Monday, June 30, 2008

The Monday Morning Wash

Dick Baird keeps banging the drum for Coach Willingham over at Dawgman with another article about how he is the right guy, at the right time. Good for Dick, and I am not going to rain on his parade, we are only a month away fromt he start of practice and a breath of positive wind won't hurt anyone.

I agree with the paragraph below, but I also think that Willingham has never approached the job with the amount of urgency required. He gets one more year to get it right, and I will still be rooting for him, and the team to win more than they lose and head to a bowl game.

Personally, I can’t believe any coach has ever taken over a program in more disarray than the one Willingham inherited in 2005. The previous year the Huskies bottomed out when the rug was pulled out from under Keith Gilbertson before the season had ended. The resulting 1-10 record was an accurate reflection of both the lack of administrative support, coaching problems and a decreased talent level. All of it combined to perpetuate a state of disorganization and scandal which had plagued the whole athletic program for the previous four years.

JR Hasty, and Jordan Murchison got the official boot off the team last week. Murchison has enough credits to graduate, and Hasty is probably going to transfer to Central Washington which seems to be the place Huskies go these days when things don't work out at UW.

Willingham as usual had no comment, in fact he hasn't had a public comment in months.

Hasty said he hoped to return to the team this year, saying "I was ready to come back, but it wasn't in my power or control.'' He said one of his biggest frustrations is that his situation wasn't resolved earlier. He said his parents urged him to leave for good last fall but he wanted to try to make it work at UW. He is the son of former WSU defensive back and longtime NFL veteran James Hasty. "I just wanted to stay because I felt like the team was family and this was my home state,'' he said. "But that didn't work out.''

If you are looking for the first commit of 2008 you probably won't have to wait much longer since the Huskies are in the midst of running their annual camp. UW usually picks up a couple of verbals by the end of this event. Stay tuned to Dawgman for more details on what is going on recruiting wise.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Baird on Pete Carroll

If you are a subscriber to Dawgman you may have read this article that Dick Baird wrote on USC head man Pete Carroll.

I happen to be a Pete Carroll fan, and admire what he has done at USC. When he arrived that program was down, way down, and he turned it around in just a couple of years, and has kept it on top ever since.

I like Dick Baird, he is a very nice guy, but sometimes I wonder exactly what type of Kool-Aid he has been drinking when he sits down in front of the keyboard.

I know there are many frustrated Husky fans who just want to point out the win-loss record at Washington over the past four years to justify another coaching change. That is their right, but for me I have watched the development of the Huskies closely under Willingham. The challenge of rebuilding a belief system - not to mention getting better players - has been a daunting process, to say the least. Hearing Pete Carroll convinced me that the Washington Huskies have the right man in Willingham to turn their program around. He holds the same values and emphasizes the same approach as does his counterpart at USC. It has just taken him longer to restock the cupboard simply because his were empty compared to Carroll's. A lot of it goes back to recruiting, and each time you fire a staff it takes at least three years to establish your recruiting system. At the same time you need to have your kids buy in to the program. It has taken Willingham longer than Carroll to taste success because he has had to rebuild a complete belief system destroyed by constant turnover in both coaching and administration. The Huskies are closing the gap, and when they finally beat USC they will be back.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but Ty Willingham is no Pete Carroll in my opinion. He may be a proponent of positive thinking, but he simply doesn't work as hard, drive his staff as hard, or his players as hard as Pete Carroll.

Pete Carroll is a tireless recruiter who works in one of the most talent rich area's in the country. Despite that advantage he, and his assistants act like they are recruiting in Anchorage, Alaska. they have a sense of urgency in everything they do.

You can be as positive as you want, but if you aren't working harder than the competition you are not going to beat the competition. Washington under Willingham isn't working harder than the competition, and that is the simple reason why the program is still lagging behind every other program in the Pac Ten, and that includes WSU, and Stanford.

Jeff Tedford at California is an example of a guy who gets it, he is a tireless worker, and recruiter, and despite the fact that Cal is faced with about every disadvantage there is as far as facilities goes he has but the Golden Bears back on the map and into the BCS chase almost every year.

Nobody ever outworked Don James while he was at UW, and nobody worked smarter either. Plainly put DJ won because he worked hard, worked smart, and instilled those values in his staff and players.

Washington isn't going to start winning again till the head man starts working harder, and outsmarting the rest of his peers in the conference. It doesn't matter what line of work you are in, the secret of success is busting your butt, and out thinking your opponent.

The one thing I would look for in the next head man above all others would be the work ethic. I want a guy who is willing to sleep on a cot in his office till the ship is back on course. Tedford, Carroll, and DJ are those type of guys.

Tom O'Brien

Tom O'Brien who was head coach at Boston College, and is now head coach at North Carolina State just happens to be that type of guy. He is generally known as one of the hardest working guys in college football, plus he has the reputation for running a clean program.

Tom was a finalist with Willingham for the Husky head coaching job after Gilbertson was fired. He really wanted the job, and only pulled out when it became apparent that UW prefered Willingham even though O'Brien regularly kicked Notre Dame's ass as head coach at Boston College.

They don't call football a game of inches for nothing. Todd Turner came that close to picking the ideal leader of the UW football program, but for some reason was smitten with Willingham. All he had to do was examine these two guys head to head from competiton to determine who was the best man for the job.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Offensive Line

Mike Denbrock may be the position coach who has done the best under Ty Willingham. Every year since he arrived his units seem to get better, and last year Washington had it's first thousand yard RB in quite some time. Bottom line is the OL continues to improve, and with the majority of the players coming back should continue to get better in 2008.

The biggest question mark going into 2008 is the health of center Juan Garcia. Juan was injured this Spring when he suffered the dreaded Lisfranc injury to his foot. The prognosis at this point is looking pretty good for him, in fact we should have some new information on his health around the fourth of July. No matter how good the information is don't expect him to be ready for Oregon, but there is a good chance he will be available to play after the first bye.

In Juan's absence look for the Huskies to take a hard look at moving Ryan Tolar over from guard. There is nothing wrong with playing Matt Sedillo either, but moving Tolar will open a place for White-Frisbee who has been improving with leaps, and bounds.

Juan obviously as a sixth year senior was the heart and soul of this unit, he gives them experience and a bit of nasty. Whoever does start needs to do a better job of snapping the shotgun, Jake spent too much time reacting to the snap last year.

C Tolar So
C Sedillo So
C Garcia Sr (Neuheisel)
C *Christine So
C Ikehara Fr

Matt Bulyca, Ryan Tolar, and Jordan White Frisbee are your top guards. All these guys are capable of starting and will play quite a bit no matter which way the depth develops this Fall. Behind them you have Rosborough who is a massive 380 pounds, and RS Frosh Scott Shugert who was impressive learning the ropes last Fall. Highly frosh rated Mykena Ikehara, and Allan Carroll join the team this Fall. Ikehara can play center or guard, but the huskies plan to get a look at him first at center.

OG Tolar So
OG Bulyca Sr (Gilbertson)
OG White-Frisbee Sr (Gilbertson)
OG Shugert RS
OG Rosborough Jr
OG Carroll Fr

Ossai and Habben will man the tackle positions after splitting time in the rotation last year. Behind them it gets green with RS's Fancher, and Armelin backing them up. The development of both of these kids is important because if one of the starters goes down there is no experience behind them. UW brings in a couple of big bodies in Terrence Thomas, and Drew Schaeffer to season for the future. Both of these kids are good looking recruits.

OT Habben So
OT Ossai Jr
OT Fancher RS
OT Armelin RS
OT Thomas Fr
OT Schaeffer Fr


This group keeps improving each year but it is far from being great. One thing I noticed last year at the Oregon game was how developed the Oregon offensive linemen were physically. Those kids were scary in comparison to their counterparts at UW. You could tell these kids had worked a lot harder in the weight room during their stay in Eugene than the Husky lineman had. I was just amazed at how developed their lower bodies were in comparison to UW. Remember Todd Turner's remarks that our kids didn't look like their kids. It was just obvious that we didn't have the same level of athletes.

Games are won in the trenches, and you want the guys in the trenches to be physically imposing. UW is improving, but they still have a long way to go till they resemble a top 15 program like Oregon, USC, Cal, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, etc... .

How many games did UW lose in the fourth quarter last season? How many games came down to the last couple of minutes? Remember how tired we looked against UCLA? Put your money on the best conditioned team in the fourth quarter.

