Thursday, January 03, 2008

This One Got Ugly Quickly

This one got ugly quickly. This was like one of the games this past season where we led at halftime only to get bombed in the fourth quarter.

From the get go there was way too much information leaking out of LA on this one. Most of these deals are done in private with respect to all parties, but every move Washington made was leaked to the media. For instance how many times do you ever hear of a University President being involved in the hiring of an assistant football coach? How many times do you hear the details of the contract in advance? How many times do you hear that other UW coaches will be let go to make way for a new set of defensive coaches prior to it being finalized?

Something was rotten in Denmark, and that something was a disgraced head coach getting a second chance at his alma mater who also wanted to give his ex employer a lesson in high stakes poker. It became pretty apparent early this week that Walker and Neuheisel were setting the University of Washington, and Ty Willingham up for a black eye. It was also pretty apparent that the University of Washington was oblivious to this fact.

What Washington did was put everything on DeWayne Walker's table with no definitive timeline to accept. This gave him the opportunity to renegotiate with UCLA, and also put his name into the national spotlight as an assistant coach who will be in line for a head coaching job at a BCS school after next season.

Everything Walker asked for Washington agreed to. Fire Chris Tormey, and Randy Hart who have a combined 32 years in service to problem. Make Walker the highest paid assistant in the history of college problem. Give Walker complete autonomy over the defensive side of the problem.

There of course was a problem, Walker never had any intention of leaving Westwood.

So now Willingham has to walk into the office this morning to look Randy Hart, and Chris Tormey in the face. What exactly does he tell these two guys who have a history with the program that extends deep into the tenure of Don James? Is it just business as usual?

This one got messy, and it got messy the minute they tried to screw around with Rick Neuheisel. Make no mistake about it, this is only round one in a contest that is going to go on for years on the West Coast. Whenever Neuheisel gets the chance to stick it to Washington he is going to do it with relish.

So Washington enters the New Year without a Plan B because Michigan's Ron English took the first offer and is now off to Louisville. That would be the Ron English who led Michigan's defense in Lloyd Carr's finale to a victory over Florida. Who ever said Michigan couldn't slow down the spread?

Which way can Willingham turn now? Ty needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat, and quickly because he just may have to rebuild his entire coaching staff because of this fiasco. Do Tormey, and Hart stick around if another program decides to give them an offer? Probably not after all this. Willingham may now be in the position where he has to hire five new assistant coaches before spring. That is not an easy thing for a lame duck coach to do.

Washington could have avoided all this.

First of all they could have fired Willingham and brought in a new coach. Second of all since they didn't fire Willingham they could have dictated terms and time lines to Walker rather than let him do that to them. It is all about poker, and Washington simply didn't have a good hand going into this one. Damage control starts once again in Montlake today, it will be very interesting to see how this one plays out.


bigdave967 said...

Could it get worse??? Yes, we could be WSU...kidding of course. But I really think Slick Rick has done a number on Wilingham on this one. The way I look at it Walker is Ricky's pawn. Slick played UW yesterday and he will play Walker, just wait and see.

About going in to work today and looking at those guys...i know they bleed purple and gold but what have they done lately to make them irreplaceable. Linebackers and D-Line have played OK at best. They had to know that they could be gone when he fired his friend Baer. Sometimes people can become complacent in a situation and i hope thats not the case for Tomey and Hart. Whoever he brings in will most likely want to bring their guys anyway. I am sure that they kind of had this feeling to begin with.

So who are the names out there right now. Any NFL guys??

bigdave967 said...

could be an interesting pick...

KKH said...

After last night I would love to see us go after Jeff Casteel from WVU. They did a number on Oklahoma last night. It's a long shot since he's a WV native. But I like what I saw last night.

John Berkowitz said...

I dont know exactly which way they turn now. Dennis Green is a good friend of Willingham's so the NFL may be a pretty good bet.

Tom Williams who was at UW for a year, and spent a lot of time at Stanford is a very good possibility.

Losing Walker doesn't bother me, how we lost Walker, and the baggage attached does.

Anonymous said...

What can you say. Slick Rick is a Lawyer and Ty isn't. Should have gone after Ron English and stayed off Slick Rick's playing field.

John Berkowitz said...

I don't think Washington did anything wrong except let it go on too long. The timing wasn't in our favor on this one. You have to admire the gamble, they went for it.

Now the question is who is next?

Who had heard of DeWayne walker three years ago? There must be some pretty competent people out there that can do a fine job.

kkh said...

WVU was fourth in the nation in total defense (291.9 yards allowed per game).

And don't forget, Jon Tenuta was let go from Georgia Tech when their new coach didn't keep him around. In the last three years they were in the Top 30 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense each year, including 20th or higher against the run all three years.

I say either one of these guys would be as good as, if not better, than DeWayne Walker would have been. Walker's advantage was SoCal recruiting.

bigdave967 said...

you have to love the SoCal recruiting that Walker brought to the table...but the big thing is the national recruiting. There is a lot of talent in West coast, dont get me wrong, but if you can recruit east coast, west coast, and middle were talking. I am actually surprised that we dont go after Texas more. Look at recruiting charts and you always see Nebraska, Michigan, USC, and a few others. I realize that you have to have name recoginition before you can get into battles with the schools listed, but that should be the goal for recruiting. I know this is all unlikely, just figured I would throw it out there.

John Berkowitz said...

There is more than enough talent in the West for Washington to concentrate on. Every once in awhile we pick up someone from outside the region like Homer, Aieywa, Sylvester, or Roussel, but it is rare when we close east of the Rockies.

They do send questionaires out on a national basis to guage interest. When there is enough interest they recruit those players. Ward, and Ingram from Michigan were prime examples this year along with Roussel.

Even when DJ was at the height of his power we concentrated mostly on the West Coast.