John Tate a CB I liked a lot from Edison HS in Fresno apparently won't be coming to UW for undisclosed reasons. Lot's of rumors out there on this one, and nobody will know the true answer till the kid tells somebody about it.

No new news on the assistant coaching situation at Washington. the Huskies are still searching for a DC, RB, and TE/ST coaches. The only recent rumor I have heard is that DJ Williams is a possible candidate for the DC promotion, and UW will hire another DB coach. Nobody really knows what is going on except Willingham who refuses to be interviewed until he makes his choices public. One interesting name Bob Condotta brought up today was Matt Simon a former Husky RB coach who was let go by the Chargers this week.

Jim Moore has had little to say about the new Husky Stadium proposal. You would think Jim must be doing a little investigative work on the plan and keeping his pencil sharpened. He just might think it is a good idea because it opens the door for help in the future if the Cougars need it. Obviously I think that is the way Cougar fans and alums should be thinking. By the way the state of Washington paid for their very nice basketball arena by the way. They also chipped in funds when Martin Stadium was rebuilt after a fire.

Nathan Ware is also a little puzzled that Jim Moore hasn't gone ballistic yet.

Last night, I posted that I was surprised that Jim Moore hadn't wrote about the Husky Stadium issue. Sure enough, Jim chimed in this morning with a short snippet about a conversation that he had with Governor Christine Gregoire. She noted that "safety" was a key concern about Husky Stadium. I agree, Husky Stadium is very unsafe. We need to fix that immediately. I've felt very unsafe at Husky Stadium recently and I had originally thought it simply had something to do with Kent Baer's defense but now I know it actually had something to do with the stadium.

Did you read the Art Thiel piece in the PI earlier this week. How can you write so many lines and really not say anything about Husky Stadium? Are you for it, or are you against it? One thing for sure, Art doesn't admire Frank Chopp.

I mean nobody wants to see the Sonics go, but Clay Bennett isn't exactly an honorable type of guy. For the record I wouldn't mind seeing public money used to renovate Key Arena, but I wouldn't want to see it used for a sports palace in renton that would be under Bennett's absolute control. I think the city has only one option, and that is bleed the guy financially till he gives up and sells to in town interests. If he can't break the lease there is a good chance of that happenning.

Pac Ten Alley

We are back after a week off spent on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I don't like Florida that much but we have a friend that lives there that lets us stay free. Warm weather, golf, and free, are always on my agenda.

So now that we are back lets take a little walk down the coast to see what our neighbors have been up to.

Oregon released a photo of what their new $200 million basketball arena is going to look like yesterday. It looks pretty nice to me, and it will seat around 12,500 for basketball. The state of Oregon is providing tax money for the project.

The University of Oregon today released the latest conceptual design for a new $200-million arena, just days after a key legislative committee lent support to the project's financing package. The architectural team of Ellerbe Becket/TVA Architects created the rendering as part of a pre-development effort that will continue to advance the design until a final decision is made on the project. "We know more right now about the structure of the financing plan than we do about the final design of the arena," UO President Dave Frohnmayer said. "However this rendering illustrates why we have no doubt that the final product will be stunning."

Jon Wilner chimes in with news about Stanford, and Bay Area college basketball.

Now that conference play has ramped up for all the Bay Area-affiliated leagues, a quick matter of business: I want to get this entry posted on Monday morning/early afternoon, while the weekend action is still fresh in everyone’s mind and before the focus turns to upcoming games.

Will Arizona be the first Pac Ten football team penalized for a poor graduation rate?

The University of Arizona football team might not go to a bowl game in 2008, but it’s not because the Wildcats are going to be ineligible because of its Academic Progress Report.
Internet rumors on message boards swirled on Monday that the Wildcats were going to lose four scholarships and be bowl ineligible in 2008. Wrong.

Ben Braun is on the hot seat at Cal. Look for him to be dismissed if he can't get the Bears into the tournament this season.

Coaching does make a difference. The Cal women’s basketball team, coached by Joanne Boyle, is first in the Pac-10 Conference with an 8-0 record (17-2 overall). Meanwhile, the men’s team, coached by Ben Braun, has sunk to ninth. So at a recent boosters meeting, Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour was asked when she would hire a men’s coach who was the equivalent of Boyle. Braun is reportedly still there because some alumni who donate heavily to the school’s athletic program support him. Can’t fault Barbour. These alums are important to the drive for improvements to Memorial Stadium. A successful football team brings in substantially more revenue than basketball. The Bears’ decline has been accelerated by the improvement in conference coaching; coaches such as Ben Howland at UCLA, Herb Sendek at Arizona State and Tim Floyd at Southern Cal have significantly upgraded those programs.