A QB like Jake Locker makes every OL look better. Mobile QB's like Jake can scramble out of trouble, create on the fly, and pick up needed first downs on the ground. This year these guys need to protect him better so he can stay in one piece, and deliver the ball down field.

UW is going to be very young and inexperienced at the skill positions this season, the OL needs to help out by blowing defenses off the ball so Locker, and company can make some things happen.

The Future

It takes 5 years to rebuild an offensive line, and in year four most of the pieces on the squad have been recruited by Willingham. Only Garcia, White, Frisbee, and Bulyca where recruited by previous regimes, but all three will start at times this season.

UW needs to bring in 3-4 OL this coming season, and I would lean toward bringing in four. You need to have a full set of big guys every year if you are going to build something consistent for the future.

* Denotes Walk On

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

Calvin Schmidtke from Lakes in Tacoma found a new home when Indiana State offered him a scholarship. The new Indiana State coach is former UW assistant Trent Miles. Calvin was seemingly headed to a California JC until he received the late offer by ISU.

Indiana State head football coachh Trent Miles announced this afternoon (June 24) the addition of 6’0", 195 freshman quarterback Calvin Schmidtke (Tacoma, Wash./Lakes HS) to the football roster. Schmidtke has signed a scholarship offer with the Sycamore football program and will be eligible to begin play this fall.

Indiana State plays in the Missouri Valley Conference which is the equivalent of the Big Sky, and is probabably a better place for Cal than WSU. You can't get better if you don't play, and Cal may never have seen the light of day at WSU.

Calvin Schmidtke is a great addition to our football team as far as having someone that can add to the competition for the quarterback position this fall," Miles commented. "There is no doubt that he enjoyed a tremendous high school career, and we are pleased that he is going to join the Sycamore football family to begin his college career at Indiana State."

Pac Ten Alley

Micheal Wines of the Duck blog interviews Mr. Duck.

I had the chance to get a rare phone interview with the reclusive Mr. Duck this morning. He was kind enough to email his picture, and while he wouldn't disclose his location, my guess is it's somewhere "tropical."

Jon Wilner on the NBA Draft

Here’s my updated Pac-10 projections based on which players opted to stay in the draft and which are returning to school.I was certainly suprised by Chase Budinger’s decision to return to Arizona. The guess here is that he made a big, big mistake.

USA Today takes a look at the Arizona Wildcats.

Arizona's chances of breaking a 10-year bowl drought could depend on the deep ball.
The Wildcats, coming off a 5-7 season, are clearly looking to spread the field with more deep throws than ever. In the team's second year in the spread offense, Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama is out to bring the deep threat more into the equation.

USA Today takes a look at the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Arizona State is not sticking with the status quo — not hardly. The Sun Devils will have a drastically different look for the 2008 season despite finishing 10-3 last year and tying for first in the Pac-10 standings. Why change what obviously worked? Simple. Arizona State is trying to be even better, and one way is to spread the field out more offensively and start sending the proverbial kitchen sink at opponents while on defense.

Steve Gladstone is moving on from Cal looking for a new challenge.

Winning follows Steve Gladstone, so when he returned to Cal in 1997 for his second coaching stint in Berkeley, success inevitably also returned to the men's crew. Now, 11 years and five IRA championships later, Gladstone is once again leaving the program. Never known to stay at one place for more than a decade, Gladstone announced last Friday that he is stepping down from his duties at Cal to pursue a post at the California Rowing Club. There, Gladstone will work with California Rowing Club director Tim McClaren and train postgraduate rowers aiming for the World Championships and Olympic competition. "I need to reboot myself periodically," Gladstone said. "The way I've done that in the past is by changing universities. What really intrigues me is the building process. To find something and leave it in better shape than I found it."

The OSU blog keeps an eye on the CWS.

As much as I want Fresno State to come from behind and win the series, I wouldn't be upset if Georgia won the championship. After all, we did beat Georgia in a series this year. And a pre-season matchup between Georgia and the Beavers, a matchup of National Champions, has a nice ring to it.

USC is looking to get production at FB.

Stanley Havili isn’t going to lead the Trojans in rushing yards this season. He won’t have the most receptions or passing yards either. But for a team looking to replace last season’s leaders in all three of those categories, Havili will be invaluable.

UCLA is looking at renovations for their baseball stadium, Washington on the other hand is looking for a baseball stadium.

The lack of progress for major renovations to Jackie Robinson Stadium has reached new heights as the Morgan Center still refuses to commit serious money to a renovation. While I have sent e-mails to DG before regarding a Jackie Robinson Stadium renovation, this is by far the most detailed I have ever been.

The WSU blog details Paul Wulff's response to the Seattle Times article.

After the Sunday story in the Times, Paul Wulff came on KJR with Ian Furness and talked about the aftermath. Wulff did his best to explain the different issues he had with the story. Give it a listen. I thought he came out of it fine in how he continually stated that they are moving on and the positive changes are in place and already working. I also like how he stated at the end that this isn't just a WSU, UW, Oregon or Oregon State issue. It's about all college kids making mistakes at all programs, and the things that they can do to help correct the issues. It will take some time to "flip this program" but it will happen if Wulff gets the chance.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jim Moore Catches up with Billy Joe

If ever a player was strung out and made a sacrificial lamb at UW it was Billy Joe Hobert the only undefeated QB at UW in the modern era.

You can say whatever you want about the early railroaded retirement of DJ, but BJ paid the ultimate price when he was left out to swing in the wind by the end of his neck.

Billy was hung without a trial, and when all the facts finally came out it was determined that he shouldn't have lost a day of eligibity. Billy was no angel, but when a fair accounting of the situation was made, it was proved he didn't cross the line even though he was a bit close.

If people still want to condemn me for my actions, they're idiots," Hobert said. "I've got too many other things going on to worry about something I did when I was barely out of puberty."
In an interview last year, Hobert said he was tired of talking about the incident.

"Even if I spoke the truth now, it would be like, 'Why didn't you protect yourself back then,' " he said. "The U-Dub, in my opinion, put a stick up my hiney to put it point-blank. If I had said everything that happened, the U-Dub wouldn't have gotten probation, they would have gotten the death penalty."

Hasn't enough time passed for a quarterback who went 20-0 at Washington to be welcomed back? Hobert has seen the Huskies play in Los Angeles, near where he lives now, but has not been back to Husky Stadium since he left in '92. Would he like to be greeted with open arms at some point? Where are the bygones at Montlake?

"If I had to dwell on it, yeah, it would be nice," Hobert said. "But I'm not expecting it. I've given up on the idea of worrying about it."

It is about time Billy Joe was honored by being admitted in the Husky Hall of Fame. There aren't that many undefeated QB's floating around out there.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Monday Morning Wash

We start off the week with a Seattle Times article on the disciplinary problems WSU is having with their football team. The Cougars will lose eight scholarships because of NCAA graduation guidelines which will won't help Paul Wulff rebuild quickly. It also will interfere with the weeding out process most coaches go through when they start a new job. I am sure their are other kids he wants to give the boot, but NCAA restrictions will further penalize him if he does it.

Unlike the article on the UW football team earlier this year the WSU article is compiled from recent events which makes the story a lot more credible.

Six months ago, the mood was festive in Pullman when Paul Wulff returned to his alma mater to resuscitate the Washington State football program. But bubbling beneath the surface were off-the-field problems that would combine to make a tough job even tougher.

The report doesn't paint a very flattering picture of Bill Doba and his staff. The slant whether it is right or wrong seems to indicate that Doba wasn't much of a disciplinarian, and he also didn't spend a lot of time paying attention to the details of the transgressions.

You have to ask the question why the Seattle Times isn't also focusing on programs at Oregon, USC, or the entire Pac Ten? USC, and Oregon have provided more question marks than answers over the last few years as far as ethics are concerned.

The answer of course is that the Times feels it's readers would rather hear about problems close to home of local interest rather than the problems of the Pac Ten, or college football in general. I think the Times is missing the mark, you can't truly measure what is going on at WSU, and UW without taking a good look at college football in general.

Another thing to factor in is the newspaper business in general is losing money right now. The Internet is killing advertising revenues, and overall home subscriptions. Factor in the cost of gas too which is just killing them when it comes to distributing the print edition each day. Simply put the papers really don't have the budget or staff to do much investigative reporting outside the area.


UW under Ty Willingham has not been winning on the playing field, but for the most part the players have stayed out of trouble, and the program has one of the highest graduation rates in the conference. You can say whatever you want about Ty's on the field performance, but he has shaped up a program that was becoming a real embarrassment to the university.

You can say the same thing about recently departed AD Todd Turner who was in charge of bringing respectability, and accountability to the department as a whole. Bottom line though it is a business, and success is measured by wins and losses on the playing field. Turner is gone because he missed that part of the equation, and Willingham probably has one last season to show he can win. Winning is what puts people in the seats, and keeps contributions coming in each year.

The biggest question of course is if you can win on the field if you are winning in the classroom, and in the overall ethics department? Tough to say because I don't believe we have a level playing field in the conference, and around the nation.

AD Search

Could it be down to Chuck Nelson, Bob Stull, and maybe Scott Woodward?

I would take Stull over Chuck if it came to that because he has the experience. No knock on Chuck, but running an athletic department like UW's should require previous experience in that position.

I wouldn't exactly count out Woodward yet because if UW can't get the man that Emmert wants Scoot is still a very viable option.

Here is Bob Condotta's latest take on the situation.

Sources, however, indicate that UW had serious conversations, if not flat-out offering the job, to two sitting ADs --- Dan Radakovich of Georgia Tech and Chris Hill of Utah. One source said talks with Radakovich broke down over money --- he apparently just signed a new contract worth more than $600,000 a year and would need more than that to bother with making a move.

Turner had a base salary of $345,000 with other incoming putting him in the $400-500,000 range, and the Huskies aren't likely to go a whole lot higher as Pac-10 schools simply don't pay as much for ADs as do those in most of the other major conferences --- one reason UW may have a tough time hiring a sitting AD at a major school.

As for as Hill, one source said those talks broke down in part because Hill didn't want to get involved in a lengthy search. He was apparently offered the UW job in 2004 and sounds as if he didn't want to get publicly involved again if there was any chance he wasn't going to get the job. He's been at Utah since 1987 and is not necessarily itching to move.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tight Ends

Only a few years ago Washington was known as TE University because of the long line of Husky TE's who had graduated and gone onto the NFL. Those days came to a screeching halt in the days of Ty Willingham.

Can you blame it all on Ty?

Not entirely, under Neuheisel, and Gilbertson the Huskies had loaded up at the position by recruiting athletes who were DE/LB/TE/FB types. A lot of these kids were tweeners who didn't really find a fit even though they were moved around quite a bit during there tenure at Washington and ended up at TE which became a dumping ground.

This is Ty's fourth year, and he only has two of his own TE's on the roster, so it isn't like he recruited the position with a lot of urgency either electing to stay with the status quo. He also had an assistant coach who shouldn't have been coaching TE's which may have a little bit to do with the lack of improvement at the position.

I think it all changes this season with the addition of Izbicki, and Middleton. I think both of those kids are going to catch a lot of balls over the next four years.

Dark Years at TE

Gottleib....Walk on from Mercer Island recruited by Gilberston. OK, Mike has started quite a few games, but from a historical perspective he would be a kid that would fit in nicely as a third TE, not your starter.

Kirton....Came in as a huge TB, played some FB, moved to TE but never made the impact. Finishing his senior year as a DT which is where he should have been from the get go. I think most people were pretty sure that Kirton would be an AA TE before he left, but he just didn't get better, and in fact declined from a target perspective.

Winter....Was a HS All America LB who was asked to beef up to play DE, with the beef came the lack of speed which he already was a little short on. Moved to TE last year to shore up the depth. Walt will get some playing time this year.

Lewis....Was recruited by Neu as an athlete and started off on defense before moving over to TE. A better Dash Crutchley who started some games.

Williams....Very raw kid from TW's first recruiting class. Was a throw in at the end of a bad recruiting year. They envisioned him more as a OL someday, but he was a BB player in HS so they wanted to check out his hands.

Crutchley...."Dash"...Great name, not a very good player despite being a good athlete. The classic Neu guy that couldn't find a position. What was your favorite Dash Crutchely moment?

Benn....Brother of the Husky Center was more of a nepotism pick and a bow to HS powerhouse O'Dea. Was never going to develop into a great TE, and injuries cut his career short.

Heater....His dad was surprised when Rick offered him. He stuck it out and had a good experience at UW despite bouncing around and not playing much.

LaSee....Another kid in the Crutchley, Heater, Lewis, Benn, Williams, Winter profile which means they weren't targeted as a TE, but just ended up there for lack of anothe rplace to put them.

Before the decline

UW was still three deep in quality early in the decade, but injuries and recruiting mistakes began to decimate the position. Toledo and Bandell both had AA potential, but were cut down by injuries.

Toledo....Still hanging on in the NFL. He had great talent, but was very injury prone.

Bandell....On a par with Toledo talent wise, but injuries cut him down by Sophomore year.

Lyons....A JC transfer who was a solid and productive backup.

Ware....One of the very good one's to play at UW. He had a little off field trouble, but was very productive as a blocker, and pass catcher.

Collier....Extremely solid during his career at UW as an old school UW TE.

Westra....Was an essential part of the rotation.

This season at TE

UW is reloading and weeding out this position in 2008. Johnnie Kirton moves to the DL and Mike Gottleib arrives this Fall as the incumbent starter. RS Chris Izbicki, and true frosh Kavario Middleton make up the rest of the rotation with Sr Walt Winter.

Gottleib has had a decent career winning a scholarship soon after walking on at UW. He isn't a flashy receiver, but the coaches like the way he follows his blocking assignments.

Izbicki had a decent Spring, and looked good in the Spring game. He isn't a finished product and still has some work to do. He will play a lot this season in a three man rotation.

Kavario Middleton was one of the top recruits in the country last year and the coaches are hoping he makes an immediate impact this Fall. If all goes to plan Kavario should be the starter by the end of the second bye week. The kid has a lot of great tools, and should be the best TE since Stevens moved on to the pro's. Expecting a freshman to live up to that immediately is a tough one, but he has a shot.


While the talent level is going up the experienced depth is simply not there. You have a walk on senior, and two guys that have not played a single game in the rotation. If you suffer an injury Walt Winter comes in play. This position needs another year or two of excellent recruiting to be completely rebuilt.

The Future

Gottleib, and Winter are graduating which means UW will only have two TE's on the roster next season. I could see UW taking 2-3 this recruiting season. You like to have at least five scholarship TE's playing, or in development on your roster at all times.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

Let's start off with a little golf, how many of you watched the US Open this weekend? I like Tiger, but I usually root against the favorite, or superstar. This past weekend I was rooting for Tiger, and it may stay like that for awhile. He showed us a lot of courage out there, and that is where he starts moving into the Palmer, Nicklaus, Hogan...etc... league. He was always there as a player, but this week he earned some serious stripes with his guts, and that is the one special thing we all admire about the best. When a guy is out there playing on a bum knee against Doctors orders it is totally old school. When he forces an 18 hole playoff on the last hole in regulation that is old school. This was a U.S. Open for the history books, and it ranks as one of the best majors ever.

Dirty Ducks

I have been watching this developing story over the past week in regard to recruiting. Scholarships offers get yanked, just ask Washington's Bradly Roussel.

A high school coach from one of Southern California’s top prep programs expressed frustration with the UO football staff Monday after the Ducks withdrew a scholarship offer that had been accepted by one of his players last week.

Pac Ten Alley

Let's take a walk down the coast to see what the neighbors are up to.

Oregon has no problem showing QB's the back door.

Sophomore QB Cody Kempt will be going home to compete for a starting job with the Montana St. Bobcats.With an uncertain future at Oregon, Kempt felt the timing was right to make the switch. Instead of competing against 6 other potential QB's here in Eugene, Kempt will only have 4 to go against in Bozeman.

The basketball staff fills out at Stanford.

Johnny Dawkins filled out his coaching staff, and he did so in a resounding way: Hiring former Santa Clara coach Dick Davey as his lead assistant.

News from Arizona.

Former signed Arizona men’s basketball recruit Emmanuel Negedu is in Memphis this weekend, making his final recruiting visit after getting his release from UA last month.

You want video of the tree protestors, we got it. The courts decide tomorrow.

One of the activists who have perched in a grove outside UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium for the past year and a half was hauled out of her tree Tuesday, as the university began removing tree-sitters' gear in advance of a judge's ruling that could lead to a climax in the long-running protest.

More of reliving the dream from OSU.

In what was, is, and probably will forever be the most surreal sporting event I've ever attended, the Beavers surprised the nation with a 12-6 victory over Arizona State on June 18, 2007.

Taylor Mays, USC, safety: Scary.