Our friend Jake at the OSU blog brings up Mike Montgomery as a possible candidate to take over the basketball program next season. If they can get him it would be awesome, but would he really want to leave the Bay Area? Was Giles a scapegoat, or just a bad kid? I think more will be coming out on that story in the next few days. Did anyone really think he was going to be a savior?

We need to consider ex-Stanford coach Mike Montgomery.

USC is also looking to fill some coaching slots.

Pete Carroll spoke to former Michigan and current Louisville defensive coordinator Ron English last month, but said it was to help secondary coach Demetrice Martin find a job. But sources said that a potential job was also discussed if Raiders coach Lane Kiffin fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, which we discussed last week.

ASU is having a basketball resurgence under the coaching of Herb Sendek.

ASU's 10 game win streak was finally snapped Saturday night at Stanford. After leading by 10 at halftime, ASU faced foul trouble and poor shooting in the second half to pick up the first conference loss of the season.

My friend Nestor over at the UCLA blog is totally high on the fumes coming from the hiring of Rick Neuheisel. Keeping DeWayne Walker, and hiring Norm Chow are reason for the Bruin faithful to be excited. Rick has also been on the job for a month and hasn't broken any NCAA rules yet which is a new record.

This hiring could be a direct, smoking-hot hit."We tell our athletes, marry yourself to your future position coach, that's the guy you'll live with," said Bruce Rollinson, the venerable Mater Dei coach. "And now, if you're a quarterback going to UCLA, you're getting the real deal."Rollinson is coaching the kid rated as the best high school player in the country, quarterback Matt Barkley. And although Barkley comes from a USC family and seems to be a lock for the Trojans, he did make an unofficial visit to UCLA last week. The conventional thinking is that Barkley would never dump Carroll for Chow. But then, the conventional thinking was also that UCLA Coach Neuheisel would never land Chow in the first place.

The Cougar Blog brings up the question what about us? Well we have been funding your athletic program with state funds ever since it started, and if you need some more I would be happy to give it to you.

Ok then. If you are going to open the state coffers for UW, well, the natural question is, what about Milhouse? What about the Cougs?? We'd only need about $40 million and things would be fantastic in Martin Stadium. How about making it a joint request for WSU and UW to upgrade their football stadiums and ask for a cool $200 million? Or should we send Jim Sterk to Olympia right now with a plan to say "excuse me, but I GOTTA GET MINE!"

Last year it was Hawaii, the year before it was Boise, and next year it is probably BYU's turn to beat the Huskies and proclaim they are good enough to play in a BCS game. for what it is worth, BYU was much better than Hawaii last year, but neither would have gotten into the second division of the Pac Ten.

It seems that everywhere I turn, I see people talking about BYU getting into a BCS game next season. Bronco Mendenhall has stated--admirably, in my opinion--that his goal is to elevate the program from the conference champion that plays a middling Pac-10 team in Las Vegas, to one that goes to top-tier bowls, and then eventually finds itself in a position to once again compete for a national title. The not-so-subtle message is that, after consecutive years as conference champion, the Cougars should expect nothing less than a BCS bowl in 2008. Players of course repeat this mantra, and media such as the Sporting News and the New York Times are picking up on the idea as well.

Oklahoma picked up Jay Norvell who was the offensive mastermind at UCLA last season.

Former UCLA and Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell has joined Oklahoma's football coaching staff as the receiver's coach/co-offensive coordinator.

Here is the latest from Notre Dame. He may not follow recruiting, but I do, and the Irish have the top class in the country. Most of it has been in the bag since early Fall.

Sorry for the extreme lack of updates, but in Irish Land, there's really been very little going on outside of basketball. I don't follow recruiting for a variety of reasons - it scares me, I don't understand it, it's inaccurate, I'd rather not end my days ranting about the decisions of 17-year olds - so that's not going to be covered, and while we may eventually look back at some of the particular high and lowlights of the 2007 football campaign, the sooner that entire debacle is put to rest. I was also going to touch on how depressing the pigskin postseason is, and how the NCAA just needs to cut the Big Ten, PAC 10 and Rose Bowl out and make a playoff, but that's not happening either, so we're left with a bunch of stuff going on - primary season, Oscar nominations - that have nothing to do with Notre Dame. What's that leave us with? Some hoops.


Anonymous said...

The State Of Oregon will NOT provide a penny of taxpayer money for the new arena. The only thing that the state is doing for the UO is allowing the UO to sell state backed bonds for funding. The UO AD will be paying every dime of the cost! The arena will be backed by the 125-150 Legacy Fund which includes the 100 million dollar gift by Phil Knight. The UO AD gets nothing from the state and is self funded. Only OSU takes money from the state to the tune of 3.5 million dollars per year!

Oregon goes it alone!

John Berkowitz said...

Oregon hasn't done it alone till Knight arrived on the scene.

By the way, what about the money from the Oregon Lottery? Where does that money go? I thought it was partially for funding intercollegiate athletics?