That is the best way to describe Mays. His combination of size and speed in a safety is freakish. And in the Trojans' spring game, Mays obliterated Patrick Turner, the team's towering 6-foot-5, 230-pound receiver on a play when he came over the middle. I suspect many Pac-10 receivers envision similar scenes before they face the Trojans and their super-fast, super-sized DB.

ASU's Rudy Carpenter trains with Steve Clarkson


Bruin Expectations

So last weeek, we put up not one, but four posts (see here, here, here, and here) discussing and setting our expectations for the next season. From my vantage point, I am expecting UCLA to win somewhere around 6 games in Rick Neuheisel’s first season at UCLA. Following my first post, BruinsRule - someone who I have enormous respect for -questioned whether I was setting the expectations in a way to make it easy for RN to meet our expectations. I responded to his concern with my reasons on how I calibrated my expectations. From our subsequent exchange in the comment thread and BR’s clarification, it seems like we are all on the same page.

WSU blog reviews UA among other things.

Great weather, nice stadium that seats over 56,000, great hoops program.....but a football team that hasn't been to a bowl game since 1998?? What is it with Arizona's football program that they just can't seem to put it together? It's a hard thing to put your finger on. You would think from a distance anyway that they should be successful, but for whatever the reason, it's been a long, dry spell without success.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Quote of the Year so far

Nice work by Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times at the exit of M's GM Bill Bavasi.

I asked Bavasi on Monday about Bedard's pitch-count threshold. After bouncing between defending and explaining Bedard, the axed GM — clearly exasperated — said I needed to ask the pitcher.

"You gotta ask him," Bavasi said. "You gotta ask him. Good luck. And he's gonna have some stupid answer, some dumbass answer."

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Monday Morning Wash

The Husky coaching tour ends this with the last stop in Longview, Ty has missed three of the events this year, hopefully he can make it down to SW Washington for the finale.

The AD hunt is still going on without many leaks coming from the UW at this point. Hard to say who they are going to end up with, but we should find out pretty soon. Hill from Utah is supposedly the leading candidate, and they offered him the job last time, but if he was all in the decision probably would have already been made. My bet is on a young up and comer who will be a surprise at this point.

Dick Baird wrote a ditty in Dawgman about the lack of wisdom signing LSU to a home, and home starting next season. I lean toward Dick's reasoning on this one even though you can make a case either way. UW doesn't need to have the toughest football schedule in the country every single year, and I can't think of a single program that needs to do that.

On the other hand LSU will draw a lot of out of town fans which continues to build the case that UW football brings in a lot of money to the region each week during the season. That of course goes hand in hand with the argument that UW should be eligible for tax money to help remodel the stadium.

Romar Signs a Wing

The Washington Huskies have received their second commitment for the recruiting class of 2009, this one from a 6-9 1/2, 220-pound junior college forward from Los Angeles. Charles Garcia Jr. said today as he was getting ready to fly back home after taking a visit to UW over the weekend that he would sign with the Huskies.

Garcia is slated to replace the bulk we lose when Jon Brockman graduates next season.

Husky Football TV Schedule Shaping Up

The University of Washington football program has received significant regional and national exposure over the years and the 2008 season promises to be no exception, according to the early-season television schedule released by the Pacific-10 Conference today.

Seven of Washington's 12 games have been pre-selected to appear on television through the league's contractual obligations with FSN, ABC/ESPN and Versus. With the exception of the Sept. 27 game against Stanford University, the remaining games will available for telecast through the conference's agreements and will be determined either 12 or six days prior to the game.

For the first time in school history, all 13 of Washington's regular-season games during the 2007 season appeared on television. Indications are positive that all 12 games this year could also be televised.

Washington's August 30 season-opening contest at the University of Oregon will kick-off at 7 p.m. and will be televised live by FSN. A broad national distribution of the game through the various FSN regional networks is expected due to the primetime start.

The Huskies' home opener on Sept. 6 against Brigham Young University will begin at 12 Noon and will also be televised by FSN, while the Sept. 13 home game against the University of Oklahoma will kick at 4:45 p.m. and will feature a national telecast via ESPN.

The Stanford game is expected to be televised by FSN Northwest, Washington's local television partner, since there will be no selections by FSN or Versus that day through the league agreement. Once FSN Northwest and the Seattle Mariners determine the major league baseball club's telecast schedule for that day, they will release a game time.

Washington will make its first appearance ever on the Versus network on Oct. 18 with its homecoming contest against Oregon State University that will begin at 4 p.m. The Oct. 25 game against the University of Notre Dame will kickoff at 5 p.m. and will be televised by either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

In addition, the Pac-10 announced that Washington's Nov. 22 Apple Cup contest at Washington State University will kickoff at 12 noon and will be televised live from Pullman, Wash. by FSN.
The Dec. 6 Washington game at the University of California will begin either at 12 Noon on FSN or 5 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN2. Specific television plans for that contest will be announced 12 days prior to the game.

UW game times and coverage that have not yet been determined include the Oct. 4 contest at the University of Arizona, the Nov. 1 game at USC, the Nov. 8 game at home against Arizona State University and the Nov. 15 home finale against UCLA.

Huskies at the US Open

Washington sophomore Nick Taylor shot 4-over 75 and former UW player Rob Rashell carded a scorching 1-under 70 during the second round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course, Friday, but neither Husky was able to make the cut when the field was narrowed down to 80 players.

Huskies Sweep Pac Ten Rowing Awards

Men's rowing coach Michael Callahan was named Coach of the Year, Heath Allen Men's Athlete of the Year and Blaise Didier Newcomer of the Year in the Pac-10 Conference's end of season awards. A total of four Husky men and one woman were named to the all-conference teams.

Track and Field

Junior Jared O'Connor had a remarkable second-place finish in the pole vault and seniors Norris Frederick and Carl Moe ended their illustrious Husky careers with All-American awards at the NCAA Track and Field Championships hosted by Drake University.

The Huskies enjoyed a memorable day three at the national meet, including a 400m dash semifinal victory from junior Jordan Boase. Spectators numbering 11,228 saw the Husky men score 9.33 points, bringing their total to 12.33 with two finalists on Sunday.

Frederick (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) placed seventh in the high jump final, battling through an ankle injury with three dramatic third-attempt clearances before bowing out of the contest with a best of 7-1 ½. He earned the adulation of the crowd with his repeated final jump clearances.

The seventh-place finish brings Frederick's final tally of All-American honors to a stunning nine, including one for his sixth-place long jump finish yesterday. Frederick's nine awards tie Ryan Brown (2003-07) for the second-most in Washington history, trailing only the 10 of Ja'Warren Hooker (1998-2001). Frederick was an All-American indoors and outdoors in both the high and long jumps this year, the only collegiate athlete that accomplished the feat. His four All-American awards in one season also ties Brown (2006) and Hooker (1998) for the most by a Husky.

Bavasi Gets the Axe

The Mariners fired Bill Bavasi today in the first of what will be one of many moves to get the franchise going in the right direction. The next guy that needs to go is Howard Lincoln.

Everytime Bavasi made a move I just winced, the capper of course was the Bedard trade this season which decimated the farm system.

What the M's need to do is have an old fashioned fire sale and get rid of as much dead wood as they can so they can start over next season. Money isn't the problem when you have a $117 million dollar payroll.

The current state of the M's can be traced back to Bob Melvin's first season as manager. The M's should have gone young at that time like the Indians did to rebuild, instead the M's started wasting money on over valued free agents blocking any form of youth movement.

I think most of us are M's fans, and this has been tough to watch, but any team that has that much money to spend can rebound under the right management.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Poll Question

How many yards per game will the Huskies gain on offense this year?

475 7% (5 votes)
450 12% (8 votes)
425 46% (31 votes)
400 18% (12 votes)
375 3% (2 votes)
350 3% (2 votes)
325 6% (4 votes)
300 1% (1 votes)
Other: 4% (3 votes)

The majority of you guys went with 425 which would be a pretty good average with a completly new set of skill players surrounding Jake Locker in 2008.

This weeks question:

Who is going to be the new Athletic Director?

This is the list of candidates that have been talked about in the press so far, but I am sure there are a couple of other names on the list that haven't become public yet. So feel free to add your own write in candidates.

Chris Hill Utah
Bob Stull UTEP
Bill Moos Oregon (Retired)
Steve Lopes USC
Bubba Cunningham Tulsa
Craig Angelos Florida Atlantic

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

The hunt for the next Athletic Director is about to come to an end as UW has identified it's top candidates. If you listen to the media the top choice is Utah AD Chris Hill who turned down the opportunity last time the job was open. If he turned it down back then what makes people think he will take it now? It could be money, but TT wasn't exactly underpaid either.

Bob Stull from UTEP was in town to interview according to the spies put there, but the feeling is that he isn't the top target. Stull has everything you want except youth.

We still hear a buzz about Bill Moos, but the $180,000 a year buy out for almost ten years isn't really enticing.

A couple names from Florida popped up recently, but nothing from a conference known as the cradle of coaches, the MAC. Seems we picked up a couple of up and coming guys named Don James and Mike Lude from that league years ago.

Bob Condotta of the Times is your source for the latest in the AD hunt.

Pac Ten Commissioner

Expect a familair name such as Todd Turner to at least throw his hat in the ring for this job. I know you are laughing, but he has the qualifications they are looking for. Being a conference commisioner is sort of like being a Russian Czar because it is usually a lifetime appointment unless you absolutely screw things up.

UW has the nations toughest schedule

Scheduling of course is the biggest reason UW is having trouble climbing out of the basement.

Below is Phil Steele's 2008 toughest schedule. All factors are taken into account in these rankings. You will also find the article as reprinted from page 317 in "Phil Steele's College Football Preview." There is also a list on teams that will benefit and that will struggle due to the strength of their schedules.

Pac Ten Expansion

A fan blog on Pac Ten expansion in USA Today.

For the record the Pac Ten has no interest in expanding unless Colorado, and Texas are willing to join the league. The Pac Ten has no problem with the way things are now, they like the round robin the 12 game schedule gives them in football.

Many teams try to argue that strong recent performances justify a move to the PAC 10. This post will attempt to separate the wheat from the chafe. The reasons behind selecting teams for consideration are given in my introductory article. By examining the record of a team over their last 9 PAC 10 games, an estimate of how each team would fair in a full PAC 10 schedule can be made. How far back one has to go to find 9 games is given in parenthesis. Examining the number of PAC 10 games in the last five years is a good measure of PAC 10 interest in playing each team. This is amplified if the PAC 10 teams are willing to travel. Bowl records over the last 10 years give a separate measure of performance over quality teams. Home attendance measures the current fan base of each team.

Pac Ten Alley

Now it is time to take a walk down the coast to see what the neighbors are up to.

If you haven't been over to Michael Wine's Oregon blog you are missing out on the intriguing game of "What is it?" the news this week is the time change for the Labor Day weekend opener against UW. Fantastic, that gives the Oregon fans about 8 hours to get tuned up for this one.

The University of Oregon's Aug. 30 football season opener vs. the University of Washington in Autzen Stadium has been changed to a 7 p.m. kickoff to accommodate Fox Sports Net television, according to an announcement Monday by the Pacific-10 Conference."

Jon Wilner comments on the retirement of Tom Hansen, and the Pac Ten TV lineup for the Fall.

The Pac-10 released its fall lineup on Monday afternoon — about the same time commish Tom Hansen announced his retirement (I’ll be blogging about potential replacements tomorrow) — and it couldn’t come soon enough.

The Wildcats get bumped out of the Super Regionals.

It was a long and bumpy road for the University of Arizona baseball team in 2008.
The traveling stops when the Wildcats return home Monday after a 4-2 season-ending loss to No. 1 overall seed Miami on Sunday in the the final game of the best-of-three NCAA super-regional in Coral Gables, Fla.

ASU was bounced early too which was a surprise since they were one of the favorites to win the title this year.

Arizona State baseball coach Pat Murphy can't spend much time feeling the pain of his highly rated team's early ejection from the NCAA Tournament.Too much work is ahead. He is losing more than 80 percent of his offense and two-thirds of his pitching wins to pro baseball, but he also is expected to sign his five top recruits."I'm excited about next year's team," Murphy said. "We went to Omaha (College World Series) last year with one returning pitcher. What's to say we can't go to Omaha next year with one returning player? We certainly aren't going to call it a rebuilding year, and you'll see as many as seven freshmen in the lineup."

California's Jeff Teford now has his own blog.

Over the last few years, I have been teased by my players for not being up-to-date with the latest internet developments like youtube, facebook and itunes, but I realize it's a reality and want to use it productively to communicate with you, the fan. I am hoping to provide the Cal fans with glimpses of the Golden Bear football program from the inside, giving you all some of my thoughts and feelings on various subjects relating to the team. The purpose of this is to give insight, not to get caught in debates - I don't have time for debates with everyone. I know everyone is not always going to agree with everything - run/pass, pass/run, run inside or outside, throw short or deep, you get the drift. That's a fan's prerogative as interested supporters who care. I hope to give regular updates as time allows, but as you know, the season gets very hectic.

Oregon State won't be in Omaha this year to defend it's back to back titles, but Jake has a nice article reliving the experience of the past two years.

The Beavers didn't get a chance to defend their back to back titles this year, we know that. But while this year's field is battling it out in Omaha, we'll take the opportunity to look back at the incredible event that was the 2007 College World Series. Now, I realize that that 2006 trip was just as special, but the fact that I made the epic pilgrimage to Omaha for the 2007 championship made it extra special for me, and gives me the perspective to narrate this story.

What is that, twelve early commitments for USC?

It wasn't a secret that USC had wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey high on its wish list or that he had high interest in USC. Afterall, USC was the first school Jeffrey requested his film be sent to. Yesterday, Jeffrey, who received a written offer from USC last week, called Pete Carroll and verbally committed to the Trojans.

Good news for Ben Howland.

UCLA forward Josh Shipp has signed paperwork to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and will play his senior season for the Bruins, UCLA head basketball coach Ben Howland announced today.

In June it is common for head coaches to get out, play a little golf, and stay in touch with the fan base.

A HUGE hat-tip to our own Kaddy, who had the privilege of attending the Friday night Columbia River Cougar Club dinner. Among the attendees were both head coaches, Paul Wulff and rockstar-Tony Bennett. Read on for the full deal (great job Kaddy!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wide Receiver and Slot Back

I have been saying all Winter that this will be prove to be one of the more athletic receiving groups that UW has had in the last decade. I have also said the WR is a place where a true freshman can come in and make an immediate impact. That is a good thing if it proves true because we will have plenty of frosh in the depth this year trying to do exactly that.

From what I saw this Spring, D'Andre Goodwin is the only guy that is ready right now to make an immediate impact. I think there is a lot of talent on the roster, and a lot coming in when camp opens, but Goodwin seems to be the guy most ready for prime time.

WR Goodwin So
WR Logan RS
WR Aguilar Fr
WR Hawkins Sr
WR Boyles Fr
WR Bruns Fr
WR Kearse Fr
WR J. Polk Fr

If you were an observer of Spring practice, or the Spring game, you had to come away with the feeling that D'Andre Goodwin will be UW's go to receiver in 2008. He isn't a big guy, but he has great speed and can go the ball. I think he may have been the most improved player on the roster this Spring. He does have a weakness that UW will need to offset, because of his size opposing defensive safeties are going to "T" off on him from the get go. UW is going to have to find a way to make a defense pay for doing that. Look for opposing teams to try to take him out of the game in the first series.

Who is lining up beside him is going to be any one's guess. Aguilar, Logan, Boyles, and Hawkins all come to mind since they were here this Spring. Logan is very a tough guy, he is going to develop into a good blocker, and he has the ability to make the catch. He brings a great potential physical presence. Aguilar and Boyles both need a lot of work this summer with Locker to get ready. I would say Aguilar is way ahead of Boyles at this point.

Bruns, and Kearse arrive this August, and they may be the most complete packages UW have to pair with Goodwin. Bruns runs incredible routes, he is disciplined, and you can definitely put him in the Paul Skansi type category. Kearse was one of UW's most honored signee's, and his body will allow him to compete for a spot immediately. Oregon sprint champ Jordan Polk had one heckuva of a highlight film, you can't count him out either.

I think Bruns and Kearse will move to the top of the lineup this Fall.

Washington wants to redshirt two WR's this year. Who gets redshirted depends of course on who is ready to play, and who stays healthy as the season starts. Based on Spring I would redshirt Boyles at this point because he needs more muscle, and less mouth. Of the kids coming in this August I really think they can all help, but maybe you let a guy like Jordan Polk beef up for a year even though he has great speed.

Slot Back

What is a slot back exactly?

A slot back is a receiver or running back that lines up between the offensive tackle on the end of the line and a wide receiver on the same end of the line. That area between the tackle and receiver is called the 'slot', so the player that lines up in that area is called the 'slot back'. The term slot back does not refer to a specific player on every play, like a halfback or fullback, but to a player that lines up in a specific area on a specific play. There may be a slot back on one play and no slot back on another.

He can be your third WR, he can be a second or third RB depending on how you line up. He can even be a TE/FB type of guy in some offenses. Washington has a couple of speed kids that fit the profile well. If UW is going to improve this year look for production from this position.

SB Chris Polk
SB Curtis Shaw

Polk was the best of the bunch as far as the new frosh go this Spring. He can play TB, SB, or WR. You just line him up to create imbalance and let his athletic ability do the rest. Shaw showed lots of promise last year as a receiver after starting off at RB. Expect both of these kids to see action at RB, and receiver this Fall.

Chris Polk is billed as the next Reggie Bush, or Napoleon Kauffman, those are pretty high standards for a kid to live up to, but he has the tools, and most importantly the mindset to do exactly that. Curtis Shaw may be the fastest kid on the squad, plus he has a year under his belt at a couple of positions. Look for him to find a place among the starting eleven.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Monday Morning Wash

Ty Willingham stirred up a little controversy by going back to his home state of North Carolina to play in a charity golf tournament honoring injured Marines from the Iraq Conflict. The conflict comes from the fact that he missed an annual coaches tour event scheduled at the same time back in Washington State.

How important is the annual coaches tour?

I think it is extremely important because it is usually the only time you are going to get a chance during the year to mingle with the coaching staff if you live in places like Bellingham, Longview, Yakima, Vancouver, Walla Walla etc... . Fan's at Dawgman looked at it this way. They feel when the head man doesn't show up it sends another signal that boosters and fans just aren't that important to the program anymore.

This is Molly Yanity's take.

This week, the Huskies football beat writers received an e-mail from the athletic communications office revealing that coach Tyrone Willingham would be playing in the fifth annual Marine Corps Celebrity Classic in Jacksonville, N.C.

So what do you guy's think?

Jake and the Belle's

Here is Jim Moore's report from Bellingham, where Husky quarterback Jake Locker made his baseball debut with the Bellingham Bells Friday evening. Look for this to be pretty big news for the rest of the Summer. Hopefully he keeps away from the head first slide into third base.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times chips in with this one. Kudo's to Bob for keeping his blog going all year in these days of Montlake's Purple Curtain. Bob is also your source of everything Bellingham Bell's this Summer.

Rayford sticking in BC

First is this story from Vancouver on former Huskies Caesar Rayford and Brandon Ala, now playing for the B.C. Lions. Rayford is trying to make the team as a rookie free agent, and it sounds as if he's on his way, drawing raves from coaches --- a development likely drawing a few sighs of what-might-have-been from a lot of you who are well aware the Huskies could really use a fifth-year DE right about now. Rayford discusses the redshirt issue in the story, saying again that he was fully on board to play in 2004. Just think how bad that team would have been if he hadn't played. ( I don't know Bob, I don't think Rayford played much at all as a true frosh. He was too light to make an impact.)

Walker sets record

Former Husky Brad Walker seems to be peaking at about the right time as he gets ready for the Olympic Games.

There are no sure things in the wacky world of pole vault. Even so, it's not bad being Brad Walker right now. The defending world champion and former Washington Huskies standout broke an eight-year-old American record Sunday at the Prefontaine Classic, clearing 19 feet, 9 ¾ inches on the same field where he'll try to make his first U.S. Olympic team in only three weeks.

Follow up by Dan Raley on the IRA's

I didn't expect Wisconsin to beat Washington in the IRA's, in fact few anticipated the upset since the Badgers while always strong start later in the season, and can't practice all Winter on the water because of all the ice. So mark this down as a monumental win for the Badgers who were just smoking on the Cooper! Washington gets back to full strength next season as six of it's rower return from getting ready for the Olympic games.

Washington lost.

For the first time in 24 months and 19 races, the men's varsity eight crew was denied the usual gold medal and opposing racing shirt spoils.

Master of the Obvious Award

This was an interesting blip that I saw passed around last week. CFN/'s Pete Fiutak says that the Huskies will not win another national championship in our lifetime.

By the way, Washington has only won one legit national championship in all it's years of playing college football. The 1960 team is definitely an asterisk, the 1984 team also deserves an asterisk when they finished second to BYU. Both of those teams were undoubtedly the best at the end of their respective seasons, but neither wire service awarded them a title. They also won something known as the Libby National Championship back in the days of Gil Dobie.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Wisconsin Edges Washington

As you can tell these were just smoking hot times turned in by both Wisconsin, and Washington in the Grand Final today, but the undefeated Badgers were able to hang on to upset the top rated Huskies.

1. University of Wisconsin 05:31.173
2. University of Washington 05:32.894
3. University of California Berkeley 05:39.021
4. Northeastern University 05:42.399
5. Stanford University 05:43.324
6. Columbia University 05:44.565

On New Jersey's Cooper River, the Huskies' defending champion men's varsity eight crew lost for the first time in two years and 19 races, finishing four seats behind the Big Ten school Saturday in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships. The resurgent Badgers won their first national title in 18 seasons.

Friday, June 06, 2008

UW Crew Roars in Semi's

All five University of Washington crews advanced today to Saturday's finals at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships on the Cooper River. The undefeated and top-ranked UW varsity eight won its semifinal heat and undefeated Wisconsin won the other heat. The Huskies had the faster time over the 2,000-meter course, covering it in 5 minutes, 39.45 seconds. Wisconsin's time was 5:42.23.

Saturday's varsity eight final will decide the national championship and the competitors will be Washington, Wisconsin, California, Northeastern, Stanford and Columbia.

The Huskies' varsity is trying to win back-to-back national titles for the first time since 1940-41.

1. University of Washington 05:39.454
2. University of California Berkeley 05:40.088
3. Northeastern University 05:43.585
4. U.S. Naval Academy 05:47.091
5. Harvard University 05:47.333
6. Yale University 05:47.523

1. University of Wisconsin 05:42.237
2. Stanford University 05:42.991
3. Columbia University 05:43.424
4. Brown University 05:43.980
5. Princeton University 05:44.936
6. Cornell University 05:45.122

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Huskies Advance in IRA's

The IRA Finals this Saturday are perhaps the most tantalizing in years; two undefeated crews, Washington and Wisconsin, a host of fast regional players and numerous other storylines will likely make this year's 106th running of the IRA one of the more memorable ones.

Washington are the defending champs, and have gone through a season of reloading and coaching change (Mike Callahan stepped in when Bob Ernst switched bays at Conibear to coach the UW women) just about unscathed; although Cal narrowed the margin to a scant 3 seats in the Grand at Pac-10s after leading for part of the race, UW had the presence to see them off. The Huskies are a legit #1 seed.

Wisconsin on the other hand, coming off a heavy, heavy winter, started their season under the radar. You had to look pretty hard through the Stanford Invitational results, but over two days, Wisconsin served notice that they were serious, handing Cal and Stanford 4 and 7 second losses, respectively. As some then suspected they might, Wisco dominated the Men's Sprints, winning the V8 by open water and capturing the Rowe Cup for the first time in 46 years.

It's been something of an IRA standard that Wisco would arrive with one of the deepest teams, represented in nearly all open weight events, but I can't remember a time when Wisco showed up with a team as loaded as this, top-to-bottom. If coach Chris Clark's crew has gotten even faster than they were at Sprints, the IRA may be a two-horse race.

The IRA seeds the top 12 eights in each event into four heats, and clearly there is intrigue there, with 3 seeded crews battling it out for two direct tickets to the semis. Top seeded Washington sees Stanford and a surprising Columbia team, while Wisco is drawn with Sprints petite-final winner Navy and Northeastern.

After that, it starts to get interesting: Sprints silver-medalist (and #3 seed) Brown faces off against Yale and 11th seeded Harvard; beyond the pure Ivy rivalries going on here, you have the Crimson with a pretty sour late season taste in their mouths from an uncharacteristically "off" performance at Sprints, where they not only missed the Grand for the first time in 44 years, getting knocked out by Yale by half a second, but then also failed to win the Petite, falling to Navy by half a seat. (On comparing times, which is hard to do, the V8 Petite and Grand at Men's Sprints were pretty close; this would seem to indicate that, behind Wisconsin, a lot of the eastern crews have good everyday speed.)

It's pure conjecture at this point, but it's unlikely that this bunch will care to be remembered as the lowest-performing Harvard crew in the last 50 years; add to this the usual fireworks that go off between Harvard and Yale (remember that Yale upset the heavily favored Harvard V8 at the Harvard-Yale race last year), and you have the makings of a pretty uncomfortable race for Brown.

The final heat also sees some heat, with Cal, who have seemed to find very good speed in the past weeks facing off against Sprints bronze medallists Princeton, who are quietly having a good year, and Cornell.

In the Men's JV, Wisconsin and Washington also occupy the top seeds, albeit in reversed positions. The Washington Huskies actually come in off a slightly more dominant performance at their championships, a near-length win over Cal, while Wisconsin lived life on the edge a bit more; down 3-4 seats to a Harvard 2V that had seen dominant performances throughout the year, Wisconsin took advantage of a Harvard miscue extremely late in the last 500 of the race to claim the win at Sprints by two-tenths of a second. Clearly, these top three crews can give each other a race on any day of the week.

Cal, Brown and Cornell round out the top six seeds in the JV. Harvard's 3V, who won their event at Sprints rowing away, is also entered in the JV event, but is not seeded. Indeed, the travails of their V8 notwithstanding, it's Harvard who, along with Wisco, field probably the deepest team at the regatta. Harvard's 4V finished second behind their 3V at Worcester, and the Harvard 2F also won at Quinsigamond, so expect to see Harvard crews make some noise in the small boats.

The frosh eight sees similar compaction at the top, with Washington, Harvard, Princeton and Cal stacked at the top; Harvard had Princeton by a second at Sprints, while Washington put six seconds on Cal at Pac-10s. Realistically, these 4 crews are probably within a length of each other. The Frosh eight also sees two entries from Yale, which could mean that Yale's Sprints-Champion Frosh lights are in the mix.

A thin field of just 10 crews will contend for the national title in the Men's Lightweight eights.

Conspicuously absent from the entries is a crew from Harvard; in a year that saw decade-long streaks snapped all over the country, Sprints saw no Harvard lightweight crews in any Grand Finals for the first time ever. "Repeat offender" Cornell, winners of the last two national titles here in Camden, comes in seeded first, with Princeton, Yale and Navy all looking for an opening to pounce. Dad Vail champs Fordham have shown good speed this year, and will certainly make things interesting. Again, with no lightweight crews coming into the weekend undefeated, this event is always good for some of the most exciting racing.

Thursday's Results

Three University of Washington crews, including the defending national-champion varsity eight, won their preliminary heats today at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association championships.

The varsity covered the 2,000-meter course on the Cooper River in Cherry Hills, N.J., in 5:53.29 to finish ahead of Stanford (5:55.18), Columbia, Georgetown, Syracuse and Dartmouth.

The second-varsity (JV) eight won its head in 5:59.4 and the freshman eight prevailed in 5:56.16. All three boats advance to semifinals Friday.

The other winners of varsity heats were Brown, California and Wisconsin.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Pac Ten Alley

It was only last week that I decided to throw caution to the wind and drop a few controversial, but nuggets with legs to my readers. I went over to Dawgman and found the story had taken on a life of it's own over there. I then read Bob Condotta and find that it has a life over there also.

I don't know how to feel about that since this blog was originally started to be supportive of Willingham. Even though that is the way it started, I decided that I would give him two full years without criticism. As readers like "Dadco" can tell you the wheels came off around mid season last year on that campaign.

Anyway guys I try to find the positive in Husky Football, every once in awhile I slip and tell the truth.

It's early June, so I guess timing is everything.


EJ Savannah once again proved that he isn't exactly a future Rhodes Scholar by breaking the humerus bone in his arm, allegedly arm wrestling, over the weekend. "I would like to see the other guy"...Sort of sounds like " The Dog ate my homework", if you know what I mean. EJ will likely be out for the opener for Oregon, and possibly BYU, and Oklahoma. EJ is hands down the best LB on the team, and possibly the best player on the defense, so his early season loss is quite a blow if it comes to that. It would be great to see this kid play all in one piece.


The UW Women's Crew finished 2nd in the nation on Sunday, and that is quite a feat for 1st year coach Bob Ernst who wasn't working with a full cupboard. Look for the Women's Husky Crew to be the nations best in one or two years under Ernst's tutelage.

Johri Fogerson

Incoming Husky Johri Fogerson of O'Dea was named as the Boys Star of the Year today by the Seattle Times. I have always felt that Fogerson has a chance to come in from the get go and make an impact. for some reason he was under recruited early last season, but after seeing him play I felt he was a man among boys.

"He's a great athlete and a great competitor, and when the lights are on, he's always at his best," said Monte Kohler, O'Dea football coach and athletic director. "He never gets intimidated by the moment or shies away. He prides himself on doing well in those situations."

CJ Wilcox

C.J. Wilcox, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound shooting guard from Pleasant Grove, Utah, committed Monday to sign with the Huskies next fall. Wilcox will be a senior next season at Pleasant Grove High School and becomes the first commitment for UW's Class of 2009.

Washington coaches first saw Wilcox in a tournament in Houston a few months ago and began recruiting him heavily. It was a rare AAU tournament for Wilcox, who hasn't played in a lot of them the last few years, preferring to work on his game in private sessions, something his father encouraged. Craig Wilcox said he thinks that's why his son is not rated more highly by recruiting services.

Kevin White to Duke when Todd Turner was available?

The surgical procedure, done without the benefit of privacy or anesthesia, was performed on Kevin White on Nov. 30, 2004 -- the day the school's president and board of trustees ignored White's objections and fired football coach Tyrone Willingham. Ever since then, White has been circling overhead, parachute strapped to his back, waiting for the jump light to switch from red to green.

Pac Ten Alley

Let's start off with the Oregon blog, not much going on, but Michael Wines always makes an interesting contribution. "Today in History"

1961 John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev meet in Vienna

1957 Howard Cosell's 1st TV show

1946 1st bikini bathing suit displayed, Paris

1942 Battle of Midway Island begins

1875 Alexander Graham Bell makes 1st voice transmission

Jon Wilner chimes in from the By area with the rankings from the annual prognostication magazines. I personally hate Lindy's because some guy named Lindy from Ballard has owed me $2500 bucks for over twenty years.

Scanning the magazines at a local bookstore late last week, I noticed, among all the MLB and NFL issues, a college football cover! It wasn’t even Memorial Day, and Lindy’s was already on the shelf. I assume the others will be out soon, or are already out but weren’t at my local B&N, but Lindy’s was the only one I saw. The first kickoff was more than three months away, and Lindy’s was there with its preseason top-25, its Heisman frontrunners, its Bowl Championship Series projections, its predictions for all major conferences.

It must suck to be Kevon O'Neill.

Looks like the University of Arizona and Jim Livengood are off the hook when it comes to Kevin O’Neill and the $375,000 he may have been owed for next season.According to the Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal, O’Neill, who had been in the NBA prior to coming to UA as an assistant last season, is expected to be named an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA.After being removed from his position after last season when Lute Olson returned from an undisclosed medical condition, Olson announced O’Neill would no longer be on his coaching staff.

I have no idea what this is about, but it is June in Berkeley.

Calum Wright did not go to Berkeley—that’s Berserkley, to those who remember the sixties—to be an activist. He is a law-and-order type, reared among conservatives in London, and a member of the crew team, whose tastes run to khakis and polo shirts. He likes the campus police. But, not long ago, Wright, using the latest in protest technology—Facebook—was moved to organize a rally at the base of a campus oak, near Sproul Plaza, the storied place of free-speech happenings and Joan Baez concerts. His cause: Students Against Hippies in Trees. The action: to shout down a former Berkeley student named Michael (Fresh) Schuck, who had taken up residence in the oak seventeen days earlier. The invitation, sent to some six hundred members of the SAHIT Facebook group, from “hippy hater no. 1,” read:

The Oregon State blog is still all about baseball, still waiting on the spring football report Jakey.

The NCAA Regionals are behind us, now it's time to look ahead to the 16 Super Regionals that will be contested this weekend:

Miami vs. Arizona
Georgia vs. NC State
Florida State vs. Wichita State
Cal State Fullerton vs. Stanford
Arizona State vs. Fresno State
Rice vs. Texas A&M
North Carolina vs. Coastal Carolina
LSU vs. UC Irvine

Surprise...USC opens the season on TV

Just got this from ESPN: ``Virginia will host defending Rose Bowl champion USC from the Pac-10 in the first meeting between the schools on Saturday, Aug. 30, at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and ESPN2.''If this is true, it means the game starts at 12:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

ASU a favorite to win title.

The Tempe Super Regional between Fresno State and Arizona State begins at Winkles-Packard-Brock on Saturday at 6:00 PM with game 2 scheduled for Sunday night at 7. Both games will be on the ESPN family of networks. If a game 3 is necessary, and god willing it wont be, it'll be at 4 on Monday.Despite being a four-seed, there's quite a bit of fight in the Bulldogs yet:-After beating #6 San Diego twice and #11 Long Beach State this past weekend to win the Long Beach Regional, the Bulldogs are back in the top 25 of the Baseball America poll, clocking in at #17.-With their 5-1 win over San Diego in the regional championship yesterday, the Bulldogs became only the second regional #4 seed to advance to a Super Regional.-FSU started the season as the preseason #18 team in the nation but stumbled to an 8-11 start. They then stormed through conference play and and beat Sacramento State, San Jose State, Hawai'i and Nevada to bring home their 3rd straight WAC title.-Holden Sprague and Justin Wilson anchor the Bulldogs pitching staff. Miller struck out 11 in Fresno's surprise win over Long Beach State while Sprague got the win to eliminate San Diego.-P Clayton Allison, 3B Tommy Mendonica and OF Steve Susdorf all made the all-regional team in Long Beach.-Fresno's top five everyday hitters all hit over .300 (Alan Ahmady .382, Erik Wetzel .361, Susdorf .342, Danny Muno .329 and Gavin Hedstrom .311) and have 36 home runs between them. However, none of them lead the team in dingers; that honor belongs to Mendonica and his 14.So as you can see, this team can bop and can pitch. It should be an entertaining series in Tempe.

The UCLA Blog keeps in hot pursuit of USC infractions, only if the NCAA showed as much interest.

Special agents for the FBI and IRS and members of U.S. Attorney's office have launched a joint investigation into "possible income tax evasion and fraud arising from the misuse of charitable organization funds," according to an attorney retained by Louis Johnson, a member of former USC guard O.J. Mayo's inner circle until three months ago.

If there is one blog that is doing it form in the off season it is the Cougar blog.

The NCAA preview mags are hitting the stands. Lindy's hit last week, and now Athlon's has made it. If you are scoring at home, Lindy's has us at 10th, while Athlon's sees us at 9th. I guess it isn't a real surprise, given the questions of depth and losing guys like Brink, Bumpus, Collins, etc. I still like EA Sports and the Armed Forces Bowl prediction, but we'll get into that later this summer.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Husky Poll

How Many Yards Per Game will the Husky Defense Give Up in 2008?

450 9% (10 votes)
425 4% (5 votes)
400 5% (6 votes)
375 26% (31 votes)
350 19% (22 votes)

325 14% (16 votes)
300 10% (12 votes)
275 7% (8 votes)
250 6% (7 votes)

Everyone was all over the board on this one, but the majority figured we would be at 350-375 this year.

I personally voted for 325 which isn't great, but more than a 100 yard reduction from last year which would be quite significant.

This weeks question:

How many yards per game will the Huskies gain on offense this year?

Oregon led the leagues in total offense last year with 467 yards per game. Stanford was at the bottom with 322. UW averaged 394 which was pretty much in the middle.


Let's get back to the glass half full, rather than the glass half empty with a positional update of the squad going into camp this August.

We start off with the quarterback position because the hopes of the offense will once again be riding on the shoulders of Jake Locker.

QB Jake Locker SO
QB Ronnie Fouch RS
QB Dominique Blackman FR
QB Luther Leonard FR

Jake had a decent Spring, but like the rest of the offense was hampered by the weather. In most scrimmages the defense was clearly ahead of the offense. We all know Jake can run the ball, and we all know he will make better decisions running the ball in 2008. The question is will his passing percentage improve?

For UW to get anywhere they need to catch the ball better in 2008, and only one player looked like a sure thing to catch the ball this spring and that was D'Andre Goodwin who emerged as Jakes favorite target this Spring. We will talk more about the WR's in a later article, but they are a huge part of the picture in Jakes improvement, and development.

For Jake to take his game to the Heisman level, and we all feel he has the ability to do that, the game has to slow down for him. Take Dennis Dixon for example, the game didn't slow down for him till he was a senior, and I don't think there was a better QB, or team in the country until he went down. When Dixon went down the Ducks went down with him. It was very easy to see how much he elevated the play of the entire team when he was in the game. Locker has the ability to do that much earlier in his career. I didn't see the light quite go on for Jake this Spring, but I am betting that sometime next season once he gets a little more experience under his belt it is going to happen. Jake is going to be phenomenal his junior season, and senior seasons if he stays on campus that long.

Looking to 2008 we are going to see a more accurate passer, and a QB with a much better command of the offense as a whole. Jake is still going to run, and don't be surprised to see him gain as much as 1000 yards on the ground this season. I would like him to use his TE's more since the enrollment of Kavario Middleton will give him a big athletic target. I would like him to dump it off more to his slot backs (Polk, Shaw) who have tremendous speed. I want to see him use the fullback over the middle more in the passing game. I think using these targets will allow the young receivers on the ends more time to get used to the speed, and toughness of Pac Ten football.

Behind Jake is Ronnie Fouch who had a very nice Spring game. I think Ronnie will start a year or two before he leaves Washington, but right now he is still a raw young guy that needs a lot more development. If Jake goes down he will get the development, but the offense will be in trouble because Jake is simply a much better player at this point. Fouch showed us a lot of improvement this Spring. He picks things up quickly, and is throwing the ball better. He isn't Jake, but he has good feet and knows how to use them.

Behind Fouch are two true frosh who will be sitting on the bench all season if we are lucky. Leonard has some good skills and a strong arm, but it will take at least a couple of years before he is ready. Leonard has decent wheels so I could see him on defense if he gets buried in depth at QB.

Blackman is big for a QB, very big, so big in fact in a lot of ways he reminds me of Jeremy Stevens who started off as a QB only to switch to TE. Dominique ran into some off field trouble last Summer, and had to sit out some time as a punishment. His star rating plumented as a result.

The Huskies have little depth at QB so both of these guys are going to spend the entire year here, but I see them as good athletes who could migrate depending on need and development.

Future Recruiting

Look for the Huskies to bring in a California HS QB this Winter. The next local phenom on the horizon is Jake Heaps from Skyline (not Eastlake) who will be one of the top QB's in the country in 2010. With his old HS head coach on the staff it isn't hard to believe that he wil be wearing purple and gold in the future.

The Monday Morning Wash

The entire Husky womens fleet remained in national championship contention as a trio of crews earned berths to the national grand finals for the first time in seven seasons. The Huskies' second varsity eight crew convincingly won its repechage Saturday and the varsity eight was a semifinal runner-up during the second day of the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma. Both boats secured spots in their respective grand final races. UW's varsity four automatically advanced to its grand final field by virtue of a heat victory on Friday.

The Washington women's varsity four won a national title and the Huskies finished second in the team standings on the final day of the NCAA women's rowing championships, Sunday at Lake Natoma. The second-place performance was Washington's best since a runner-up effort in 2002.
The Huskies also earned the bronze medal in the second varsity eight and finished fifth in the varsity eight grand final.


Washington sophomore Nick Taylor fired a final-round score of 3-over 75 to finish in a tie for runner-up honors at the NCAA Div. I Men's Golf Championships held at Purdue's Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, Saturday. Taylor, who led the Huskies to a seventh-place team finish, completed the 72-hole tournament at 1-over 289, just three shots behind NCAA champion Kevin Chappell from UCLA (2-under 286).

Washington moved up two spots on the team leaderboard during the final round, carding an 18-over 306 to finish the tournament at 56-over 1208. It marks the fourth top-10 NCAA finish for the Huskies in the last five years.

"When you consider that just a few weeks ago we were wondering whether or not we'd even get into the regional, and now we're in the top seven in the country, that's just amazing," Husky head coach Matt Thurmond said. "It was fun to play this week without many expectations. We felt great to be here and we knew could play really well and do what we did, if not more. But we didn't feel like we had pressure to do so. I'm just really proud of the guys and the way they competed, the poise they showed."

Hall of Fame

A quartet of All-Americans, a national coach of the year and a pair of national champion rowing squads are among the four individuals and two teams selected to enter the Husky Hall of Fame as its Class of 2008, the school's Big "W" Club announced today. The class is comprised of football player Blair Bush, former women's tennis coach Mary DeLay, record-setting baseball player Chris Magruder, women's soccer standout Hope Solo, football player Mark Stewart, the IRA national champion 1997 men's varsity eight crew and the NCAA team champion 1997 women's crew.